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The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

The Art ForgerThe Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, two men dressed as police officers bound and gagged two guards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, and stole thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million. Despite thousands of hours of police work and a $5 million reward, the artwork has never been recovered for what is now the largest unsolved art theft in history.

After a scandal involving the provenance of an acclaimed modern painting derails Claire Roth’s career, the promising young Boston artist now makes a living reproducing famous works of art for the popular online retailer In a desperate move to improve her situation, Claire is lured by Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner, into a clandestine scheme to forge a Degas masterpiece stolen during the infamous Gardner Museum heist.

But when the long-missing Degas painting—the one that had been hanging for one hundred years at the Gardner—is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it might be a forgery itself.

As she begins her desperate search for the truth about the painting’s origins, Claire finds herself in a breathless race through a labyrinth of trap doors, dead ends, and deceit—where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

Blending art history, true crime, and passions of the heart, this suspenseful novel reveals the most infamous art crimes, the clever techniques of forgery, and the surprising complicity between art dealers and art forgers. B. A. Shapiro’s razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger a rousing and absorbing literary thriller about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas." -NetGalley

My Review:

Oh wow, this book is just captivating! I wanted to immediately read it again when I was finished! The suspense definitely had me going hours on end with this book and I didn't want to put it down. I kept wanting to know more about Claire's past with Isaac and her future with Aiden, her past with scandal and her future with forgery. When would Claire learn that her dependency on men to get ahead in the world as an artist only causes trouble?

"When I accepted Markel's offer, I thought I'd be learning at the feet of a master painter; instead, my most powerful lessons have come from a master forger." (loc.1664)

I had no idea how this book would pan out, and the ending was very satisfying. Perhaps it's because of my own love and hobby of the arts that sparks my intrigue, but the author did a wonderful job in telling this story. The slight of humor, the intensity of seriousness, the lightness in characterization was great! In particular I love the imagery she uses, as well as the metaphors and the personification of the artwork. I will absolutely want to reread this book again, as well as any other books by B.A. Shapiro.

First Line: "I step back and scrutinize the paintings." (loc. 13)

Last Line: "And no matter how big the commissions or how great the museums, I suppose I'll never know." (loc. 3815)

"The sweet possibility of reclaiming all that's been lost, everything I've ever wanted. But a forger? A pretender? The absolute last thing I want to be." (loc. 152)

"'It's your call, Claire,' he reminds me. 'I can get someone else if I have to...'
Someone else? 'Okay,' I tell him. 'I'm in.'" (loc. 404)

"A writer friend once told me that when she walks into a library anywhere in the world, the smell makes her feel instantly at home." (loc. 730)

"I'm astonished I was able to fool myself for as long as I did. That I, a self-proclaimed Degas expert, could be so taken in. I felt the truth the first moment I set eyes on the painting, yet I convinced myself otherwise. And I'm not alone." (loc. 1054)

"A woman who makes a Faustian bargain is not without responsibility." (loc. 3810)

Hardcover368 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
ISBN1616201320 (ISBN13: 9781616201326)

Galley provided by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill via NetGalley

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