Genre: Fiction, heist fiction
Synopsis: Claire is a reproduction artist, perfectly repainting pieces of art to sell to those rich enough who want actual paintings, but those not rich enough to buy the real paintings. She’s getting along pretty well until Aiden Markel comes along, and asks her to forge a Degas, stolen from the Isabella Gardner Museum nearly 20 years prior. She hesitantly accepts, but little does she know that she has just forged a Faustian deal that will lead to fame, fortune, and deceit.
Review: This was so good in a very unexpected way. Though, in all honesty, it should have been expected. Recently, I’ve been really interested in art forgeries and art heists. Have I done any research on those? No. Have I sought out even the most basic information on this topic? Nope. Did I jump on this book when I saw it was on the return cart in my library? You bet. And gosh dang, was it great.
But what made it so unexpectedly great was that it was written by a professor at Northeastern, I believe–which is down the road from my school, and it deals quite a bit with the Isabella Gardner Museum–which is right across the street from my school. And therefore, it takes place in Boston, which made it incredibly easy for me to imagine the neighborhoods, roads, and the dreaded silver line. I was immediately captivated by Claire’s plight, having a man dub a work as his own, of having little money, of struggling make a name for one’s self in your circles.
And, I was enchanted by all that I learned about art forgery and art itself–not that I’m an artist by any means and could ever actually put that information to use, but the amount of research and dedication that Shapiro put into this topic is not only astounding, but also hugely encouraging. I wanted to hold this book up Lion King-style to show how much I love it and how much it fits into my weird niches–I mean, my mom loves knitting murder mysteries, and I love art forgeries.
Truly though, overall this book was engaging, beautifully written, and a fantastic Bostonian adventure.