A Book Review: "The Art Forger"

Art Forger

“On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history.” Those two simple sentences are what B.A. Shapiro’s novel The Art Forger firmly wraps itself around.

Claire Roth is a young, tarnished, and struggling artist who eeks out a living by creating copies of great masterpieces for a popular online retailer; she specializes in recreating Degas’ paintings. Claire is approached by Aiden Markel proprietor of Markel G; a gallery where the upper echelon of Boston purchases their art, to paint a copy – neigh, forge – one of the famous missing Degas paintings from the Gardner heist. Not only does Aiden want to hire Claire to forge a painting, but he has the original painting in his possession – and if touching a Degas isn’t enough of an incentive for Claire, Aiden sweetens the deal by offering Claire a one-woman-show at his gallery.

But as Claire progresses with forging the famous painting she begins to suspect the masterpiece that once hung in the Gardner Museum for over one hundred years before it was stolen, may in fact be a forgery itself.

If the art and the mystery surrounding the painting and the Gardner heist isn’t enough to suck you into this well crafted story … there’s a romantic relationship that develops between Claire and Aiden, but even things there aren’t quite what they seem.

The Art Forger is B.A. Shapiro’s first novel, and I for one can’t wait to see what other tales this author has to tel.

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