On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there's more to this crime than meets the eye.
Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. 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 may itself be a forgery.
Claire's search for the truth about the painting's origins leads her into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life. B. A. Shapiro's razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger an absorbing literary thriller that treats us to three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors. it's a dazzling novel about seeing - and not seeing - the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.
Ms. Shapiro picked up her pallet and came up with an enthralling picture story of the world of artists, paintings, greed, copying and forging that will keep her readers on the edge of their seats. I loved this book! (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Classy and pleasurably suspenseful . . . an entrancingly visual, historically rich, deliciously witty, sensuous, and smart tale of authenticity versus fakery in which Shapiro artfully turns a clever caper into a provocative meditation on what we value most.
Filled with delightful twists, turns, and ruminations on what constitutes truth in art.
This well-researched work combines real elements with the understanding that the art world is as fragile and precarious as the art itself, particularly for young hopefuls. A highly recommended debut that would be great for book discussion groups.
Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
Blazingly good. Shapiro drops you where you've never been before, into the whole, crackingly alive world of art galleries, art forgeries, and the unexpected recesses of the human heart. As original as a real Degas, it's also as unforgettable.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Becky H self-fulfillling prophecy run pampant This book will have you thinking about ALL the times you (or others) are influenced by what you EXPECT rather than what you actually see or hear or experience.
Although Shapiro uses real artist’s names and works, the novel is only loosely –... Read More
Rated of 5
by Louise J Phenomenal Reading! The Art Forger is not only entertaining but teaches us about the world of art and for someone like me who knew nothing of the subject when I picked up the book, has really opened my eyes and provided me with a lot of fascinating information... Read More
Rated of 5
by Diane S. The Art Forger This book is less a mystery, even though it is about the Gardiner museum heist, and more a journey through the art world. Buying, selling, reproducing, copying and acquiring, all of which are portrayed in this novel. A;though everything in the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Samantha H. (Dallas, TX) Detailed Portait of and Artist Shapiro's knowledge of the art world, and Degas in particular, is apparent. Her description of the impressionist's technique and style are thoroughly researched. This attention to detail never bogs down the plot, on the contrary, Shapiro ties it... Read More
Rated of 5
by Pam S. (MA) The Art Forger This debut novel set in current day Boston was a fun interesting read.
The main character – Claire Roth – is a talented artist who because of a scandal early in her career has turned to copying masterpieces for a living. She is asked by a... Read More
Rated of 5
by Debra V. (Kenosha, WI) The Art Forger Loved this book -- a well written look inside the art world from the artist perspective. The technical aspect of art forgery was facinating and was probably the best part of the story for me. Would recommend this book to anyone who loves art as... Read More
How Long Does it Take for a Manuscript to Find a Home?
Sometimes, I think, we are under the magical assumption that a writer has an idea, writes a story, then an editor at a publishing house acquires it, and it is published. Four clean, clear steps in a straight forward-moving line.
Sigh. Maybe I should revise that we to an I.
I am a fiction writer. And my process is well kind of different from the one above. I get an idea for a story. But then I write part of it, get stuck, cut half of it, write it again, give it to a critique partner to read, take her extensive notes, cut half of it again, then revise what is left. I repeat this part of the process until the story is done. Then my agent sends it out to an editor. I get a rejection. Then another editor, and I get another rejection. I repeat this until the story is sold, or put in a drawer. And if it is sold, then it has to go through the whole process of getting published
It took B. A. Shapiro eight years to get The Art Forger published. She had already written and sold five novels at that point, but still,...
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...