Rated Reads

The Art Forger

by B. A. Shapiro

Rated: High

Claire Roth is three years out of grad school, and she’s been blacklisted as an artist. It was a bit of a big deal with one of her professors with whom she was having an affair (and who ended up killing himself). But now, when the owner of the most prestigious art gallery in Boston — Aiden Markel of Markel G — comes to her with a Degas — make that the Degas from the 1990 Gardiner heist — asking her to create a forgery of it, she can’t refuse.

Well, she could have. But then we wouldn’t have a story.

This, in many ways, is a story of obsession and compulsion, and because I watch White Collar (which is a quite fantastic show, that) I was already familiar with the idea of how art becomes a compulsion. That said, I still don’t … get it. The depth of obsession, the idea of owning something priceless. It’s just paintings on a wall, right?

That said, I really enjoyed the journey B.A. Shapiro takes readers on: the initial journey of Claire’s painting the forgery, the gradual unfolding of how she became blacklisted, the relationship between her and Aiden, and the unraveling of all their best-laid plans. Shapiro has a lot of different threads going, and she kept me wondering how they all fit together.

Which does lead me to the end. It all felt too tidy for me. She does manage to wrap everything up with a bit of an idealistic bow (it is fiction, after all), and I’m not quite sure I’m satisfied with the way she did that. But that said, getting there was such an intriguing ride, I’m not unhappy I took it.

Rated: High for all kinds of swearing, including multiple f-bombs, plus some explicit (but not graphic) sex.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • The Art Forger
  • by B. A. Shapiro
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: