On March 18, 1990, 13 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 100 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 19th 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.