It is modern-day New York, but the players are dabbling with works from centuries in the past. We get a rare look into the underworld, where men and women enjoy the mimicry of well-known signatures. For a few moments, one of them may pretend to be William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, or Will’s personal favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
As the story opens, Will is expecting a call from his girlfriend, Meghan. Unfortunately, when she does call, it is with the shocking news that her brother Adam Diehl, a hermit of a book collector, has been brutally attacked and left in a pool of his blood. Piles of his valuable books have been left scattered about, but strangely missing from the scene are his hands.
"THE FORGERS is a reader’s dream: intelligently written, with beautiful details paid to the use of inks and stationery, pen pressures and hand flourishes."
Will himself is a convicted forger --- and a very talented one if you ask him --- but what about Adam? Was he an imitator of famous signatures? Did he pen fakes in flyleafs or conjure undiscovered letters from such sought-after personalities as Winston Churchill? Was his murder a message to others who might be inclined to engage in similar criminal pursuits or another forger eliminating part of the competition? The police seem to be at a dead end. For months, even years thereafter, Will struggles to comfort Meg in her grief.
Considering such a violent, vicious murder, who wouldn’t have trouble putting it behind them? But even as Will is trying to ease their pain and move on, someone won’t let him forget. Someone seems bent on keeping the memory very much alive. In fact, someone actually seems to be accusing him of having a part in the awful deed. Will is aghast. The dead man’s sister is the love of Will’s life. How could anyone believe he would do anything to jeopardize that? The thought is absurd. Finally, Will and Meg find some much-needed peace in Ireland for a time, enjoying the coziness a small village offers and the simple life. But they can’t escape their lives back in New York forever, and Will finds he can’t escape his stalker. Is the fellow a total lunatic?
The police have investigated both Will and his stalker, looking at them closely because of their ties to Adam. Having found nothing with which to accuse them, the authorities have let them go, and the case has gone mostly cold. Except for the times that Will’s stalker revives his persistent accusations. The man is relentless and in no hurry, apparently preferring to arouse as much angst as possible in Will. But to what end? Will wants to see a conclusion to the case, too. Or at least that’s what he says.
THE FORGERS is a reader’s dream: intelligently written, with beautiful details paid to the use of inks and stationery, pen pressures and hand flourishes. Bradford Morrow has created in Will a character rich in criminal indignation. Will is not a cheap forger; he is an artisan, a master imitator of the greatest signatures in literature. But he goes beyond adding an autograph to first editions. He pens entire letters, copying tone and paying attention to historical details, personal events and acquaintances. Will, shall we say, knows how to well and truly invent. He does it so well, in fact, that it may even spill over into his everyday life. Are his protestations true, his proclamations of love genuine, his desires to quit the business sincere? Read, read, and decide for yourself.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on November 26, 2014