In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, two men dressed as police officers bound and gagged two guards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and stole 13 works of art worth today over $500 million. Despite thousands of hours of police work and a $5 million reward, the artwork has never been recovered. Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.
After a scandal involving the provenance of an acclaimed modern painting derails Roth’s career, the promising young Boston artist, now a pariah in the art world, makes a living reproducing famous works of art for the popular online retailer Reproductions.com. In a desperate move to improve her situation, Roth makes a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner, to forge a Degas masterpiece stolen during the Gardner Museum heist, the largest unsolved art theft in history, in return for a one-woman show at his gallery. Their romantic entanglement adds danger to their business arrangement and heightens the possibility of betrayal as each struggles to achieve the end that initially drove them into their illegal pact.
But when the long-missing Degas painting—the one which had been hanging for 100 years at the Gardner Museum—is delivered to Claire’s studio, she finds herself in a breathless race through a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may hold the key to the mysteries of the present.
Shapiro is also the author of five suspense novels: “The Safe Room,” “Blind Spot,” “See No Evil,” “Blameless,” and “Shattered Echoes” as well as the nonfiction book, “The Big Squeeze.” She lives in Boston and teaches creative writing at Northeastern University.
Bartleby’s Books will host Shapiro on Saturday, February 2, at 2pm. The store is located right in the heart of downtown Wilmington at 17 West Main Street. For more information or to reserve a copy of the book call (802) 464-5425, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.myvermontbookstore.com.