Published: 28/10/2014
ISBN: 9781783065080
Format: Paperback



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In the Shadow of an Old Master
by P.J. Blake

In January 1996, Eric Hargrave, a notorious forger who claims to have produced more than a thousand Old Master drawings, is found lying unconscious in a street in Rome. When he dies in hospital a couple of days later, Alberto Conti, an inspector from the Commissariato of Trastevere, is put in charge of the investigation.

Conti begins to understand that with Hargrave, nothing is to be taken at face value; neither the forger’s claims nor his work. It comes to light that the artist had been working on a new book shortly before his mysterious death – a book that could expose the many forged works hanging in museums around the world, and one that is now missing…

Conti’s search is going nowhere, even with the help of Guilia Vasari, a friend of Hargrave’s who is keen to find the manuscript. When the book eventually appears in the hands of a London art dealer, there are many questions left for the inspector to answer but political pressure soon forces him to close the investigation.

As the forger’s posthumous book is being readied for publication, an unexpected turn of events sheds new light on Hargrave’s dealings and a possible cause of his death. But will it be enough to reopen the case?

In the Shadow of an Old Master is a thrilling read for anyone interested in the complex and sometimes murky dealings behind the glossy catalogues of auction houses or museum exhibitions and the havoc forgeries can cause in prominent auctions and gallery sales. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of buying an artwork for a few pounds, only to find out it is a lost masterpiece worth a fortune?

"The inspiration was Eric Hebborn, a self-confessed art forger," author P.J. Blake explains, "whose unexplained death in Rome left a lot of unanswered questions. Eric was an interesting character and a controversial figure in the art world."

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Books Monthly

I have just finished reading IN THE SHADOW OF AN OLD MASTER by PJ Blake and would like to give it a RAVE REVIEW as it kept me so interested that I had to read it all in one go. The characters are alive and intriguing and Conti, a prototype of the typical easy going but ever demanding and annoying inspector, surfaces to become "simpatico."

Trusting that this novel be the first of many to come, I look forward to PJ Blake's next book.

Compliments to the author.


John & Virginia Pizzoferrato
(Canadians living in Italy)

by john and virginia pizzoferrato


excellent read!
thin line between truth and fiction

by J


I have just finished reading IN THE SHADOW OF AN OLD MASTER by PJ Blake and would like to give it a RAVE REVIEW as it kept me so interested that I had to read it all in one go. The characters are alive and intriguing and Conti, a prototype of the typical easy going but ever demanding and annoying inspector, surfaces to become "simpatico".

by John & Virginia Pizzoferrato (Canadians living in Italy)


 

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