Light in the Shadows

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

No, I didn't like this. It was trying to be a Di Vinci Code style book and I just wasn't sold on it. I liked the writing and thought it tried hard but the lot points just were not up to scratch.
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Enter into the turbulent and raucous world of Michelangelo Caravaggio in 1577.  The language of the taverns is "Slang. Argot.  Blunt and crude and sometimes overwhelmingly obscene."   Caravaggio's personal motto is "Nec spe.  Nec metu"  [Without hope.  Without fear]. He's poor.  He's searching, always, for a patron, and for a model who will draw the attention of the world to his work.  

Present day:  a young woman, Aysha, and an elderly American professor, embark on a quest to find a lost Caravaggio.  

The world of the late sixteenth century comes alive as the twentieth century sleuths follow the trail.

I read this EARC courtesy of Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing  pub date  06/01/19
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I enjoyed this book and the mystery of it.  The authors did a lot of research for the story and I appreciate that. I will be looking for more of their work.  
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Again, I’ve struggled with how many stars. I settled on 3.5 but because half stars not an option, I upped it to 4*
I finished this book last week but life has been busy and hectic and I wanted to think about it a little before decided on a rating.
 On one hand, the story grabbed me right away.  I really enjoy historical fiction about famous artists.  Years ago I happened to be fortunate enough to see a Caravaggio and the darkness and style intrigued me.  I did see a PBS show about him once too.  Years ago, reading “Girl With a Pearl Earring” caused me to love this genre.  I thoroughly liked reading “The Passion of Artemesia” and was glad to see her mentioned in this book.  When I read this kind of book I’m constantly going to internet to see the picture being mentioned and this book was no different.   Most times I found this book a page turner.
On the negative side – I felt it could have used some editing, did not have to be this long.  The current day ‘mystery’ was not as interesting and seemed to drag a bit.  My first thoughts upon starting this book were “The DaVinci Code” and Dan Brown.  However, that did not live up to my hopes.  What really annoyed me, however, was the constant use of Italian and then the translation of the sentence or phrase after that.   It seemed to bog down the story also.  I do not speak Italian but most times I was able to figure out easily what was said.  Yes, we are in Italy with Italians – did this have to be pointed out to us so often?
Bottom line is that I did enjoy the time I spent in Italy and learning more about Caravaggio and the speculation of what happened to him.  He certainly was a character!
I’d like to thank the publisher, Lake Union Publishing, as well as Net Galley for the opportunity to read this enjoyable and interesting new novel.
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This book goes back and forth in time between 16th and 17th century Italy and the modern day.  I found the parts of the book that dealt with Caravaggio's life and art very interesting.  They were really the best part of the book.  

The modern day segments read like Dan Brown Lite.  It wasn't terrible, but it was not nearly as interesting as rest of the book.  The Italian and Sicilian dialogue scattered throughout the modern sections were distracting and unnecessary.  

I was originally drawn to this book because I love Caravaggio's art, perhaps this is coloring my perception of the modern day portions.  I would recommend this book to art history geeks like myself, and possibly for Dan Brown fans.
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Light in the Shadows by Linda Lafferty and Andy Stone, Lake Union Publishing, published 1 June, 2019,

Light in Shadows moves between two timelines: one during the life of bad-boy painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, whose career crossed from the late 1500s to the early 1600s; the other set in the present day and featuring an unlikely trio of characters—an art history student, a gay son from a mafia family, and a retired professor taking classes in Italy while mourning his wife’s death—trying to solve the murder of a priest who may, or may not, have discovered an unknown Caravaggio painting. Caravaggio comes across as a fascinating, but not very pleasant man, which concurs with the little I know about his life. These chapters are action-packed, but the real heart of the novel lies in the trio of amateur detectives negotiating very difficult relationships with themselves and with one another. Discovering whether the painting is a Caravaggio becomes much less important than seeing how the connections among these three develop.
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This started a bit... Slow for me. I enjoyed what I was reading but I wanted to skip the first little bit. I'm glad I didn't, it was necessary.
A fun, exciting read that exceeded what I was already expecting. I enjoy books that are rich with art and history.
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Perfect for fans of fiction that blends historical figures with imagined events- and real ones.  Odds are good you've seen Caravaggio's work but do you know his story?  You're not going to get all of it in this mystery/adventure tale that starts with the discovery of a previously "lost" painting but you'll learn something while being entertained.  A good read.
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It was a lot of fun to read. This novel is engrossing, entertaining and well written. I'm a huge fan of Caravaggio and was more than happy to read about him in this novel.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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The discovery of a lost Caravaggio painting stirs up a storm in modern day with some historical intrigue thrown in.

A priest discovers a painting he believes to be a Caravaggio. Before he can have it authenticated he is murdered.
His niece and an American professor are kidnapped, rescued and determined to discover where the painting went and why people are willing to kill for it. Will his niece discover the truth about their relationship? Why was she shipped off to America as a child? And who really is her bestfriend?

Back in 1600s Caravaggio is delighting and infuriating Rome with his paintings. A genius, who doesn't always paint what's requested as they'd like it.
Caravaggio has a temper and makes enemies including nobility and a Knight of Malta. Will these enemies be his undoing? What really happened to him when he disappeared from history?

I loved this book, it was fast paced, entertaining and insightful! I had no idea who Caravaggio was before I read this and since reading I've got an urge to view his paintings and learn more about his life.
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Excellent ! A page turner will keep you hooked right to the end.
Enticing,enthralling and full of depth .
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Light in the Shadows is a great historical novel. A great deal of research has been done for this book and it shows. The details in this book are fantastic and the writing a great.
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4 stars

This book is a wonderful historical account of not only Caravaggio's life and imagined demise, but a contemporary action-filled drama about the discovery of a previously unknown painting by him.

Lucia and Professor Richman get off to a somewhat rocky start in their relationship, but are destined to become fast friends. Add the charming Moto into the mix and we have three very likable characters to star in this engaging novel. I have to admit that I did not care for Caravaggio. Then I read the historical notes at the end of the book and discovered that that was the way people spoke early in the 17th Century. It is amazing that such a dissolute character could be such a genius when it came to painting. (I googled him to view some of his work.) 

The authors certainly did their research before writing this novel. Caravaggio was a figure to whom I had never given much thought before. 

This book is very well written. The sentences flow easily and the story moves along nicely. Getting to know the characters was enjoyable. I truly enjoyed reading the book and will certainly look for other works by Linda Lafferty and Andy Stone. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Press for forwarding to me a copy of of this book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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A massive amount of work has gone into writing this book. By these extremely talented authors. A really well written book.
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Traveling between 17th century Rome and the present, this book weaves a tale of darkness and obsession. Art student Lucia has set out to prove a painting found in a storage room in a small Italian village was painted by the master, Caravaggio. To do so, she will have to investigate the painter’s dissolute lifestyle and his dealings with the sinister Knights of Malta, as well as trying to keep the painting, and herself, safe from those who wish to destroy them both
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Having read past works by both these writers, I was intrigued to find out if this ambitious collaboration would work. And it does. Set in Italy and Malta, and alternating between the 17th and 21st centuries, it successfully combines Linda Lafferty's powerful, evocative descriptions and Andy Stone's skill in character development. Together they've produced a gripping story. And thanks to the depth and breadth of their research, I learned a lot about bad-guy genius Caravaggio and the shadier side of the Knights of Malta into the bargain. I hope the authors are planning further collaborative projects - if so, I certainly look forward to reading them.
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