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The Forger's Daughter

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The Forger's Daughter by Bradford Morrow was an insider account of the forgery of a first edition book by Edgar Allan Poe, with no author's name, only 12 being in existence. This was done on a letterpress. Also, an accompanying letter in the author's handwriting. It was done under threat of blackmail by an experienced forger and his adult daughter. It was an interesting story, which even at its conclusion left many unanswered questions. Another important fact: no one told the truth.

This was an interesting novel, which was mostly a first person narrative, but the speaker varied. It was in turns the story of a marriage, the story of a murder, the story of a past life, and the story of blackmail. The entire thing was the story of stress, for many people. It was interesting and well done. It held my rapt attention, at first because I couldn't understand then because I needed to know why, which I figured out, in part, before the author revealed all. It was at times frightening, at other times, loving. Murder. Blackmail. Corruption. I recommend it. 

I was invited to read a free ARC of The Forger's Daughter by Netgalley. All opinions and interpretations contained herein are solely my own. #netgalley #theforgersdaughter
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I normally don't attempt a sequel without reading the precursor (The Forgers), but was intrigued by a number of things on first glance.  Books, of course, are always a favorite and the forging of literary works grabbed my attention especially as it concerned Edgar Allen Poe.  A remote country home near a forest and a mysterious encounter got me off to a great start.  I became bogged down during the increasingly detailed discussions of forging, calligraphy and printing and confess I began to skim.  I found the circumstances surrounding Will's motivation to participate in the forgery even with the suggestion of the threat to disclose his involvement in an old death of a family member rather vague; it was never explained to my satisfaction.  I was entertained but not wowed and occasionally annoyed by the alternating narratives which led to my being confused as to who was speaking and having to reread when I realized the perspective had changed.  Perhaps reading the first book might have changed my opinion.
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This book, like the first one, is full of information as well as suspense.  I only wish I could read faster--not because I want the book to end, but because I want to know the ending.  And there is a twist at the end.  I did not even imagine the surprise revelation of the first book, this one I figured out ahead of the great reveal, but I still liked that it was Meg that knew the secret instead of Will.  I hope that the author continues to write books about this family, but I think Nicole should be the new heroine!!
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This books was a disappointing follow up to "The Forger". The hook at the beginning was great, but the slow build and unbelievable involvement of the main characters daughter caused me to put the book down half way through. Maybe it improved in the 2nd half, but I didn't have the patience or interest to keep reading.
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The sequel to The Forger, this book full of secrets didn’t fail to keep me in suspense.  A reformed forger and his wife, now with two daughters, are pulled back into his old life by an old enemy and an old friend. The story alternates between Will and his wife’s telling of it, with their different perspectives, and affected by  their own secrets they are keeping from one another,  I loved the descriptions of their lives, from little details of the clouds, the lushness of the Hudson Valley, contrasting with their return to their New York City home. Will’s guilty thrill he feels from the forgery he’s creating, to his guilt over involving his daughter and family, to his fear of his adversary unmasking his secret all keep create tension that underlies the bucolic summer in the country setting.
This was a wonderful sequel to the first book, and I’ll be hoping for more from the author.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Grove/Atlantic for an advance copy in exchange for my candid opinion.
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What a ride!  If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes and intricate, convoluted puzzles, this is a novel for you.  
Will is a much-consulted bibliophile with extensive knowledge of the history of published 19th century American literature, a printer of classic letterpress work,  and personal history as a long reformed forger of the same.  His wife Meg is the owner of a renowned NYC book store specializing in rare books of that period and the impetus that keeps Will on the straight and narrow path, along with their two daughters, Nicole and Maisie.  Nicole is 20-something, just about finished with college, and a talented artist and calligrapher taught at her Daddy's knee.  Maisie, Will and Meg's adopted daughter and the child of Meg's deceased partner in the book shop, Mary Chandler, is just 11.  

Eleven months out of the year were spent in Manhatten.  The family traditionally spend August at an old farmhouse they own in the Hudson Valley, and it is there that Will is approached by his old nemesis, Henry Stader, also a forger of manuscripts from back in their younger days, and blackmailed into duplicating a copy of Edgar Allen Poe's first self-published work, a 40-page tale titled Tamerlane, and a cover letter.  Will is over twenty years out of practice as a forger of 19th-century works, though over those years he has taught and encouraged Nicole in the art of classic lettering, and due to an extensive hand injury twenty-something years ago - his right hand hatcheted, leaving only the thumb and part of the little finger by nemesis Slader - not as good as he was as a young man with calligraphic work, but his daughter Nicole is excellent - better even than he in his heyday - and she worms her way into helping with the forgery very much against her mother's wishes and at the heartfelt protest of her dad. 

Henry Slader holds an intense grudge against Will, as he did many years in jail for the attack on Will in Scotland.  And he intimates knowledge and photos from back in his forging days that would have Will doing hard-time in New York and completely destroy Meg's business reputation.

Then the bumps in the night begin, the little tells that someone has been in the house when they are gone, the missing photo from the family display, and Slader with inside-knowledge that he could only have obtained by spying on the family from the surrounding wooded acreage as they went about their lives. And then Meghan is a witness when a familiar-looking dead man is dumped on a dead-end road. Does she recognize him as the ginger-haired driver who brought Harry Slader to the farmhouse the first time? 

Who can you turn to when your life is as at stake, as is your freedom and reputation?  How do you keep your children safe in their beds at night?  At what point do you have to trust the boys n blue?

I received a free electronic copy of the ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Bradford Morrow, and Grove Atlantic- Mysterious Press.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
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He’s a forger. No, he used to be a forger and now he must protect his family and be a forger again. 

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this or even finish it, but I’m glad I did. The narration jumps from husband to wife which sometimes takes a few sentences to understand, but it’s worth it.

This is obviously very well researched, which I always appreciate. If you’re the least bit curious about Edgar A. Poe, this is definitely one to add to your TBR list. 
Who knows — you might even get some tips on forgery!
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I’ve never heard of Bradford Morrow but would like to go back and read the first book in this series. I feel as though it can fill in a few gaps. However, the beginning of the book does go into quite detail about the past. I definitely will read the next book. There is going to be one right ? I mean there has to be !!!  

I enjoyed both the drama and the thriller of this read.  The first half is a little slow but once the craziness begins, you won’t put the book down. 

Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.
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3.5 / 5.0 stars

This sequel to Bradford Morrow's, "The Forgers" is a thought-provoking tale of antiquarian book forging, a failed attempt of breaking free from one's criminal past, and of a tortured soul conflicted between a desire to to stay clean yet also desiring to protect his family from great harm. It's a story of many secrets where every character has them or may even be one. The writing is superlative. It displays the author's love for the written word as well as his ability to paint well the landscape of place as well as that of the mind. The book is part mystery, part psychological thriller and has a fair amount of historical and technical detail related to the fine art of forging historic documents. It also speaks well to the involved process of assessing provenance of historical masterworks from which the forgeries are made. The vast amount of research gathered for this story is most evident and handily shared throughout the book.

A bit about the story - 
After twenty years of living a crime-free life, our protagonist and former forger, Will, is coerced, if not blackmailed into creating an exact replica of Edgar Allen Poe's rare imprint of his first book, "Tamerlane". The person seemingly behind this distasteful plan is an old "colleague" of Will's from his former life, with a bit of an axe to grind, who claims to hold damning evidence of a horrific crime perpetrated by Will. What choice does Will have but to do as told and hopefully place this scoundrel in his rear-view mirror for good. To complete the forgery, Will must draw upon the burgeoning artistic talents of his twenty-something-year-old daughter, Nicole. She is as gifted as her father if not even more so. 

In alternating chapters, we hear the voices of Will and his beloved wife, Meghan as they provide a delicate counterpoint - he, trying to protect his family from his disgraceful past and she, fretting about the "masterwork" created by father and daughter, toiling over an old letterpress behind closed doors - their world; not hers. All this to appease a criminal?!!

To this reader, the technical detail and painterly descriptions of scene and senses were captivating. Yet there was also a touch of the macabre which was found to be a bit repulsive. Regardless, the narratives are beautifully rendered, the plot was twisted and went in unimaginable directions. The ending felt disappointingly abrupt, leaving this reader with a myriad of unanswered questions. Perhaps this is just an indication that there will be a third installment in this forger's tale. Only time will tell.

I am grateful to publisher Grove Atlantic for having provided a complimentary electronic uncorrected proof of this work through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.
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I have read many books but this one I just couldn't get even half way through.  Forgers of any kind usually peak my interest.  I will try again to later to get into it.
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It can be a problem, knowing too much about something… particularly if you find that thing absolutely fascinating, and feel compelled to share said knowledge with others (who may find it similarly interesting, but in all likelihood, won’t).

There’s also something of an issue with being too fond of your own voice, whether aural or written, so I—fully acknowledging my own tendency to ramble—hesitate to call anyone out on it, but there you have it.

It’s when you combine both of those propensities, though, that things start to get really… tiresome, shall we say. And with that, I give you The Forger’s Daughter, Bradford Morrow’s sequel to his earlier The Forger.

On the surface, this sounded like a can’t-miss-winner: a mid-life couple and their younger daughter leave Manhattan to spend the summer at their country home in the Hudson Valley… where secrets from the past rear up their ugly heads(!). And oh, such secrets they are… for it turns out that husband Will is an ex-forger of super-rare books (after nearly getting busted some two decades prior, and vowing to wife Meghan to NeverEverDoTHAT,EverAgain!!1!)—something which neither of the couple’s children, collegian Nicole or junior-high-schooler Maisie, know anything about. 

(OF COURSE we know that’s all about to change, but it’s cool; we wouldn’t be very good readers if we couldn’t figure that much out, right?)

Anyway, Maisie returns home from visiting friends one day, scraped up and scared to death… because someone wearing a mask (that looked just like her dead uncle!) jumped out in front of her bicycle, giving her a package and instructions to hand it over to Will, then disappeared. 

In the package? One of the rarest literary finds of them all (apparently): a copy of a small, obscure, early work by Edgar Allen Poe, entitled Tamerlane… so rare, in fact, that only a dozen are known to exist. And Will’s task? To create a completely-believable facsimile of same… or else. 

The “or else” involves what must have been the plot of the author’s previous book; it seems Will and an old “frenemy”—one Henry Slader—had their final falling out over… something, twenty years ago, during which Slader hacked off a couple of Will’s fingers (effectively making the whole forgery thing something of a moot issue, you’d think). But now, Slader wants Will to come out of retirement… or else he’ll tell Will’s family (and possibly the authorities) about what Will did back then. And that is something Will absolutely refuses to let happen.

So, here’s the thing: if Morrow had been content letting The Forger’s Daughter be just about that scenario, and how Will (and family) dealt with the very determined (and utterly-bonkers) Shader’s demands, it could’ve been a fast-paced, cracking-good story.

Instead, we’re forced to “listen” to more internal monologues, in all their monotonous glory—from both Will and Meghan, since the narration switches back and forth from one chapter to the next—than we really need, or certainly want, to “hear”. (There’s only so much navel-gazing anyone can/should do… and a considerably-smaller amount that a reader wants to endure, on the characters’ behalves.)

Not only that, but remember how I started off… by talking about the inherent problem with being too excited about a topic? Yeah, that. Will is extremely into arcane facts about the history of rare books, famous authors, forgeries (successful and otherwise), printing, and so on… and the author lets him ramble on and on, like, forever. My eyes glazed over through more seemingly-endless passages that went absolutely nowhere than I ever thought possible. (And this, from someone who truly enjoys reading, and really likes Poe!)

Maybe you’ll enjoy The Forger’s Daughter more than I did. The author writes well, in a technical sense, so that’s something. And, while I didn’t really care about either Will or Meghan, the two daughters—Maisie and Nicole—were easy to get behind. Honestly, though, I couldn’t wait to finish this one… just to be done with it, and to never have to return.
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Will has turned his life around, from his early forgeries and after an attack where he lost most of the use of his right hand, his old life has come back to haunt him and his family at their summer home in upstate New York.  His nemesis and past competitor in the literary-forging industry (and industry it is) has returned, threatening his youngest daughter and wife with a spectre from the past, and the threats to their current quiet life is clear. Make a copy of a rare Poe pamphlet of poetry, include a letter, ostensibly from Poe to a literary critic, and his past misdeeds (and threats against him) will end. Not only has his nemesis threatened his family and youngest child, but the threats to his eldest daughter, and one quite skilled in calligraphy and finishing up her art degree, has been threatened as well.  

Told in the perspectives of Will and his wife Meghan, the flashes of memory, how they arrived where they are, and questions surrounding both Meghan’s brother’s death and the actual ‘threat’ posed by Slater – the one sent to ‘convince’ Will to do the work from a former friend and colleague all come into play: adding in the youngest daughter – a ‘ward’ as it were, daughter of Meghan’s former colleague and former owner of the bookshop she now runs in the city. With the ‘return’ of their eldest daughter, Nicole, and her prodigious artistic talents, her familiarity with the small printing press her father runs, and his own failing eyesight that meant he needed her help, the press, and the pressure are on.  

Loaded with information about authentications, forgeries, old-school printing presses, paperweights, ink matching and the mystery and questions that bring all the pieces together, this story was hard to put down and even harder NOT to enjoy. While Will’s current expertise has brought him far from his forgeries and past, he also understands both how they are ‘perpetrated’ and the lure (and ego strokes) that making a solid, passable copy that is authenticated does play into the whole ‘thrill’ of the game. While not as prevalent as art forgers, this peek into a rare skill and the simple time and knowledge involved is fascinating. Add in the mysteries, questions and Will recognizing and seeing more of himself in his daughter Nicole – and her recognition and seemingly ‘prescient’ understanding of the situation brought the story, the threats and the resolution to a satisfying end.  Well worth taking your time to read, and being aware that the POV jumps are frequent, and require you to pay attention – they add to the sense of ‘tension’ and emotional involvement in the story.  

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.  

Review first appeared at <a href=” /” > <a> I am, Indeed </a>
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Forgery of antique manuscripts is not often the the back story of a thriller/ mystery.  THE FORGER'S DAUGHTER is Bradford Morrow's 2nd book written around a man who was once an expert forger of priceless documents.  Fate caused him to give up his crime and relocate to the United States, where, 20 years later, fate will cause him to take up his craft again.  Only one thing could force him to crime again, a threat to his family.

This is the premise that sets the tone and pacing of Morrow's new book.  The expert forger must copy one of the rarest books in existence, Edgar Allen Poe's Tamerlane.  he must have it perfect and quickly or his youngest daughter will die.  His elder daughter will help him, but it's been 20 years.  

This reads like a novel with some thriller thrown in for spice.  But, it's still a very good read, just not what I was expecting when I started it.  The book does contain alot of information on Poe that fans will find interesting.  This is a book to read while alone, it requires concentration and you will definitely enjoy it more with fewer distractions and interruptions.
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If you like gothic tales and literary crime novels, you will find yourself emotionally involved in this sequel to The Forgers (2014). And best, of all, it revolves around Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane.
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Published by Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press on September 8, 2020

The Forger’s Daughter is a sequel to Bradford Morrow's The Forgers. Like the novel it follows, The Forger’s Daughter is a literary suspense novel. Since the relevant plot details of The Forgers are scattered through the sequel, it isn’t necessary to read the first novel to appreciate the second. While there is always some benefit to reading the first novel before reading the sequel, The Forger’s Daughter can be read as a standalone.

Will is no longer a forger. Instead, he works for an auction house, offering opinions about the authenticity of signatures. His wife owns a bookshop that specializes in rare books. His daughter Nicole has learned his skills as a forger, although she devotes her talent to assisting Will with the letterpress shop he operates. Will and Meghan have adopted a child named Maise whose true heritage is known to Meghan but not to Will.

In the first novel, a villain named Slader robbed Will of three fingers. Slader returns to blackmail Will with pictures that purport to show a crime that Will committed in the first novel. Slader has stolen a rare edition of Poe’s Tamberlane. He wants Will to replicate it so that the original can be replaced with a forged copy. The plan calls for Will to then alter the original a bit, to add Poe’s signature. and to forge an accompanying letter asking a reviewer to read it. Will agrees not just to avoid exposure but because of an implied threat that Maisie will be harmed if he refuses.

Will and Meghan narrate The Forger’s Daughter in alternating chapters. They tell their stories in the same voice, a fact that isn’t troublesome, given that both are well educated devotees of literature and are thus likely to share an elegant narrative style.

The two novels are something of an homage to Poe, particularly drawing uppon “The Purloined Letter,” a story in which the story’s hero, Auguste Dupin, creates a forgery. Apart from educating the reader with Poe lore, the novel offers some tips in the art of literary fakery, adding both interest and authenticity to the narrative.

The element of suspense in The Forger’s Daughter is low key. In fact, the novel as a whole might be characterized as low energy. It never creates the strong sense that anything bad will happen to anyone, apart from a cat that goes missing for a while. The characters, good and bad, are all very civilized, perhaps too well bred to behave violently, notwithstanding Slader’s amputation of Will’s fingers in the earlier book. Even when a moment of violence does arrive, the act is low key, the sort of thing that might be followed by a cup of tea (actually, it’s followed by a fine wine).

The novel’s value is found in its characterizations and prose more than its plot, and perhaps for its insights, some purloined from Poe. The ending of the sequel creates a pleasant symmetry between the two novels. The Forger’s Daughter tells an interesting story rather than a memorable one, but Morrow tells it very well.

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I had a bit of trouble early on in the book figuring out which character was 'talking' at the moment.  But, as I got the flow of the book, it became easier.  An amazingly intricate, twisted tale of deceit, love, cruelty, etc. that kept me spellbound.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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I liked it but I did not love it. Interesting story, but it left me kind of flat. And I just could not like any of the characters in this book except for Maisey. The ending was good though. Perhaps if this was my preferred genre of reading I would have liked it more but as it were it was just okay.
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I liked The Forger's Daughter. For those who do not like Poe or detailed books, this might not be a good fit. The book goes into a lot of detail about Poe's writing and books which bogs the story down. It is still a good mystery with suspense and a few twists and turns.
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I have always found stories of art theft and forgeries interesting. This one held its own with those, but in a different way. Will is a retired literary forger who now works in literary auctions . When his daughter Maisie is confronted and given a package to give to him, he is forced out of retirement.

This was well-written and kept my interest. Keeping my interest is one of the highest praises I give a book. It also showed me the inner workings of book forgings. That was new to me.

Will and Maisie were talents who were able to pull off what they needed while still having some level of integrity.

If you are looking for some complexity in a story that will keep you to the end, this could be it.
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Sequel to The Forgers, Forger's daughter is a novel which surrounds the rare, not much talked about Edgar Allen Poe work, Tamerlane. Just like the title, it is the story of Will, once an expert in the field of forgery and his daughter Nicole, an art student. 

Will had long since abandoned his craft resulting from a confrontation by the police and an attempted murder by a man called Slader, but is forced to return to his career when Slader reappears, coaxing him to produce a fake copy of the author's own copy of the Tamerlane. Will could not decline his need, as Slader had with him important photographs which could prove Will's involvement in a pretty big crime; proofs which could land him in prison. The novel progresses with how Will, with the help of Nicole produces the copy, and the horrors that wait for them in the course of the process. 

Though it is a good book, I didn't find it much interesting. I had many confusions regarding a character named Adam (because I haven't read the prequel I hope), which remains uncleared. Also, I had problems with the POVs; I found it hard to understand which is whose, as there were no indications. Still, I loved the fact that the book contain  many informative things about rare editions of famous books and also about the fake copies of the same. 

If you are a bibliophile and a book hoarder (especially rare first editions) I am pretty sure you will love this book. And if you are a Poe fan, no doubt you will love it more!
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