The Forgers

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Pub Date 05 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 05 Nov 2020
Atlantic Books, Grove Press UK

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Description

'The Forgers is quintessential Bradford Morrow. Brilliantly written as a suspense novel, lethally enthralling to read, and filled with arcane, fascinating information - in this case, the rarified world of high-level literary forgery.' Joyce Carol Oates

The rare book world is stunned when a reclusive collector, Adam Diehl, is found on the floor of his Montauk home: hands severed, surrounded by valuable inscribed books and original manuscripts that have been vandalised beyond repair. Adam's sister, Meghan, and her lover, Will - a convicted if unrepentant literary forger - struggle to come to terms with the seemingly incomprehensible murder. But when Will begins receiving threatening handwritten letters, seemingly penned by long-dead authors, but really from someone who knows secrets about Adam's death and Will's past, he understands his own life is also on the line - and attempts to forge a new beginning for himself and Meg. 

In The Forgers, Bradford Morrow reveals the passion that drives collectors to the razor-sharp edge of morality, brilliantly confronting the hubris and mortal danger of rewriting history with a fraudulent pen.

'The Forgers is quintessential Bradford Morrow. Brilliantly written as a suspense novel, lethally enthralling to read, and filled with arcane, fascinating information - in this case, the rarified...


Advance Praise

'Those who like their murder mysteries soft-boiled and with a literary bent will love The Forgers. Devotees of Arthur Conan Doyle will especially appreciate Bradford Morrow's exploration of the seamy underbelly of the rare book world. . . . Morrow's language is so pitch perfect, his metaphors so startling, and his truths so pithy that you continue to listen to his tale with a growing fascination and unease.' New York Journal of Books

'An excellent suspense novel. . . . Bradford Morrow is, quite skillfully, paying homage to one of Agatha Christie's most famous whodunits. Yet even then, he offers a few twists of his own and will keep all but the most astute mystery aficionado guessing about the truth until the end.' Washington Post 

'[A] consistently unnerving mystery. . . . The best moments in The Forgers come . . . from its intimate knowledge of books, details about signatures, ink, bindings, the slant of Arthur Conan Doyle's handwriting . . . creating an ambience of old-fashioned gothic suspense that bibliophiles in particular will enjoy.' USA Today 

'The Forgers is remarkable. Bradford Morrow is remarkable. The Real Thing, which is rare on this earthly plane.' Michael Cunningham 

'The Forgers is quintessential Bradford Morrow. Brilliantly written as a suspense novel, lethally enthralling to read, and filled with arcane, fascinating information - in this case, the rarified world of high-level literary forgery.' Joyce Carol Oates

'Those who like their murder mysteries soft-boiled and with a literary bent will love The Forgers. Devotees of Arthur Conan Doyle will especially appreciate Bradford Morrow's exploration of the seamy...


Available Editions

EDITION Mass Market Paperback
ISBN 9781611854602
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Bradford Morrow's well written and short literary mystery is one to read for the fascinating insights into the little known world of rare books, and the type of obsessive and driven characters that comprise the book collectors that are engaged in a never ending quest for the rarest copy of a book. It is a trade that goes hand in hand with that which blights the arts generally, the skills, craft and art of the forger, the study of handwriting, the ink, producing the signatures, the inscriptions, the counterfeit letters and more that add value to a book. The forger is rarely troubled by the concepts of ethics and morality, or even in the creation of a false history. Morrow's grasp and knowledge of this strange and odd world is laid bare with the rich descriptions and fine details of this specific book trade, but the literary mystery aspects of the story are thinner and more in the background. In Montauk, Long Island, rare book collector, Adam Diehl, is found amongst trashed and vandalised rare books and manuscripts, with his hands severed and missing. His sister, Megan, a bookstore owner in New York, is distraught, she is in a relationship with Will, with his past history as a gifted forger, specialising in the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, now apparently a reformed man. The two men had known each other, thinking little of each other, Adam too was a forger, but not in Will's league. With little in the way of leads, It becomes a cold case, his hands never recovered, and Will starts receiving handwritten letters that threaten, how far will he go to protect the life he has with Megan? Will is the narrator, a suitably unreliable one, of this offbeat story of the rare book world, with its lies, secrets and deception. Many thanks to Atlantic Books for an ARC.

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I’m curious to know why this hasn’t been published in the UK before now, given that it’s 6 years since US publication and the author is well established. While I’m an avid reader, I know next to nothing about the world of rare books and letters, even less about forgery. This has made me want to find out more. Plus, there’s something alluring about an affluent Manhattan setting. Add in a Long Island retreat and I’m hooked. In the early part of the book, I was impressed with the narrator, Will; he’s aware of his own weaknesses and failures as well as his skills and sees other people as similarly nuanced. I found the love story between him and Meg believable, enduring despite the difficulties they encounter. I felt a real sense of foreboding as I read on, a creeping dread of what might happen. Just which of Will’s fears will be realised and which are the product of a stressed mind? It is definitely worth reading to the end. You may even want to go straight back to the beginning to see what you missed the first time.

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Date reviewed: October 1, 2020 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the second wave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. 'The Forgers is quintessential Bradford Morrow. Brilliantly written as a suspense novel, lethally enthralling to read, and filled with arcane, fascinating information - in this case, the rarified world of high-level literary forgery.' Joyce Carol Oates The rare book world is stunned when a reclusive collector, Adam Diehl, is found on the floor of his Montauk home: hands severed, surrounded by valuable inscribed books and original manuscripts that have been vandalized beyond repair. Adam's sister, Meghan, and her lover, Will - a convicted if unrepentant literary forger - struggle to come to terms with the seemingly incomprehensible murder. But when Will begins receiving threatening handwritten letters, seemingly penned by long-dead authors, but really from someone who knows secrets about Adam's death and Will's past, he understands his own life is also on the line - and attempts to forge a new beginning for himself and Meg. In The Forgers, Bradford Morrow reveals the passion that drives collectors to the razor-sharp edge of morality, brilliantly confronting the hubris and mortal danger of rewriting history with a fraudulent pen. This is an utterly fascinating book about fascinating books and manuscripts and some really weird, spooky stuff. It is utterly READABLE - you will probably race right through it as I did as it is expertly crafted and a book that you cannot and do not want to put down! Wonderful characters, fascinating plot - pick it and read it on its release date! An excellent holiday gift idea for the friends in your life who love to read! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 📜📜📜📜📜

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I enjoyed this book which was a dark brooding story. The narrator is a man with no name figure, who is a reformed forger. Set in bookish New England and rural Ireland, it swaps between the urbane world of first editions and countryside. When his brother in law dies is horrible circumstances, he is dogged by a mysterious figure from the rare book world wanting to extort money out of him through threatening his reputation and the well-being of his wife. As the story enfolds, the narrator becomes more frightened of his mystery pursuer and spends increasing amounts of time in a heightened state of anxiety, with the reader wondering whether he will ever find a way be free.

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This novel starts with the brutal murder of Adam Diehl, surrounded by his collection of rare books, his hands removed and bludgeoned on the back of his head. He survives a few days in hospital but to no avail, unable to give any clues to his attacker. Our narrator, Will, is your classic unreliable narrator. A supposedly reformed forger, he is constantly fighting the almost erotic desire to recreate the words of literary masters. In love with Adam’s sister Meghan he supports her through her loss and they form a cosy life together. However, all is not so idyllic. Haunted by a spectre of a fellow forger, who sends mysterious notes penned in the hand of famous authors, Will and Meghan retreat to an isolated idyll in rural Ireland, the country of Megan’s birth. It’s not that easy to run from your past though, as Will is about to find out. A novel of truth and lies, honesty and deception, love and obsession. I loved the literary references, the elevated vocabulary - the narrator is engaging and well created. However, I did felt the plot a little lacking. The big reveal at the end of the novel is not as tense or exciting as it could be and left me a little flat. But if you enjoyed You by Caroline Kepnes, you’ll probably like this too. A great, gripping read.

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