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When art mimics life, somebody’s going to get what’s coming to them.
Henry Lindon's flight across the north Atlantic was turbulent and sleepless. His plane has just touched down in Amsterdam, where he’s come to work as a visiting professor. Lindon is torn about leaving his troubled wife, Marylou, behind in Dallas, but relieved and excited to start a new chapter in a lively city. The taxi drops him off at an elegant building at Roetersstraat 8-1, where he’s greeted by his university liaison and soon-to-be neighbor, the lovely and spunky art professor Bernadette Gordon. After settling into his apartment, Lindon changes clothes and sets out to explore canals and cafés, wondering what the dinner invitation from Bernadette means for his fresh start.
But troubles from the past soon cross the Atlantic. Lindon discovers that notorious Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren, born in 1899, is about to play a part in Lindon’s own personal drama. With evil closing in, Lindon, Bernadette, and Marylou find that secrets of the art world may hold the key to settling old scores and putting a predator away for good.
Whether you are familiar with the world of Henry Lindon from author Clay Small’s first book, Heels over Head, or this is your introduction to his works, you’re in for an exciting and unusual international adventure with characters that will live on in your memory long after you’ve finished the book.
Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Forger's Forgery is a riveting crime novel written by Clay Small. The shocking murder of a Southerland University student named Nichole Kessler sets off an unexpected chain of events, having a resounding impact on the lives of a group of interconnected people that may change their lives forever. The prime suspect is the victim's uncle, Wheeless Kessler, an abhorrent megalomaniac with a history of violence directed towards women. MaryLou, a former victim of Wheeless, finds herself deeply traumatized by the very thought of Wheeless roaming free and concocts an audacious plan with her husband, Henry Lindon, to exact revenge on Wheeless for ruining her business. Meanwhile, Detective Esmeralda Ortiz continues her search for Nichole's killer. But her investigation may put the lives of her family members and herself in grave danger.
Laced with humor, heart, mystery, and intrigue, The Forger's Forgery is an absorbing page-turner that feels difficult to put down. Author Clay Small hooks your attention with an intricate plot that rarely misses a beat with its numerous twists and turns. Clay Small paints a vivid picture of his characters and provides them with in-depth backstories and distinct personalities that make them come alive to the reader. I found the characters realistic and relatable and felt Henry and Marvin's brotherly dynamic especially endearing. The pacing of the narrative is smooth and felt suitable to the plot. The constant bouts of humor throughout the book made the story all the more entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed The Forger's Forgery. Highly recommended.
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
The Forger's Forgery is a mystery which opens in Amsterdam, where visiting professor Henry Lindon enters a very different world from that of his prior employment at Southerland University in Dallas.
Here, he navigates Dutch culture, history, and a new university environment that embraces blossoming romantic possibilities, a missing painting, and a Southern University coed's murder--along with a changing relationship with his wife, Marylou.
As this homicide detective's murder investigation becomes increasingly tied to events beyond Dallas, readers become engrossed in a blend of murder mystery and dangerous men who understand that success is not risk free. Detective Ortiz's relentless pursuit of a passenger list oddity could bring down long-held, lucrative plans.
Henry's plan to foist a forgery charge on Guy Wheeless, the deceased's uncle and the main suspect who appears to have an irrefutable alibi, sets the stage for a dangerous game. The action moves from Henry and his wife and Amsterdam experiences to perilous moves certain to set the art world on fire.
Perhaps one reason why The Forger's Forgery is a complex mystery and yet realistic, is that it's based on the true story of master forger Han van Meegeren, who forged the works of some Dutch masters in the 1930s and '40s in a notorious crime that was clever, unprecedented, and difficult to solve.
Clay G. Small is masterful at his depiction of Dutch culture and peoples, the art world, and the forgers who influence its development, making their illicit money on creations that are masterfully created in their own right.
The characterization is well-developed and three-dimensional. Many of the characters move between good and questionable or bad acts, making choices that demonstrate they are not good and bad guys, but human beings who act and react in surprising ways.
As the mystery evolves, the art worlds of both Amsterdam and Texas come to life as environments influenced by forgery events that connect disparate lives and peoples, changing and challenging the art world.
Mystery readers who enjoy art history will relish the exceptional presence of both in The Forger's Forgery.
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