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Feint of Art

It is hot here in the UK, that kind of muggy heat that makes you to feel completely overwhelmed as soon as you move, bleugh, so I am chilling out with the cats who are making their unhappiness known with lots of audible sighs and general grumples.  Thankfully I seem to have had better luck with my books this time, as soon as I read the first page of Feint of Art, I knew that this book would be a good’n – and after the last three disasters, I needed this to be a good book!

Annie Kincaid has painting in her blood – or to be more precise, forgery.  By the age of 10 after painting a perfect copy of the Mona Lisa she was hailed a prodigy, but in her late teens after spending time with her professional forger Grandfather in France, she discovered that unless she wanted a life on the run with the threat of prison hanging over her, she needed a career change.

Despite her best efforts, her past has continually dogged her.  A promising career as a professional restorer at the Brock Museum was halted when an expert, still smarting from the embarrassment of being outed as proclaiming one of her teenage forgeries as the real deal, revealed her past to the owners.  This led to her being fired and her new career change, starting her own business specialising in faux finishing.

However hard she tries, her talents as a painter – and as a result of the tutelage of her Grandfather, her talent for detecting forgeries, is constantly called upon.  This time her ex boyfriend, who also happens to be Head Curator of the Brock, asked her to authenticate a Caravaggio (which turned out to be a fake painted by one of her Grandfather’s cronies) in a midnight meeting, later on he disappears and a janitor is murdered.

To make matters worse, her new landlord is going to raise her rent – and her first meeting with him, she dinged his car and insulted him.  So when she was tasked with finding the originals of some Old Master drawings that had been forged by the same man who created the copy of the Caravaggio, she thought that she could kill several birds with one stone and also raise some cash while she is at it.

Annie is a brilliant character, she has good intentions and would always drop everything to help a friend, unfortunately this also means that she finds herself in sticky situations.  Other supporting characters include Mary her assistant;  Annette the police woman; Frank her landlord and Michael the art thief. I really enjoyed this book and Annie was such a refreshing character with lots of dimensions.  As I have mentioned many times before, I actually love to see faults in a character as it makes them more believable and the cast of characters in Feint of Art are all well-rounded and incredibly likable, even the slightly iffy Michael!

I would describe the book as a mystery romp as you are propelled through the chapters along with Annie.  I liked the way that there were several new characters introduced throughout the book, instead of all lumped together at the beginning.  It also means that when  you think that you have an idea who the culprit is, someone new pops up.

The final scene was hilarious and beautifully captured the essence of the  book.  I can’t wait to read the next books, because you just know that Michael won’t be able to stay away and who knows what Annie will do next.

Hailey Lind’s website http://www.haileylind.com/

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