56. The Forgery of Venus

The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber

Pages: 318
Finished: Mar. 21, 2008
First Published: April, 2008
Genre: psychological suspense
Rating: 3.5/5

First Sentence:

Wilmot showed me that one, back in college; he'd written it out in his casually elegant calligraphy and had it up on the wall of his room.

Reason for Reading: I received this as an ARC.

Comments: Chaz Wilmot is a painter who is stuck in a rut producing advertising art so he can afford to pay for his son's expensive medical treatments. He agrees to take part in an experimental drug study focusing on artists and their creativity. Soon afterwards Chaz starts slipping into memories of the great painter Diego Velazquez. But these may not just be memories; he seems to actually be leaping back in time and living the painters' life.

This is the beginning of a roller coaster ride that carries Chaz from New York to Italy, from sanity to insanity and into the world of international art forgery. Chaz is very confused and doesn't understand what is happening and the reader tries to make sense of it all. Is Chad having drug-induced visions? Is there something supernatural happening to him? Or perhaps Chad is really a psychotic mental patient? This was a thrilling read that continuously kept me guessing.

Chaz is a very unreliable narrator and because of that I did find it hard to connect with him and actually care what happened to him. The profanity in the narrative bothered me some. It's one thing to have characters swearing at each other but I find it irritating when the narrator is swearing at me. However, the plot was a whirlwind of intrigue that kept me interested until the unsettling finish. I also loved the art world setting from the New York art galleries to 15th century Italy and Spain. Recommended.


  1. Great review! Though I don't read a lot of Suspence, this one sounds quite interesting. I added it to my TBR.

  2. Well, the story sounds so interesting but I'm not sure I want to put up with that narrator. I may have to skip this book since there are so many others waiting.

  3. This ARC is on its way to me. Sounds interesting, but like Framed, I'm not sure if I'll be able to put up with the narrator.


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