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False Light

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Scholarly sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, tackle another brain teaser. This time they aim to crack the long-undeciphered code of prankish art forger, Eric Hebborn (Drawn to Trouble, Edinburgh 1991), and reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant counterfeits. Hebborn’s game is anything but straightforward, h Scholarly sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, tackle another brain teaser. This time they aim to crack the long-undeciphered code of prankish art forger, Eric Hebborn (Drawn to Trouble, Edinburgh 1991), and reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant counterfeits. Hebborn’s game is anything but straightforward, however, and in navigating its twists and turns, the duo is caught up in an even darker realm of art crime. After several participants in the encryption probe are murdered, it becomes clear that there are players for whom there is more at stake here than tracking down a scattering of Old Master knock-offs. As the couple becomes more entangled in the malevolent goings-on and more determined to help bring them to an end, both their courage- and love-under-fire are tested to their limits.


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Scholarly sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, tackle another brain teaser. This time they aim to crack the long-undeciphered code of prankish art forger, Eric Hebborn (Drawn to Trouble, Edinburgh 1991), and reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant counterfeits. Hebborn’s game is anything but straightforward, h Scholarly sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, tackle another brain teaser. This time they aim to crack the long-undeciphered code of prankish art forger, Eric Hebborn (Drawn to Trouble, Edinburgh 1991), and reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant counterfeits. Hebborn’s game is anything but straightforward, however, and in navigating its twists and turns, the duo is caught up in an even darker realm of art crime. After several participants in the encryption probe are murdered, it becomes clear that there are players for whom there is more at stake here than tracking down a scattering of Old Master knock-offs. As the couple becomes more entangled in the malevolent goings-on and more determined to help bring them to an end, both their courage- and love-under-fire are tested to their limits.

37 review for False Light

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Cronin

    False Light is a fun read, enhanced with a dose of real-life art history and made more interesting by the endearing romance of its two main characters. The plot contains the requisite amount of clues, twists, and suspense, along with the genre-required action-filled climax, so I suspect most lovers of crime novels will enjoy it. However, I found its real charm to lie in three unexpected joys. The first comes from Riess’s background. I have, at best, a passing acquaintance and mild interest in art, False Light is a fun read, enhanced with a dose of real-life art history and made more interesting by the endearing romance of its two main characters. The plot contains the requisite amount of clues, twists, and suspense, along with the genre-required action-filled climax, so I suspect most lovers of crime novels will enjoy it. However, I found its real charm to lie in three unexpected joys. The first comes from Riess’s background. I have, at best, a passing acquaintance and mild interest in art, but I am captivated when an author brings expertise to a story like this. Claudia Riess helps her readers learn about masterpieces, forgeries, and auctions, without ever dumping information. (She got me looking into real-life art forger Eric Hebborn, and I’m always delighted to be introduced to a too-strange-to-be-fiction character.) Another surprise is the relationship between the two lovers at the heart of this tale. They’ve gotten past the first hurdle of commitment (apparently in the previous novel) and now struggle to figure out how to live with their promises. I found their relationship compelling, and suspenseful in its own right. I appreciate an author who acknowledges falling in love is easy compared to making love work. What didn’t I like? While the writing is generally okay, the pacing lags on occasion, particularly early on. Some parts required a little too much attention and rereading to follow multiple characters and complicated plot lines. Yet, none of this was enough of a problem to keep me from enjoying the story. Years back, during a difficult time, I devoured J.D. Robb’s novels about a futuristic detective and her billionaire husband, and I realized there is this wonderful escapism involved in reading about the very wealthy solving crimes. (At least as long as they are nice people, which these characters are.) That brings me to the third pleasant surprise of this novel. Though Riess’s characters are unique to her story, their life of sumptuousness provided me with that same gentle nepenthe while their adventures held my interest. As this virus has wreaked havoc with life, I’ve found myself eating rum raisin ice cream. That sweet treat is getting me through a lot these days. Why do I mention it here? Because when I finished this book I thought "I’m glad I read this." In a world filled with too much frozen broccoli and canned soup — this is a rum raisin ice cream kind of a book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan Hurn

    False Light is an engaging and easy mystery read. I would almost classify it more as a cozy read. I never was able to like the main characters, they were aggressively narcissistic so if the author was going for that, she nailed it. I wouldn't want to read another book with those characters in it, but I would read another book by the author. False Light is full of art history, murder, and suspense! False Light is an engaging and easy mystery read. I would almost classify it more as a cozy read. I never was able to like the main characters, they were aggressively narcissistic so if the author was going for that, she nailed it. I wouldn't want to read another book with those characters in it, but I would read another book by the author. False Light is full of art history, murder, and suspense!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne (jkcosmos) Cosmos

    Light read. Setting is interesting. A bit too pc for my usual reads. Okay -beach book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Great mystery novel. this was a goodreads giveaway

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Rosen

    Wow! A wonderful, fascinating, intriguing story and written so beautifully. Marcia

  6. 5 out of 5

    ruTa MaRscHaLl

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Barton

  8. 4 out of 5

    sue aime

  9. 5 out of 5

    L. WORTHY

  10. 4 out of 5

    Candy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kay Bird

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen M. Jones

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

  14. 5 out of 5

    RichardM

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael LoRusso

  16. 5 out of 5

    C. Marshall Logan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Gottlieb

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca F. Cary

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  20. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sunnymay

  22. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Galactic

  23. 4 out of 5

    E. R.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Douglass Abramson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  28. 4 out of 5

    oohlalabooks

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sally Toerner

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  31. 5 out of 5

    Steff

  32. 4 out of 5

    Margo

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Harris

  34. 4 out of 5

    Judi

  35. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  36. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  37. 5 out of 5

    Traci

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