ABOUT THE BOOK (306 pages):
Dr. Richard Reed, wealthy professor and connoisseur of fine art, becomes a temporary member of Interpol’s Experts Group to stop the flow of fraudulent paintings. He feels sure he has found a master copyist when he zones in on an attractive tourist, Kendra Cooper. Kendra, who scrimped for years to travel to Amsterdam and study originals of the great masters, has much to teach the professor. His most likely suspect becomes his strongest asset in the fight against frauds until a dealer in counterfeits strikes back. Cutting off the flow of millions makes Kendra his target. As professional partnership grows into personal devotion, Richard and Kendra combat greed to gain what cannot be bought.
Thank you, Victoria, for your review and kind comments. Sorry, there's no sequel planned. I'm working on a series of three books along the lines of Love Takes Flight, based in the Brazilian Amazon. We lived there as missionaries for six and a half years after my husband's retirement from an international career. That's all in the totally nonfiction, not-for-profit book Flying for Jesus. The Kindle is only 99 cents, the lowest price allowed by Amazon.
Here is my review:
Associate professor of art Richard Reed is on loan to Interpol from Emory University in Atlanta. On the trail of a master forger, he's sure he's found his "man" when he zeroes in on American tourist Kendra Cooper. Kendra's suspicious behavior, added to the painting she just sold a local dealer - an exact copy of Vermeer's 'The Milkmaid' - leads him to raid her room where he finds even more copies of famous paintings. Her claims of innocence fall on deaf ears, after all, they can see with their own eyes that she can copy the masters AND they know she sold at least one of them.
Kendra Cooper saved for years to travel to Amsterdam to study the original paintings of the Dutch masters. She has studied them from afar for years but there's nothing like seeing them up close to see exactly how they applied the oils, what their paint strokes looked like and exactly what their colors looked like. A painter herself, she learned from her college professor that there is money to be made in copying the masters. The more exact the copy, the more the painting is worth. As long as she doesn't sign the name of the original painter, it's not a forgery and there is nothing illegal about copying. When her museum asks her to check out a painting that's for sale in a local gallery, she takes the opportunity to show the dealer her copy of 'The Milkmaid.' He snaps it up and the next day she receives a call from the man who bought it asking her to 'finish it by adding the Vermeer signature.' She refuses, knowing this is the line that she must draw between guilt and innocence. Returning from another morning spent at the Rijksmuseum, she is horrified to see police cars surrounding her boarding house. She is even more horrified to find officers searching her room. When they arrest her and haul her in for questioning using her own art as evidence, she doesn't understand what she might have done.
Is she a master forger or an innocent art fan? As Kendra convinces Richard and the police of her innocence, she is drawn into the investigation. Not only is she a great copyist, she has an amazing eye for possible forgeries. Who better to spot a copy being passed off as an original than someone who can imitate the masters' brushstrokes down to the minutest detail? As dangerous men begin to take notice of what Kendra is doing, can she and Richard stay one step ahead of those who want to silence them?
This is great suspense with a little romance thrown in to keep it even more interesting. I liked how Kendra not only talked the talk of being a Christian, she quietly walked the walk as well, holding to her Christian principles even though stepping outside of them would have brought her substantial financial gain. I also liked that she was a smart, knowledgeable asset in the Interpol investigation in spite of the fact that she holds an "underling" job in a Fort Worth museum and has always been undervalued by her remaining parent. She knows her stuff and proves it again and again.
Lee Carver was a "new-to-me" author. If you haven't tried her books yet, I definitely recommend Counterfeit. It was well worth my time!
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
I have posted my review at:
Thanks, Pam. Check out my other books on Amazon, in both print and ebook, traditionally published and independently published, fiction and nonfiction. (I've GOT to settle into a genre some day.) But if you search for the name Lee Carver, please disregard those by Rhonda Lee Carver with shirtless cowboys in a tight clench with a woman. Those aren't mine.
Will do! This one was edge-of-my-seat exciting! Great job!
I have read the book and blogged my review: http://bit.ly/2jho6sC
That blog posts to Facebook and Google+. I also placed reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, and Twitter.
Here is the text of my blogged review:
I always enjoy reading a novel where I learn something and here it was about art fraud. Our hero is Dr. Richard Reed. He's taken the summer off from his university teaching duties to work with Interpol in their art fraud division. He meets Kendra Cooper, a librarian for a Texas art museum. She has taken a few weeks vacation in Amsterdam to study the masters. When Reed sees her closely inspecting and then photographing paintings, he is sure he has found a part of an art fraud ring.
The setting is Europe, mostly Amsterdam. There is quite a bit of action and some suspense. I was a little disappointed in the suspense as I felt it was predicted, caused by a dumb move on the hero's part, especially in light of previous dangerous encounters.
The major characters are pretty well developed. Dr. Reed is from a wealthy family while Kendra had to work her way through college. Their budding romance has to bridge that financial hurdle as well as the difference in their family structure.
The most interesting aspect of the novel by far is the information about art. The author has included many facts and tidbits about well known artists and their works. It was interesting to learn about art being hidden, say during WW II, and then discovered later. But some of the “found” art turn out to be contemporary forgeries. I also found out how forgeries are identified, sometimes something as simple as the age of the packing material.
I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a novel as much about a topic as it is romance and suspense. You'll learn quite a bit and enjoy a good plot too.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Lee Carver sets her novels in countries she has visited. She and her husband of forty-eight years have two adult children and five grandchildren.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 306 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through The Book Club Network. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Thank you for the review, Joan. I'd been to Amsterdam and other points in Europe just before writing this novel, and had made lots of notes and photos. The subject of fine art fraud was treated by an exhibit in an Oklahoma City museum a few years ago and rested in my mind. I have no degree in art--mine was a double major in biology and chemistry--but have enjoyed visiting the world's finest art museums. Somehow that all gelled in this story.
Thanks heaps, Deana!
Set in Amsterdam, Counterfeit features a strong female protagonist in Kendra Cooper who finds herself a suspect in painting counterfeit art. The book begins with Dr. Richard Reed working with Interpol to catch a counterfeit art ring. I learned more about the art world and several European countries through this suspenseful book. I enjoyed Counterfeit and recommend it to others. I received my e-book from the author through Book Fun. This is my honest opinion.
I left reviews on Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, B&N.
Thank you so much, Joan. I appreciate your reviews posted in all four places.