Bradford Morrow comes to the blog with a story unlike any others I have read with
The Forger’s Daughter
Will has turned his life around, from his early forgeries and after an attack where he lost most of the use of his right hand, his old life has come back to haunt him and his family at their summer home in upstate New York. His nemesis and past competitor in the literary-forging industry (and industry it is) has returned, threatening his youngest daughter and wife with a spectre from the past, and the threats to their current quiet life is clear. Make a copy of a rare Poe pamphlet of poetry, include a letter, ostensibly from Poe to a literary critic, and his past misdeeds (and threats against him) will end. Not only has his nemesis threatened his family and youngest child, but the threats to his eldest daughter, and one quite skilled in calligraphy and finishing up her art degree, has been threatened as well.
Told in the perspectives of Will and his wife Meghan, the flashes of memory, how they arrived where they are, and questions surrounding both Meghan’s brother’s death and the actual ‘threat’ posed by Slater – the one sent to ‘convince’ Will to do the work from a former friend and colleague all come into play: adding in the youngest daughter – a ‘ward’ as it were, daughter of Meghan’s former colleague and former owner of the bookshop she now runs in the city. With the ‘return’ of their eldest daughter, Nicole, and her prodigious artistic talents, her familiarity with the small printing press her father runs, and his own failing eyesight that meant he needed her help, the press, and the pressure are on.
Loaded with information about authentications, forgeries, old-school printing presses, paperweights, ink matching and the mystery and questions that bring all the pieces together, this story was hard to put down and even harder NOT to enjoy. While Will’s current expertise has brought him far from his forgeries and past, he also understands both how they are ‘perpetrated’ and the lure (and ego strokes) that making a solid, passable copy that is authenticated does play into the whole ‘thrill’ of the game. While not as prevalent as art forgers, this peek into a rare skill and the simple time and knowledge involved is fascinating. Add in the mysteries, questions and Will recognizing and seeing more of himself in his daughter Nicole – and her recognition and seemingly ‘prescient’ understanding of the situation brought the story, the threats and the resolution to a satisfying end. Well worth taking your time to read, and being aware that the POV jumps are frequent, and require you to pay attention – they add to the sense of ‘tension’ and emotional involvement in the story.
Title: The Forger's Daughter
Author: Bradford Morrow
Genre: Dual Narration, Family Saga, Humor elements, Literary Fiction, Mystery Elements, Science, Setting: American, Suspense
Published by: Mysterious Press
Published on: 8 September, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 18 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
When a scream shatters the summer night outside their country house, reformed literary forger Will and his wife Meghan find their daughter Maisie shaken and bloodied, holding a parcel her attacker demanded she present to her father. Inside is a literary rarity the likes of which few have ever handled, and a letter laying out impossible demands regarding its future.
After twenty years of living life on the straight and narrow, Will finds himself drawn back to forgery, ensnared in a plot to counterfeit the rarest book in American literature: Edgar Allan Poe’s first, Tamerlane, of which only a dozen copies are known to have survived. Until now. Facing threats to his life and family, coerced by his former nemesis and fellow forger, Will must rely on the artistic skills of his older daughter Nicole to help create a flawless forgery of this stolen Tamerlane,, the Holy Grail of American letters.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.