My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received for review from Amazon Vine
Bradford Morrow’s “The Forgers“ was a bit of a leap for me. I don’t read a lot of literary fiction because it usually includes long-winding sentences that preach about important subjects that I may not be important to me. But this one was marketed as a combination of literary and thriller so I gave it a try. It was worth it, starting with the first line:
“They never found his hands.”
Great opener. This kicked off the gruesome murder of Adam Diehl, a reclusive book collector-sometimes forger. The story isn’t as much about his murder as it is about how his death affect the people around him. The plot starts with his agonizing torture and ultimate expiration, sputters through the police inability to find the murderer, covers Diehl’s sister Meghan’s agony and eventual moving on, all through the eyes of a convicted forger, a man Diehl may or may not have liked or trusted (no spoilers). To complicate matters, a blackmailer uses Diehl’s death to exhort money from Meghan’s boyfriend.
“The Forgers” conveys events with substantial narrative, consummate wordsmithing, and the emotional impact on those close to Diehl subsequent to his death. There’s lots of circumspection and a tendency for the characters to be bystanders to the plot rather than active participants–as though they’re riding a train someone else is driving.
That is, until, all the pieces start connecting.
One part I especially liked was the exquisite detail on how forgers work, what is required to succeed at that craft, and how to identify authentic (or not) work. The only difficulty I had with the book was during the first third, when the author was providing backstory as well as present-time. The timeline wasn’t always clear.
Overall, a good read by a man who is well-respected for his storytelling skills.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.