Reviewer Fran Lewis:
Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing
Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and
a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of
Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's
Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition,
she is the author of three children's books and a fourth Alzheimer’s
book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story
in honor of her mom. Fran
hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran's Radio Show and Here
Author, Anne-Laure Thieblemont,
Publisher: Le French Book (August 11, 2015)
Imagine being in a room with priceless artwork bout not exactly what you would expect to find. Pieces that have hollowed out eyes, erotic poses and a pre-Columbian collection left to you by a father that you never knew and thought deceased when you were just a small child. Marion Spicer is an investigator who spends her days searching for stolen pieces of art. But, what would you do if you inherited a tremendous collection of Pre-Columbian art but with one stipulation before you are able to claim it. The Collector is a simple title with a complex plot that will lead readers inside the world of art, understanding stolen art, through the eyes of author Anne-Laure Theiblemont who is not only a gem specialist and trained in the filed but an art reporter. Each scene is depicted so vividly that readers enter the many auction houses, listen to the bids, and wonder that will win the valuable piece and possibly finding yourself raising your paddle to join in the bidding.
Marion Spicer is the main character of this novel that works for a Paris art house called SearchArt. With a powerful prologue that sets the stage for what is about to come as the author leads readers to believe that there was an attack on something that appears to be a crime and a sculpture that was stolen. Marian is smart and astute and realizes that a random case that she has been asked to investigate by her boss just might be connected to her father’s collection. Marion’s expertise focuses on 18th century items dealing in furniture, jewelry and silverware. Weary of the request by her superior to work on a file focusing on a stolen piece of pre-Columbian art. But, Marion faces another dilemma as she is told to keep her inheritance a secret, the fact that Edward Magni was her father and the stipulation that she find three missing pieces of sculpture before she can claim what he left. A father that died under odd circumstances and inheritance worth a fortune and three sculptures stand in her way but why these? Who sold them? Who was the buyer if any and where does she begin? Did he sell them himself of what is the mystery behind them?
George Gaudin was Magni’s personal assistant and quite possessive of the collection. Meeting him is an experience that will make readers shudder and entering the three rooms filled with the artwork will give you the chills. A man so diversified, terrifying and capable of finding just the right pieces, knowing which have flaws and dealing with antique dealers, auctioneers, buyers, sellers and letting us know that the world of art is often flawed like a piece of sculpture with cracks. With the help of her friend Chris they reenter her father’s mansion to uncover secrets that someone is willing to kill for but why? A sculpture of a woman, a jaguar and a warrior are at the center of the hunt for who might have them, why and whether her father’s assistant is holding back information. Would you risk it all for millions of Euros? Would you risk it all for three pieces of art?
Laurent Duverger is an ardent art dealer, appraiser and quite unscrupulous in his dealings. Wanting to get his hands on one of the sculptures he would do anything do make sure the sculptures went to him. The meeting left Marian drained and she decided to work out by doing some laps never figuring she was being followed and someone attempted to silence her. With her life in question and the three sculptures still missing would she ever learn the truth about her father’s collection, where she could go for assistance or who to trust? One piece of paper would change the stakes and the five items written on it would tell it all. The Woman with Child, The Warrior and Jaguar were the three she needed in order to get her inheritance. But, sometimes we overlook things and get blindsided when we are attracted to someone and meeting Alain Ozenburg might be her downfall. Learning that her father wanted to sell off three pieces in his collection, hoping to find out the buyers, get the certificate of authenticity sent Marian straight back to Duverger. Threats, blackmails, the murder of a dealer whose body was made to resemble one of the pieces of sculpture, would Marian and her friend Chris realize the gravity of the situation and with the help of a police detective would they finally solve the case? Didier Combes is like a father to her and she should have entrusted him with the pieces she was able to obtain but instead she took a hard fast stance putting everything and everyone in danger.
The final scene you won’t believe and the outcome quite startling. Will she get her inheritance? Will she remain safe? The epilogue allows readers to know that the story has just begun and our talented author leaves us wondering what is next for Magni’s collection, who will reap the benefits and who is the ULTIMATE COLLECTOR?