Love, lust, lies, betrayal, trust, and double crossing- all in a day of the art world.
Claire- a young artist that has been blackballed by the artist community and given the nickname “Great Pretender” is approached by Aiden Markel, owner of Markel G, a studio in town. Aiden makes a visit to Claire’s studio apartment with a proposition – one might even call it a deal with the devil. Everyone in the world knows about the art theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum- a theft that has never been solved.
Aiden and Claire make a deal- Claire will paint a copy of Degas “After the Bath”, Aiden will sell the copy to his buyer, the buyer will think he’s bought the original, and the original will return to the Gardner museum where it rightfully belongs. Aiden talks of things of “the greater good’ and righting wrongs- Claire decides that she can live with that and the money she’ll make. As Claire begins the process of copying the Degas painting- she begins to suspect something is wrong. Did Aiden have the original or was he double-crossed? Can Claire trust Aiden or is he using her past to set her up? Because of Claire’s past as “The Great Pretender” she has insights into this potential problem that no other artist has.
This story tells the story in 3 different phases: the time when After the Baths was painted, 3 years ago and current time. All 3 sections interweave to tell a story that is brilliant, interesting, and mysterious. In this story- the reader can never be 100% sure of who is telling the truth, who is looking to double cross someone, and who is innocent. A fabulous tale of love, lust, intrigue, and betrayal in the art world.