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The Collector by Anne-Laure Thieblemont
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The Collector

by Anne-Laure Thieblemont

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
A woman learns that her dead father wasn't so dead, instead he had walked out on her mother and created a new life with a new identity. And, now he is really dead and she has inherited his collection. But there is one condition, she must find and buy back 3 objects that he has sold. But there are people out there ready to kill for the objects...

I think the idea of the book is interesting with Marion Spicer learning about her now for real dead father and the conditions for her to be able to inherit his collection. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into the story, it felt so muddled and both story and characters lacked any real depth. Afterward, I just sat there and thought; "that it?". The book was really too short to really give the story the space it needed. You never really got to know the characters, and everything happened in just in a few days. I mean Marion Spicer slept with one of the persons in this story after just meeting him the other day. She is worried that someone is trying to kill her and she decides to sleep with someone that could be the one that is after her? The characters had potentials to be interesting, but everything felt so rushed. Her friend Chris was introduced and apparently he has marriage problem and Marion doesn't like his wife. Why do they have marriage problem and why didn't she like the wife? And, speaking of problems. The case, the statues, I found the ending just feel flat when everything was explained.

This book would have worked better for me if the story had been more developed if the character had had more room to grew to feel more lifelike so that one could care for them. And, the story dragged despite the fast tempo with everything happening during a couple days. The book had potentials, but it would have needed some more tinkering.

Thank you Le French Book and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
So, your dad is a shady underworld art thief. When he dies, he may or may not have left you a collection, that might or might not be legitimate. This is Marion Spicer's lot. The collection in question is a set of pre-Columbian statuettes. There's a series of works of art Marion has to find before she can inherit. It quickly becomes evident that Marion is entering a dangerous world where people's actions are not necessarily legitimate, or legal. In this whole fiasco Marion proves remarkably willing to enter situations about which she should absolutely know better. Marion is no novice in the art world. She works for a Paris gallery, detecting forgeries. While the plot of this book moves quickly, it felt disconnected. I never quite felt like everything hung together. ( )
  lahochstetler | Mar 18, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book for free from Early Reviewers. Marion Spicer discovered her father had just died and she would have to find three sculptures to get her inheritance. Along the way someone is trying to kill her. It was somewhat interesting in subject matter but also confusing. Whether it was due to the translation from French or just a confusing story, I'm not sure..Seems like the supporting characters should have been fleshed out better. ( )
  goodsew | May 10, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book for free from Early Reviewers. This book was a good read. The premise is about a art investigator who finds out her father was an art collector and rich and winds up trying to find rare sculptures in order to get her inheritance. However, there are complications along the way. It was a fast read for me because I just wanted to know who the killers were.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/102250.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Feb 21, 2016 |
This book had two things that possibly worked against it. First, it's an ARC, so some errors and awkwardnesses may be down to that. Second, it's a translation, so … well, ditto. The feel of the text might not be precisely what it is in its original French. (Example: "She hadn’t seen so many in one place"… So many what, I have no idea. I read it a couple of times, to make sure I wasn't just being inattentive, but nope: it just doesn't make sense.)

The book synopsis is above, and needs no expansion here.

I went to art school, back in the Cretaceous era, and had every intention of making a go of it. I didn't. When I allow myself to dwell on that, I'm less than happy about it. So I should be grateful for books like this which peel back the wrapper a bit and give me a glimpse of an art world I really, really wouldn't want to be a part of. It's predatory, mercenary, vicious, capricious, and altogether ugly… So, thanks Mme. Thieblemont. (There's apparently no French equivalent to "Ms". Huh. Don't know why I never knew that.)

There was some awkwardness in the writing – enough to put me off. Example: the heroine is frustrated because another character refuses to provide her with any information to help her find the three sculptures she needs to hunt down. "As long as those three sculptures remained at large, he would be master of the house and owner of everything in it." – So, well, of course he clams up.

Manna for the birds of prey.

??

This might sound silly, but then again I'm among book folk here. So perhaps this bit of business from the main character will help explain why I didn't like her much: "She paced the room, kicking a pile of books."

I'm done with you.

The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.
#1 - Counterfeit Conspiracies – Ritter Ames – 2/2/16 – 1/11/16
I'm afraid I didn't last long with this book either, Netgalley or no Netgalley. The first bump could have been turned into an asset, but … nope: "the Dobermans, Zeus and Apollo". This could be awesome, or simply annoying. Unfortunately, the jury came out with "annoying".

As often happens, there was a fair amount of awkwardness in the writing. Example: the main character goes Mission: Impossible and sprays something into the air to reveal infrared beams, the breaking of which will set off an alarm. That's what occurred. What was written, though, was that she took out a "small, specially formulated aerosol can". Okay. What does it mean that the can was specially formulated? In point of fact, wasn't it the contents of the can which should have been the thing being described? It's sort of nit-picky – but the reason I pick on these nits is because they're not unique. When I give an example like this it's because it's typical of the writing.

The main character is a thief. It's easy for me to enjoy a story about a jewel thief or some such, where a clever thief uses skill and cunning to steal from the rich and give to … himself. I mean, it's terrible when a piece of jewelry which constitutes a work of art is broken up, but for the most part I can sit comfortably feeling no sympathy for the wronged wealthy and admiration for the clever cat burglar.

But when it comes to art, paintings in particular, it's a whole different ball game. While I can enjoy the exploits of a John Robie (especially if he's played by Cary Grant), I am never going to be able to get behind an art thief. But, you (or the author) may say, this art thief is stealing from thieves, reclaiming art looted by the Nazis and restoring it to the family it came from. And that's wonderful. That's laudable. If the book hadn't gone the so-clever route of presenting the theft first and explaining the motive after (which I have just spoiled) I might have kept going. But when one of the first things I read is:

"I slipped a blade from my belt and ran it along the frame’s edge"

My first impression of the main character is intense loathing. I don't see that going away, so – thanks, Netgalley and publisher, but no thanks.
  Stewartry | Jan 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
France for me has been typically associated with everything romantic. The prospect of reading an art based mystery sounded even ‘more’ romantic for me. I’m a mystery addict. Needless to say, the book totally captivated me.

Marion, our protagonist works for a woman who runs a company that traces lost Art items. Her boss reminds me of Meryl Streep from The devil wears a Prada – Iron fisted lady. Marion’s life is wrecked when she served with the will of her father – Edmund Magni – the eccentric art collector who she presumed was dead long back but actually was alive until recently. To obtain the inheritance, she has to collect three rare pieces of work belonging to Pre-Columbian art. Marion embarks in a mad race that almost shakes up the entire art world and lands her in an emotional turmoil.

The writer’s experience as a stolen art investigator is apparent from the in-depth analysis and reasoning about art forgery/theft narrated from Marion’s perspective as a part of the story. To an art novice like me, that part of the book was nothing short of being enchanting. The story line was backed by proper reasoning and was devoid of any logical loop holes. The story as such was paced like a sine wave – alternating between being extremely fast and slow paced. The perfect characterization aided very much in reasoning the plot. One school of thought that is worthy of mention is the part where the female protagonist sleeps with an attractive man but is thoroughly un-apologetic about it. Writers normally take that liberty only with men. It felt happy to read about a woman in such a predicament. Cheers to the writer – Anne for brining that about.

I never felt that the book is work of translation. The translator – Sophie has obviously done a good job and has ensured that vital elements of the book (Emotions particularly) wasn’t lost in translation literally.

MY SAY: Un-put-down-able and refreshingly dark mystery.

RATING:

PLOT : 9/10

NARRATION: 8/10

CHARACTERISATION: 8/10

BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)

OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10
added by bookandink | editBook and Ink, Shree Janani (Aug 19, 2015)
 
The writer’s experience as a stolen art investigator is apparent from the in-depth analysis and reasoning about art forgery/theft narrated from Marion’s perspective as a part of the story. To an art novice like me, that part of the book was nothing short of being enchanting. The story line was backed by proper reasoning and was devoid of any logical loop holes. The story as such was paced like a sine wave – alternating between being extremely fast and slow paced. The perfect characterization aided very much in reasoning the plot. One school of thought that is worthy of mention is the part where the female protagonist sleeps with an attractive man but is thoroughly un-apologetic about it.
added by bookandink | editBook and Ink, Shree Janani (Aug 19, 2015)
 
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In the merciless microcosm of Paris art auctions and galleries, some people collect art, while others collect trouble. Marion Spicer spends her days examining auction catalogues and searching for stolen works of art. She is a top-notch investigator when it comes to eighteenth-century art. But for her it's just a job and her life is well ordered. All this changes when she inherits a huge and very prestigious collection of pre-Columbian art from a father she never knew. There are conditions attached: she must first find three priceless statues. That is when her troubles begin. Her father’s death sparked much greed, and Marion finds herself facing sharks, schemes, fences, traps, scams, and attacks. Her quest draws her into a world where people will kill for a love of beauty.… (more)

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