The Forgers by Bradford Morrow
“They never found his hands.” This is the gruesome first sentence of this literary mystery. Don’t let it put you off. This book is a short 240-page thrilling adventure into the world of rare book collecting and, of course, forgery.
Adam Diehl is a rare book collector. He is bashed over the head, his hands severed from his arms, and left for dead. His extensive collection of rare books destroyed. Meghan, Adam’s sister, is devastated by the death of her only living relative and leans heavily on her boyfriend to come to terms with the violent murder and the fact that no suspect was arrested for the crime.
Will, Meghan’s boyfriend and future husband, is the narrator of the book. We know that Will is a bit of an unsavory character. He has a history of forgery and he struggles with his addiction to pen and ink. Though there is no 12-step program to help him quit. He dearly loves Meghan and swears off forgery – forever.
I loved the way Morrow described the relationship between Will and his mother. The tenderness and trust between them as she taught him calligraphy and to love the act of writing. I also appreciated the relationship between Will and his lawyer father who introduced his son to the world of collecting rare books. “Book collecting,” he (Will’s father) memorably told me, though at the time I couldn’t fully grasp his theory, “is an act of faith…” I liked Will but I did not completely trust him, perhaps because he broke faith with his father.
If you like a mystery and an unreliable narrator then this book is for you.