The Forger's Daughter

The Forger's Daughter by Bradford Morrow

This literally very literary mystery (of sorts) is Bradford Morrow’s sequel to The Forgers (which I haven’t read), who is professor of literature at Bard College (and it shows but in a good way) located in upstate New York on the Hudson River, where the book itself is largely set interspersed with flashback episodes in Ireland and in New York City at the end.

The story revolves around the fascinating underground world of literary forgery and rare book collectors. The protagonists are Will, ‘reformed literary forger’, his book-seller wife Meghan and talented daughter Nicole, who indeed becomes the eponymous title so to speak. Will is drawn back into the lucrative and criminal world of priceless manuscript forging and auctioneering by an irresistible challenge to create a perfect ‘facsimile’ of Edgar Allan Poe’s ultra-rare early manuscript Tamerlane. He’s threatened and forced to cooperate by ‘his former nemesis’, the dangerously unpredictable forger Henry Slader, who reappears after doing time in jail for attacking Will and is being paid by dodgy bookdealer Atticus Moore, another former acquaintance of Will and his family.

There’s plenty of subtle intrigue in this beautifully written book with related and unrelated incidents going on in the background along with slow revelation of these characters’ stories and any history that links them. This is all enhanced by the unusual narrative perspective, which alternates from one chapter to the next between Will and Meghan told in the first person. At the same time, the reader is also slowly drawn further into their worlds by all the enthralling detail about rare books and manuscripts, old printing techniques and secretive collectors.

Submitted by Richard.