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Monday, August 18, 2014

#SRC2014 Review: The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

Title: The Curse of Van Gogh
Author: Paul Hoppe
Format: Paperback
Publisher: SparksPress
Publish Date: July 29, 2014
Source: BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge






Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a mystery/ thriller fan.
  • You like art.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Tyler slides into a simple life of bartending in New York City, living his life day to day. And then at the hottest art opening of the season he meets Kommate Imasu, a Japanese billionaire and famed art collector, who seems to know more about Tyler than his own mother does.  With serious threats against his family and friends, Tyler has to decide how much risk he’ll take to protect them. He quickly learns that gambling against a billionaire is never a good idea. Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit-men, Yakuza, a femme fatal named Chanel No. 5, and the legendary curse of Van Gogh, in order to pull off the greatest art heist in history."

My Two Cents:

In "The Curse of Van Gogh," Tyler has just gotten out of prison. He isn't sure that he ever wants to go back but he gets an offer that he can't refuse and it involves stealing major pieces of art from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He knows that it is a high-stakes game but he doesn't think he can say no without bringing harm to him or his family.

I was drawn to this book because of the setting (I absolutely love reading about my beloved hometown of Washington, D.C.) and because I am an art lover. I don't read a lot of mysteries or thrillers but this one piqued my interest because it seemed to have something a little bit more to it, which I ended up really appreciating.

The storyline was definitely interesting to me and I enjoyed it. There were some parts that were really unrealistic to me though and I really had a difficult time getting over them. First off, Tyler has just gotten out of prison and he really doesn't want to go back there because of his girlfriend, his best friend, and his brother who he all feels responsible for in various ways. My logical mind says that he probably would not want to get involved with the heist because of that. Tyler is also able to move very freely around the entire country, no questions asked, which did not fit with him just having gotten out of prison! The suspension of disbelief here was really a little difficult for me!

I did like the excitement of the story though. Hoppe gives the book lots of little twists and turns in order to keep the reader engaged, which I really liked! Overall, this book was a mixed bag for me. I think some of the book could have been tightened up somewhat. 

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