Forst’s debut novel combines elements of a mainstream thriller, a reincarnation-powered mystery, crime fiction, romance and art history to create a unique, engaging story.
Forty-one-year-old Mark Reed seemingly has it all: He’s a partner in a highly successful architecture firm and has a 4,000-square-foot home in a wealthy Long Island, New York, neighborhood. But when he’s hit by a drunk driver while driving home from work, his idyllic existence radically changes. Soon after the accident, Reed, who received a head injury, finds himself obsessed with the need to paint, and he begins having incredibly vivid dreams of Vincent Van Gogh and his life in France’s Provence region. When Reed displays his artwork in a SoHo gallery, he becomes the center of a firestorm; the masterful nature of his work (and the fact that he signs his paintings as Van Gogh) makes collectors begin to believe that the architect-turned-painter may be Van Gogh reincarnated. Prices of original Van Gogh paintings plummet, and one collector, after a failed lawsuit, decides to take matters into his own hands by attempting to assassinate the controversial painter. Forst effectively depicts how Reed struggles to come to grips with his newfound talent, and Reed’s life becomes even more complicated when he realizes that he’s in love with gallery owner Allison Weeks. This engaging novel is powered by brisk pacing and virtually nonstop action. Along the way, it impressively develops its central characters, as Reed and Allison maneuver through a gauntlet of irate critics, crooked collectors and criminals to clear Reed’s name and somehow keep him alive. Overall, this intelligent tale will appeal to thriller, mystery and romance fans alike.
A bold, thoughtfully crafted novel that’s full of passion.