A stylish thriller, set in the cut-throat world of the antique violin market, where old masters sell for millions and forgery is rife. This book contains more minute detail about the history and techniques of violin making than I thought possible in one novel. Don’t be put off though. It is a clever, engaging read, with a puzzle at its heart and a moral twist at the end.
Violin auctions are not overtly exciting events – you’d probably see more explicit passion in a village cattle sale – but it is their very restraint that, to me, makes them so gripping. On the surface everyone is so controlled, so reticent, so perfectly well-mannered, yet underneath I know the emotions are seething away, a cauldron bubbling over with the basest human impulses.