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The Appraisal

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In the vein of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels comes this year’s smart new thriller with literary chops

When wealthy octogenarian Geza Marton hires art expert Helena Marsh to buy back his family’s Titian painting, Helena flies to Budapest to close what she expects will be a reasonably simple sale. But nothing is ever simple in this beautiful, flawed city where
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by ECW Press
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Average rating 3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Maureen Carden
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who knew the art appraisal business could call for James Bond like skills? Or that art ownership could be a very good way of washing criminal cash, or passing on funds to criminals and terrorists. Who knew that being on stolen art retrieval commissions could be so heartbreaking when you learn the stories behind the stolen paintings?
Helena Marsh was raised in the art appreciation, then appraisal business. Her father and mother both insisted she learn some very strong survival skills. They
Kathleen Gray
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maybe a bit overly dramatically cloak and dagger in parts but gosh, it's an interesting read. Helena is an art appraiser and she's in Hungary trying to buy back a Titian. Big bucks. Porter clearly has a strong understanding of the art world, which is in fact used to launder money and where corruption abounds, especially in the netherworld in post War Europe and Eastern Europe. I was most intrigued by the details. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is different from many of the "woman goes ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
2 stars = it was ok by GR's rating system.

When I first started reading, I wondered if it had been written in a foreign language (like Hungarian where the story is set) and then translated into English because the writing was so awkward but no, it was written in English.

The story is told from 2 POV: Helena Marsh, art expert and Attila Feher, ex-dectective. Both characters are well drawn and interesting. The setting of modern day Hungary is also interesting and informative from a cultural,
Josue Lagos
May 13, 2018 rated it did not like it

En este libro vemos a Helena, una mujer que trabaja con arte, y fue empleada por un hombre que quiere recuperar un pintura carísima que pertenecía a su familia y les fue robada durante el período Nazi. Por otro lado, tenemos a Attila, un hombre que trabaja para el gobierno, y le han asignado vigilar a Helena a toda costa.

Todo se resume en saber el pasado de varios personajes, saber quién está mintiendo, pues aquí nada es lo que
Darlene Karalash
When I purchased this book secondhand among many others at a community rummage sale, I had pretty low expectations. Also, since crime novels are not my preferred genre, I really can’t comment on the quality of the plot structure—I made no effort whatsoever in mentally trying to solve the “who dunnit” before the big reveal in the final chapter. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised, enjoying the book for these story elements: the characterization (What’s not to like about an earnest, ...more
Margaret1358 Joyce
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This fabulous thriller is set in contemporary Budapest and has layer upon layer of seriously interesting history regarding German and Communist rivalries during and after WW2, whilst not ever losing a beat in the storyline: a Christies art restorer who specializes in restitution of stolen art goes from Toronto to Budapest in search of her client's original painting by Renaissance painter, Titian. As I said, lots of history to absorb here, not to mention the Slavic names of people and places. An ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A rather fun romp in Eastern Europe — mainly Budapest — with some interesting characters, mostly shady, contending for a possibly fake painting by Titian with suspect provenance. Helena Marsh is a talented art expert skilled in disguise and martial arts. Everyone’s history comes into play, including that of Helena’s family.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I like the idea behind the story but there was just too much beating around the bush which made the pace too slow for my liking. Overall, I could not make up my mind whether Helena is the good one or the crois in the story.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did—the world of international art sales intersecting with war crimes and post-Communist Hungary—but it was a bit flat. I don’t know that I found either of the main characters interesting enough to follow their adventures.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like books that involve art and the nefarious aspects related to authenticity, forgery, etc. This also takes place mainly in Budapest which makes for an interesting setting. It also has a powerful main character, who is not only an art expert, but trained in martial arts, disguises, etc.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was compelling - read it in one day! The characters were strong, the history interesting. A good read!
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
A thriller about the art world. Very slow in spots. Did not enjoy it very much.
Linda Wallace
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Found this very confusing. Between Helen Marsh's many disguises and different personas and the Hungarian names, I found myself at a loss. The twist at the end was interesting.
Karen Williams
rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2017
Maine Colonial
rated it it was ok
Oct 31, 2017
Janice Forman
Art expert, Helena Marsh, is hired by a wealthy octogenarian, Geza Marton, to buy back a Titian painting that he claims was previously owned by his family prior to WWII. Helena has significant experience in the return of art work to Jewish families who lost their possessions during the Holocaust. This task proves to be more difficult as there appears to be more than one person interested in the painting and the provenance of the painting seems questionable, as well as Marton's past and people he ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
characters & plot leave me confused but not worth rereading
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Jessica Chapman
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Cathy Cole
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Sep 30, 2017
Chantal Jauvin
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Apr 15, 2019
Catherine Peterson
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Oct 21, 2017
Edgar P Waniuk
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Dec 18, 2017
Gillian Moorecroft
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Feb 15, 2018
Sam Dobson
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Anna (Szigethy) Porter began her Canadian publishing career in 1969 at McClelland & Stewart (M&S) as editorial coordinator, under Jack McClelland’s directorship. Porter eventually rose to become VP and editor-in-chief at M&S. She worked with, among others, Margaret Laurence, Matt Cohen, Al Purdy, Irving Layton, Peter C Newman and Margaret Atwood.
Porter started her publishing company,
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