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by Catherine MacDougall
As among people, so in paintings, the authentic and the fake are forever at war
MacDougall's is proud to present Catherine MacDougall's debut novel. Set between London, Monaco and Russia, Brig Mercury concerns a scandal surrounding an Aivazovsky painting of a heroic naval event. Written in a perfectly paced, crisp style and combining intrigue and penetrating psychological insight, it ventures far beyond the complexities of the international art market, exploring a wide range of issues, from wrecked lives to moral compromises to very human, personal dilemmas. The leitmotif of the novel is the triumph of the human spirit: akin to the famous Brig Mercury, which wins the battle against all odds, the heroine emerges victorious in a seemingly ill-fated battle, restoring her professional reputation and perhaps even finding true love on the way. Culminating in a brilliant climax, the thriller is a must-read for anyone interested in the auction world and the dialogue between the authentic and the fake.
The book will be published in Russian by Amphora, St Petersburg, and available at MacDougall's from 7 June 2013.
Catherine MacDougall is one of the moving forces of the Russian art market. Co-founder of MacDougall's auction house, she lives in Moscow and London.
"The first book by the young author Catherine MacDougall, Brig Mercury is about to make waves. The protagonist Alexandra MacNeal, a second-generation art historian and owner of a London auction house, grew up in Moscow with Aivazovsky's eponymous painting. In the painting, "Brig Mercury" is depicted at the dramatic moment of her return from un unequal battle with the Turkish fleet in 1829. The fate of the painting is closely intertwined with that of the heroine, as she finds herself drawn into the investigation of its history, its copies and forgeries. She endures a series of trials and tribulations - adolescent love, betrayal, murder. All the essential elements of a detective thriller are successfully integrated in the novel with the author's first-hand knowledge of the art world. Catherine MacDougall, expert in Russian art and co-owner of a leading auction house, at times merges with her protagonist, a feature that lends charm and credibility to the narrative and results from her thorough understanding of the subject."
Lyudmila Ulitskaya on Brig Mercury
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