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
"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."