Publication Date: Available Now from Zaffre.
Source: Review Copy
Judith Rashleigh works as an assistant in a prestigious London auction house, but her dreams of breaking into the art world have been gradually dulled by the blunt forces of snobbery and corruption. To make ends meet she moonlights as a hostess in one of the West End’s less salubrious bars – although her work there pales against her activities on nights off.
When Judith stumbles across a conspiracy at her auction house, she is fired before she can expose the fraud. In desperation, she accepts an offer from one of the bar’s clients to accompany him to the French Riviera. But when an ill-advised attempt to slip him sedatives has momentous consequences, Judith finds herself fleeing for her life.
Maestra is fabulous darling.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding this title, the first from Bonnier’s crime imprint Zaffre, so it was with great interest that I dived into this one and I was immediately and unequivocably absorbed into Judith’s world – an artistic world in more ways than one.
Sometimes all it takes to make a book bang on is a decent main character. Well Judith is that and then some – passionate and perfect, the very definition of girl power but with added mayhem. Seemingly passive in the face of events that bring her down, underneath that cool exterior bubbles a dangerous but intensely likeable anti heroine who you cross at your peril.
Added to that you have an incredibly addictive story that has many layers – the world of art dealing comes vividly to life, a world about which I knew nothing but that is completely fascinating. A really spot on background to set Judith against as she blazes a trail across many different locations, dealing with her problems one (sometimes gruesome) step at at time. Maestra has an incredibly gorgeous vibe about it in both character study and scene setting, the writing is visceral, beautiful and indelible. This one will stay with you.
Judith’s tastes are, erm, eclectic – Maestra is strong on graphic sexual content and if this is likely to perturb you then be prepared – the author has created a character that has great psychological depth, if anything Maestra only touches the surface of who she is. In a way she IS Maestra, colourful, vivid, unrelenting, brilliant and well actually quite scary. In an excellent way.
The question I was asked the most while I was reading this in the lead up to publication was “Does Maestra live up to the hype?” – well my answer is a most definitive YES it sure does, This is not one of those that you will come out of with a vague sense of disappointment – this is novel that will live in your memory. The last 3 words I read made me go “YES!” with a huge amount of inner cheering. Bring it on!
Highly HIGHLY Recommended.
You can order Maestra by clickety clicking right HERE.
Happy Reading Folks!
Having been an avid fan of Artemisia, I saw the author interviewed on tv and completely got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I thought this was a theft of an Artemesia Gentileschi painting and got very excited, ordered the book and read it almost in one go! Now I am 70 and there is a lot of sex and rude words but I was also a 60’s girl and none of this bothers me that much. I am also an avid reader of Laurell K Hamilton and her sex scenes run to whole chapters! (which I fast forward!) Loved it and recommend it!
I was totally taken by surprise as the heroine morphed into a sociopathic serial killer, but hey-ho it’s fiction and I can put up with that!