The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro provides an excellent example of the best way to put the common writing prompt of “What If” to good use. The novel, based on a real art heist which occurred in 1990 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, is a fast paced thriller. In it, the author creates a struggling artist who is approached by the owner of a well-known art gallery. The owner engages the artist to copy a Degas painting which is supposedly one of the stolen, never recovered paintings from the 1990 heist. Upon closer inspection of the painting, the artist becomes convinced the original Degas was a copy as well.
I love the premise of this book and enjoyed the many art references. The novel ended a little abruptly for me, but overall, I admire the creativity of the story.