Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland
A young un-named painter with potential is poised to make waves in the art community with her collection of seven billboard-size paintings. When her apartment goes up in flames and decimates the entire collection, she lies to her gallery and says that six have been safely crated and stored; only the final painting she was still working on has been destroyed.
The gallery decides it’s in their best interest to have her to re-create the final piece, which has already been sold, in total secrecy.
Now homeless and without a single piece for her show, she searches frantically for a studio available on short notice where she can re-create all seven pieces in their entirety in just three months.
The artist is in awe when an acquaintance gets her a spot at the exclusive artist retreat known as Pine City in upstate New York. Pine City isn’t just a resort, it’s also the name of the collective of five artists who own it.
Carey Logan was a member of Pine City, and the idol of our main character. Carey’s work was brilliant and her life ended far too soon when she purposefully stepped into a lake and drowned.
When our no-name artist arrives at Pine City, she finds it’s full of secrets. The retreat is shadowed by Carey’s presence and yet none of the dead artist’s friends will speak about her; she has been removed from every photo on the grounds, and none of the remaining collective will share their work.
Across the lake is Max, our MC’s childhood friend who has been famous most of her life for being wealthy and then earned fame with her photography skills. Max swears total secrecy when she learns that her friend is re-creating her entire show but soon it appears Max has motives for keeping her secret.
Carey Logan not only designed the home Max now lives in, but she was represented by Max’s husband, Charlie.
The MC learns that Charlie’s gallery is in a legal battle with Pine City over a rumored final piece of art by Carey Logan.
What was the final piece? Why is Pine City so secretive about their work and the legacy of Carey Logan?
Fake Like Me fits solidly into the women’s fiction genre but it also surprised me by being a dark satire as well as a thriller set in the glamorous contemporary art scene.
The characters are overwhelmingly pretentious and take themselves far too seriously, but as in all good satires, it was incredibly entertaining.
I wasn’t expecting the mystery surrounding Carey Logan to be so compelling; I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to uncover the truth.
Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Fake Like Me is scheduled for release on June 18, 2019.