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Deceptions: A Helena Marsh Novel

Deceptions: A Helena Marsh Novel

by Anna Porter

Narrated by Aniko? Kasza?s

Unabridged — 8 hours, 3 minutes

Anna Porter
Deceptions: A Helena Marsh Novel

Deceptions: A Helena Marsh Novel

by Anna Porter

Narrated by Aniko? Kasza?s

Unabridged — 8 hours, 3 minutes

Anna Porter

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A savvy art world thriller with a strong, independent heroine and the follow-up to The Appraisal, finalist for the 2018 Staunch Prize.

Former Budapest cop Attila Feher would really like to see art expert Helena Marsh again, so he arranges a contract for her to determine whether a painting is a copy of a famous Artemisia Gentileschi canvas or the real thing. A simple appraisal becomes a dangerous assignment when usual eastern European gangsters show up and people start dying and the seething corruption that underlies the lost promise of post-Soviet Hungary swirls to the surface. In a race to get to the truth and to outwit her adversaries, Helena and Attila must solve the mystery of the painting's origins.

Richly atmospheric, set in Strasbourg, Budapest, and Paris, this witty, sophisticated novel will satisfy readers of political thrillers by Alan Furst and Philip Kerr. Deceptions is a thinking-person's thriller, a romp to the last satisfying page.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


In Porter’s exciting sequel to 2017’s The Appraisal, art appraiser Helena Marsh attempts to trace the provenance of a painting believed to be the work of 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Helena has her own fascinating provenance: she’s the daughter of a forger, now dead, who taught her the tricks of his trade, and instilled in her a healthy disdain for authority. Helena’s client, Gizella Vaszary, believes her husband is trying to pass an original off as a copy in order to undervalue it in their divorce settlement. Helena meets with Madam Vaszary’s lawyer on a Rhine tour boat in Strasbourg, France. Before much information has been exchanged, the lawyer is shot and killed by an archer. Helena jumps from the boat onto the embankment and runs after the assassin. Soon the police are on her trail, which leads into the netherworld of shady eastern European gangsters, corrupt politicians, and collectors who will pay any price to get what they want. The forgery tips alone are worth the price of admission. Porter takes readers on an exhilarating ride. Agent: John Pearce, Westwood Creative Artists (Canada). (Apr.)

From the Publisher

Porter takes readers on an exhilarating ride.” — Publishers Weekly

“The plot proceeds in the usual Anna Porter fashion, offering sleuthing that is sophisticated, nervy and hardly ever on an even keel.” — Toronto Star

“Intricate and atmospheric … Porter’s plots are a deft and entertaining blend of caper, crime, and thriller elements, but it's this context as well as their setting — primarily Hungary, a place where, as one observer remarks, ‘the present was so deeply rooted in the past, it was not even the past’ — that gives them their rich texture and unexpected depth.” — Canadian Notes & Queries

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177313801
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Series: A Helena Marsh Novel
Edition description: Unabridged

Read an Excerpt

She sensed him before she saw him. The smell of wet wool and cigarettes. He approached cautiously on rubber soles, a little breathless, as he entered the salon and stopped a foot or so inside the door. She slipped the thin long-bladed knife from her sleeve, stretched her fingers over the handle and waited a moment – it was, she knew, a crucial moment because sometimes a moment would be too long – but this was Paris, not Moscow, not Bratislava and she was not working on a dangerous case. She glanced up at the large, burly figure. “Helena,” he said with a note of anxiety in his voice. The pedicurist, massaging Helena’s instep, may not have seen the knife, but he had. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Do I seem scared?” she asked.

“No,” he said, “Do I?”

“A little.”

She noted his badly shaven face, his pale eyes still fixed on her sleeve, his burgeoning belly stretching the grey woolen sweater over his corduroy pants. “Put on a little weight,” she said with a smile.

“All that rakott krumpli,” he said, “but I will lose it on delicate French food and wine.” He spoke English with a soft Hungarian accent, pressure on the endings, but a great deal better than the last time she saw him. Must have been taking lessons. A pity, she thought. She had liked his accent first, even before she began to like him.

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