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The perfect fake

Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, ©2007.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 24 cm
Struggling to work as a graphic artist, former master forger Tom Fairchild accepts a precarious but lucrative job from the millionaire father of his former girlfriend only to discover that the assignment involves a dubious ulterior motive.


Call Number

On Order



In New York Times bestselling author Barbara Parker's brilliant new stand-alone novel, the forgery of a rare 500-year-old map sparks a thrilling chase from Miami to London and the Italian Alps in a remarkable tale of international intrigue.

Author Notes

Barbara Parker was born in Columbia, South Carolina on January 28, 1947. She studied drama at the University of South Florida. Before graduation she switched her major to history and then went to law school at the University of Miami. She worked as a prosecutor in the state attorney's office in Miami and then went into private practice. She also received a master's degree in creative writing from Florida International University (Miami).

Initially, she began writing stories for her son, but it soon became a hobby and eventually her new career. Her first mystery, Suspicion of Innocence, was published in 1994 and became a CBS Movie of the Week entitled Sisters and Other Strangers. She wrote 12 novels during her lifetime including Blood Relations, Criminal Justice, The Dark of Day, and the Suspicion series. She died on March 7, 2009 at the age of 62.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Parker's stand-alone thriller opens with a promising setup, but falls short of the author's best work, like Suspicion of Innocence, which was an Edgar finalist. Talented Miami artist Tom Fairchild, an ex-con, is struggling to stay on the good side of his rigorous probation officer, while helping out at his sister's antique shop. When his impressive imitation of a 16th-century map of Florida catches the eye of Stuart Barlowe, a wealthy local power player, at a map fair, Barlowe asks Fairchild to duplicate a rare Renaissance-period map that was ruined after it got stained with the blood of its murdered owner. Despite his distrust of this offer, the cash-short Fairchild is intrigued enough by the task's difficulty to accept it. A predictable romantic subplot adds little to the narrative as Fairchild dodges an array of unsavory characters in several European countries and the body count mounts. A surprise closing twist changes nothing. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

A website designer with a checkered past takes on a forgery job for the Miami millionaire whose lawyer daughter he dated before things turned sour. Map geeks with big bucks set the machinery rolling in the latest from former Dade County prosecutor Parker (Suspicion of Rage, 2005, etc.), who can be presumed to know the seamy underbelly (is there any other kind?) of her home territory. A few nights before an important international map exhibition, kindly map fancier and retired judge Royce Herron is found dead. The unfortunate judge's blood oozed onto an exceptionally rare map from a 500-year-old atlas, and the fatal bullets damaged it further. The map was on loan to the judge from real-estate developer Stuart Barlowe, who appears to be far more concerned about the damage to the antique than he is about the damage to Judge Herron. Following the exhibition, it was to have been a gift to a Russian Mafioso whose investment is key to Barlowe's latest and most monstrous condo project. Barlowe offers suspiciously big bucks to scruffy artist Tom Fairchild to fake the damaged map, and Fairchild, despite his straight-arrow, map-dealing sister Rose's pleas not to, takes the job. Following professional advice from Rose's ex-boyfriend, a forger who skipped bail to take up residence in Italy, Tom sets about the task, but the already tricky job is complicated by Barlowe's wife, stepson and daughter, all of whom have strong opinions on how to handle Dad's dilemma. Allison, the lawyer daughter, is the only straight one in a very bent lot, but even she flexes a bit to make sure that Tom, whom she once loved but no longer trusts, delivers the goods as the action shifts from Miami to London to Florence. Lite action, travel and romance. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In a departure from her Gail Connor series, Parker writes an engrossing stand-alone thriller. Tom Fairchild is determined to get his life back in order after spending time in prison for theft. Now on parole, Tom, a would-be graphic artist, is working with his sister at her map shop in Miami. When real-estate developer Stuart Barlowe wants to hire Tom to make an exact copy of a Renaissance map, Tom sees a way of earning the money he needs to make restitution for his role in the theft. But does Barlowe really want a duplicate, or is he asking for a forgery? Either way, Tom agrees to being smuggled out of Florida to research the map in England and Italy. On the journey, romance is rekindled between Tom and his former girlfriend Allison, Barlowe's daughter. Naturally, there is much more to the map caper than meets the eye, and soon enough Tom and Allison are in the middle of it. Parker's villains are stereotypes, but Tom and Allison make a sympathetic couple on the run, and the cartography frame story is fresh and compelling. --Sue O'Brien Copyright 2006 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Popular author Parker's (Suspicion of Innocence) newest novel is for the most part your typical mystery/suspense yarn. But what makes it stand apart is its plot, which revolves around cartography. Ex-con Tom Fairchild is trying to make the best of his probation, working as a mapmaker in his sister's Miami map shop in an attempt to earn an honest living. A mover and shaker offers Tom a substantive fee to travel to Italy to replicate a rare map. The catch to this otherwise ordinary assignment is that Tom will be supervised by his new employer's daughter, Allison, Tom's former love interest. Once Tom and Allison embark on their journey, death and mayhem ensue. In addition to crafting an interesting, quick-moving story, Parker provides wonderful locales, and her research into the art of cartography is evident, which makes this a satisfying read even for veteran mystery readers. Recommended for mystery/suspense/thriller and general fiction collections.-Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., Upper Montclair, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.