The dangers of an interesting cover and the insulating factor of time.I can never get these several hours of my life back, but given the current state of the news, I guess this was time better spent than time with a newspaper OK, the storycraftnot so hot The play by play of The Antiquarian in the opening was horrid Not only an ineffective device really unnecessary The story really had legs of its own It took over half the book to make me wonder why I kept picking it back up I decided The dangers of an interesting cover and the insulating factor of time.I can never get these several hours of my life back, but given the current state of the news, I guess this was time better spent than time with a newspaper OK, the storycraftnot so hot The play by play of The Antiquarian in the opening was horrid Not only an ineffective device really unnecessary The story really had legs of its own It took over half the book to make me wonder why I kept picking it back up I decided it was my OCD Then it got interesting, but too many cheap cliffhangers Then, a resolution with so many loose ends it left meirritated than pleased that I had actually stuck it out and finished.If Mr Sanchez has another novel, let s hope it does not come to a climax on scaffolding in a church.It had promise, but all the good bits were left out Rilke Helena figured out what the genius could not Greece Alice I know I was only half there at the end, but way too obscure A restaurateur has drowned in La Concha at San Telmo Museum He was studying the paintings of Sert contemporary of Picasso and Dali, who worked for billionaires The plot will take us from past to present and reveals the enigmatic personality of Sert The mystery is hidden in his work, in the murals the old restaurateur was studying, on the trail of a secret Intriguing I wasn t expecting anything like this A novel within a novel, a mystery within a mystery What came to be the obvious whodunnit in his first novel did not pass close to my mind in this second one A fun read. The Art Restorer was the second novel set in Spain I ve read this summer, just after Antonio Hill s The Good Suicides, allowing me to virtually return to Barcelona, where I lived for some time and where Hill s thriller is set, then to San Sebasti n, the central location of The Art Restorer.It is S nchez s second book that features Enrique Alonso, a writer turned detective, who becomes a bestselling author after he writes the story of his first case Enrique now lives in Manhattan but in the begi The Art Restorer was the second novel set in Spain I ve read this summer, just after Antonio Hill s The Good Suicides, allowing me to virtually return to Barcelona, where I lived for some time and where Hill s thriller is set, then to San Sebasti n, the central location of The Art Restorer.It is S nchez s second book that features Enrique Alonso, a writer turned detective, who becomes a bestselling author after he writes the story of his first case Enrique now lives in Manhattan but in the beginning of the novel he returns to San Sebasti n to attend the reopening of the San Telmo Museum and to catch up with his ex wife, Bety, who gave up her university job to become the PR manager of the museum He also meets Craig Bruckner, an aging art restorer working on the biography of the renowned Catalan painter, Sert, whose mural paintings can be seen at the San Telmo Museum When Bruckner, an Olympic champion swimmer is found drowned, Enrique and Bety smell something fishy and decide to investigate the death of the art restorer They suspect that Bruckner s murder is somehow linked to Sert so they start to make enquiries into the artist s life and activities during WW2 This triggers the imagination of Enrique, who decides to base his upcoming novel on Sert s mysterious actions, following leads from Barcelona to Paris.S nchez weaves the threads of his metafictional story very aptly, blending facts of Sert s life with Enrique s intriguing speculations seamlessly Metafictional thrillers offer readers smart and complex narratives and those who like stories with multiple layers and a strong historical background will particularly enjoy S nchez s book, not to mention the chance they are given to fall in love with San Sebasti n As I m evendrawn to stories about books, I can t wait to read the first adventure of Enrique and Bety entitled The Antiquarian.Many thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for the copy of the The Art Restorer.Check out my blog at I look for fiction with good descriptions of physical locations The Art Restorer does this along with a good suspense story ranging from Nazi occupied Paris to current San Sebastian, Spain I loved it when Enrique met with the police over dinner, not at the station I m ready to leave for San Sebastian This is a sequel to The Antiquarian which takes place in Barcelona, but they are separate enough that you do not need to be read in order I intend to read The Antiquarian soon.I received a copy I look for fiction with good descriptions of physical locations The Art Restorer does this along with a good suspense story ranging from Nazi occupied Paris to current San Sebastian, Spain I loved it when Enrique met with the police over dinner, not at the station I m ready to leave for San Sebastian This is a sequel to The Antiquarian which takes place in Barcelona, but they are separate enough that you do not need to be read in order I intend to read The Antiquarian soon.I received a copy from NetGalley for review The premise seemed interesting, but the book failed to deliver anything of substance The characters couldn t becliche, the language was simple, infantile at times, and the story unoriginal and boring I m not sure what audience this book was written for a person seeking a pleasant, easy read will be bored and confused by the narrative devices chosen by the author, a reader who could appreciete the meta storytelling will be put off by the stereotypical, one dimensional charaters and po The premise seemed interesting, but the book failed to deliver anything of substance The characters couldn t becliche, the language was simple, infantile at times, and the story unoriginal and boring I m not sure what audience this book was written for a person seeking a pleasant, easy read will be bored and confused by the narrative devices chosen by the author, a reader who could appreciete the meta storytelling will be put off by the stereotypical, one dimensional charaters and poor style I managed to finish it only by skipping large parts of terribly written dialogue Since I love art and mysteries this book seemed a natural for me as well as a setting in lovely San Sebasti n The book really dragged for the first half I nearly gave up but things finally started moving and the plot rolled out I found the Enrique the main character annoying and really self absorbed I hope his conversion to humanity at the end continues The book is worth a read if you enjoy good descriptions of interesting places, art world politics, and mild mystery. ExcellentJulian Sanchez writes with intrigue and excitement in this follow up novel to the Antiquarian I had a hard time putting it down because I was so taken by his story telling I highly recommend it. A real read One of the better books I have read in a long time A good plot that made a page turner Hopefullyfrom this writer Most enjoyable reading. I was approved of an ARC copy of this novel through NetGalley This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net Art Restorer was a curious read featuring a mix of mystery, historical fiction, romance, and a meta examination of plot and story The story moves through brief chapters and reminded me of Dan Brown and Steve Berry s books with the infusion of a mystery from decades past Despite of the short chapters moving the story I was approved of an ARC copy of this novel through NetGalley This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net Art Restorer was a curious read featuring a mix of mystery, historical fiction, romance, and a meta examination of plot and story The story moves through brief chapters and reminded me of Dan Brown and Steve Berry s books with the infusion of a mystery from decades past Despite of the short chapters moving the story along, I thought it was a bit of a slow drift it only started picking up when Sert s story entered the plot and Enrique and Bety started piecing together the mystery from different angles.I think my favourite aspect of the novel was the look into the writing process In a way, it sort of contributed the feeling of the story moving slowly, but on the other hand I thought it was interesting the way that Enrique approached his writing and starting a new novel, as well as his dealings with his publishers What affected my reading experience of this novel was the writing itself I m not sure if this might be in part due to the translation, but I found the writing style to be rather clunky and heavy at times, both dialogue and narration It started easing off a bit once I was well into the novel, but it still felt rather stilted and not natural at times.On another note, view spoiler I personally could have lived without the love triangle and ensuing melodrama between Enrique, Bety, and Helena I found the dynamic between Enrique and Bety already interesting and could have stood on its own without the presence of another character Helena in the mix I can see why Helena was included in the drama, to propel the tensions further, and force Enrique to make a decision, but I wished the conflict was contained between Enrique and Bety and that they overcame their personal doubts and issues on their own together without the third wheel hide spoiler Overall, The Art Restorer was an interesting read despite of my reservations There s a bit of travel involved so it wasn t solely set in San Sebasti n but I think those were my favourite parts of the novel I also enjoyed the dynamic between Enrique and Bety, perhapsthan the plot itself