Today, I will be sharing my review of Searching For Edgar’s Five Dancers by Efren O’Brien with you all.
It’s Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1940’s – full of smuggled art from Europe, USSR spies, and FBI agents. In the midst of it all is Quinn Chase, a former police detective turned Private Investigator is trying to start a new career after being fired by the Albuquerque Police Department.
Quinn seeks one painting that has been smuggled into Santa Fe above all others……”Five Dancing Women (ballerinas)” by nineteenth-century French Artist, Edgar Degas.
At the same time, atomic secrets from Los Alamos are being smuggled by Nazi spies out of Santa Fe and back to Germany.
An American mole is being paid by the Nazis and is coordinating the smuggled art entering and leaving Santa Fe for South America.
Could Marika Kraus, a cunning and charming German woman whom Quinn met at a local club, have connections with the smuggled art ring or the mole?
Quinn has his hands full as he tries to find the sought after artwork, determine who the mole is, and solve several recent murders that have taken place.
Searching For Edgar’s Five Dancers was one of my most anticipated reads on my TBR. I had such high expectations. I mean, it’s a historical/art fiction/thriller, all of my favourite things, how could I not love it? Well, honestly, I was so disappointed. It was probably my own fault, because my expectations were so high, I doubt it would have ever measured up to what I had imagined in my head.
The story got off to a strong start, and was actually extremely interesting to read. However, the pace began to slow down, and by the half way point, there wasn’t much action at all. I found myself getting bored, and I was struggling to pick the book up and continue reading, which is why I eventually DNF’ed it.
There are multiple points in the story where it makes absolutely no sense, and parts that have no explanation at all. For example, why would a former detective let someone get away with drugging him, especially when he knows the persons identity? Surely he would have done something about it! But, no, apparently not. The characters were plain, and unrealistic, and I had no feeling towards any of them at all, I just didn’t care about them.
On a positive note, I will say that Efren O’Brien clearly did his homework. The story (or what I read of it) is full of historical facts, and I actually learnt a few things from this book. The most interesting thing I learnt was about the Degenerate Art exhibition. I knew that the Nazi’s stole a huge amount of artwork during the war, however, I had no idea that they hosted an exhibition, which included paintings from extremely famous artists, and tried to use it to fund their regime. I found this so interesting (probably because I am an artist myself) that I actually went on to research the exhibition after reading about it.
Overall, I personally didn’t enjoy Searching For Edgar’s Five Dancers, and I gave it so many chances because I was desperate to love it, but it wasn’t for me. I DNF’ed it at around 55%.
Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
I give Searching For Edgar’s Five Dancers a 1 star rating.