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Reviewed by Carol Coetzee for Readers' Favorite
Eleven by Paul Chandler deals with 52-year-old Edward Ellis who has been an art historian for 25 years. He is fascinated with an obscure, virtually unknown artist and his elusive paintings, that of Ethan Tanner. A few have surfaced briefly over the many years he has been searching, only to disappear, along with their owners, never to be heard of again. Paul is fascinated by the articles he has read, which are somewhat vague and often contradictory, but nonetheless indicative of an extraordinary talent. He is determined, more likely obsessed, that he will track down a Tanner painting and see it for himself. Iris Anderson, a wealthy friend, is equally invested, and with her unlimited resources and many connections eventually helps track down someone who has actually seen a Tanner painting. Edward is about to hear the first-hand account of these mysterious paintings, which will only further his obsession, and that of Iris. Will he succeed in finding them and achieving his life-long dream and obsession?
In Eleven, Paul Chandler has taken on the topic of art. A difficult topic for sure, as many people find it boring, or lack the knowledge to understand the true beauty and nature of art. What Paul Chandler has achieved is a real little gem, a fascinating read and almost impossible to put down. Obsession with obscure, unknown art, mostly believed to be a myth, is the premise for this enticing tale. The characters come alive on the pages, and the story is told in a beautifully paced, suspenseful way that will keep you reading until your eyes burn. It is thought provoking and intriguing, seasoned with mystery and a hint of romance. The search for eleven paintings and one man's desire to see them, if only once, follows a twisting path, filled with stumbling blocks along the way. If he ever achieves this will be found in the pages of Eleven by Paul Chandler. This book was truly a great read!