The Forgotten Painting

A Historical Mystery Novella

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
123 Pages
Reviewed on 05/23/2018
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Author Biography

Gabriel Farago is the international, bestselling and multi-award-winning Australian author of the Jack Rogan mysteries and thrillers series for the thinking reader.

As a lawyer with a passion for history and archaeology, Gabriel had to wait for many years before being able to pursue another passion—writing—in earnest. However, his love of books and storytelling started long before that.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Joy, sorrow, suffering, tragedy, loss – the entire spectrum of human emotions can envelop a person for either good or evil. Nothing expresses the magnitude and infinitesimally emotional power of music and art than the story surrounding the lives that both created them and those that nurtured and enjoyed them. Music and art are the very essence of being human. So, the story that follows music and art creates a powerful life force of its own. A story wrought with the joy of giving, the agony of having the gift removed, the guilt that follows the one who took the gift, and the violence that both frightened and expunged the beauty of life itself, making the beauty of the painting and the music dull in comparison.

We’re talking about a painting of a garden with a violinist playing off in the corner. The painting is by a famous Impressionist artist, Claude Monet. He painted the violinist into his garden scene and then gifted the painting to the violinist. A treasured gift that held prominence in the Jewish home for years captured the eye of a Nazi soldier after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The violinist and his family were sent to Auschwitz, the painting was hidden in the Imperial crypt of the Hapsburgs in Vienna, and the Nazi thief lived the remainder of his days in fear of being brought to trial for his war crimes and with regret for what he had done. But there’s another twist to this story, a mystery about the painting itself. Is it the real Monet? Or is it a forgery?

Very seldom does a story capture my emotions as deeply as this one did. Like the 1998 movie, The Red Violin, Gabriel Farago’s The Forgotten Painting: A Historical Mystery Novella takes the reader on a journey led by a painting and the music it represented. This is a story about a painting, but it is so much more. It’s a narrative, complex and intricate in its presentation, that traces a drama from the early 1920s, through the horrors of the Second World War and projecting a connection to a monastery in the outback of Australia and a young boy, Jack Rogan, a celebrated writer, a passionate storyteller, who will follow the clues that lead back to the hidden painting. Powerful writing. A mystery within a mystery.

charla white

Gripping Tale of Mystery and Death!

I purchased a copy of this book.

In exciting thriller with Jack Rogan searching for an unknown painting that went missing because of the Nazi’s during WWII. Stumbling upon a hidden diary, Jack Rogan risks it all to honor a friends dying wish. Along with Tristan, a psychic boy, and Cecilia, a stunningly beautiful New York journalist, they combine their talents to find the painting against all odds.

Drawn into the mystery, Jack revisits with several friends including Isis. Always a ladies man but polite, Jack is a magnet for women. Like him, they are unforgettable!

“Isis looked like someone who had just stepped off the catwalk. Her impeccable make-up, perfect hairdo and the latest creation by one of her favorite fashion designers, told Jack that Isis was definitely back to her true self again.”

Gabriel Farago once again hits a home run with this historical thriller. Farago’s writing style is smooth and detailed making him an excellent story teller. Farago is like an artist building his story carefully and prepping his readers with the same intensity that an artist prepares his canvas and applies ink to the brush making his art visible and captivating.

Once again Farago has an engrossing novel, shorter than the others but still the same expert writing and research to make the story flow smoothly. Farago draws the reader into the story with realistic characters and perfectly timed dialog. Action mixed with romance and history – the perfect mix!

WordsAPlenty gives this author a 5 for his creativity and skillful research to build an accurate and action-packed thrilling story.

Dixie Bee

A wonderful read

Well this book was a complete success. I understand that as a short overview of the series it was intended to cause interest in reading the series. It got me! I found it interesting and well written. It seemed well researched as well. The Nazi horrors are a fact so we can't ignore them. The stealing of as many assets as possible was also a fact even to the gold fillings from the teeth of the captive jewish people.
Aside from that the mystery of the paintings and their provenance was an interesting story as it was told. Of course I immediately bought the first book of the series and am now reading it.
Still interested and totally amazed at the knowledge and research Mr. Farago puts into his writing. I'm in for the series and probably beyond.


Historical mystery

A different take on an art theft mystery book, which engages your interest. A little too short for me as I was enjoying every chapter. A sign of a good book is when you spend time googling names in the story to find out more, this was for me one of those times.

Pauline Yu Wikoff

A great and exciting read

Initially, I was put off by the changes in periodic settings as it was not easy to get into the story when the past and present crossed paths quite a number of times. However, as I continued reading, I understood the author's style and then, the suspenseful plot kept me engrossed and enthralled. All told, this is quite a page-turner and I highly recommend this to everyone who loves good historical mysteries. This is my first foray into Mr. Farago's books and I hope to read more of his works in the near future.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Margaret Bentley

Thrilling Provenance of a Forgotten Monet

Gabriel Farago, Australian author of the Jack Rogan thrillers series for the thinking reader was asked by his publisher to write a novella about Rogan's backstory for current a new readers. It ties together so many elements of his following books and introduces a number of important characters. The story itself is very clever with the requisite twists and turn you'd expect. When you know the story, Fargo brings it yet another amazing twist. The Forgotten Painting, a story well worth reading!

Plum Island Gal

I am in Love with Mr. Farago's books - nicely written, good reads, interesting plots & twists

I am in Love with Mr. Farago's books - nicely written, good reads, interesting plots & twists. Remember this is a novella, thus short, but certainly a good story and interesting subject. I like the intrigue and historical nature of the story. Read & enjoy. You want to read the 3 books series prior so you know the characters. These are grabbers....start reading and you can't stop.

john gahan

Best book I have read in a long time.

This is the first Gabriel Farago book I have read and it will not be the last. The characters were well developed, the plot was tight, and, as one who enjoys history, I especially enjoyed the bits of historical events that were added.

Lawrence Davis

A lot of twists in the plot and some surprising characters for a relatively short work

A lot of twists in the plot and some surprising characters for a relatively short work. I will definitely read at least one of the longer books that the novella is an sequel to so that I can evaluate the author more thoroughly.


Loved it

Well written with the thoifulness of history within the story. Looking forward to reading the rest of these historical mystries



Jack Rogan is a grandstander and I find him annoying, but the story is anything but annoying. Detailing the awful provenance of the painting at auction was rather well done as was the portrayal of a former Swiss banker in the latter third of the book which is too short for synopsis or spoilers. I found it engaging and look forward to reading others in the series.


Very interesting and entertaining

A very interesting and captivating read. Much detail of art history and how WW2 affected owners and collectors. Interesting characters involved.

Leanne N

Captivating and enthralling!

I couldn’t put this novella down. Gabriel Farago is an accomplished story teller!

Mike Schnorr

Art, Music and Intrigue!

First off, I got this book as a freebie! But that doesn't change how I feel about it and the author!
Historical fiction fascinates me and this tale of a painting's journey from WWII Germany to present day really has it all. This beautiful painting shows up at an auction, complete with eye-witness accounts to prove its authenticity, flashbacks from a concentration camp and a ranch in Australia, a war crime investigation, and more! Hard to put it down once you start as it pulls you in like a whirlpool... Highly recommend this book!