Portrait of a Man

A gripping tale of lies, lost chances, and misplaced love
(The New Zealand Immigrant Collection)

The soul-searching conclusion to The Cornish Knot

Will the secrets of the past destroy an artist’s legacy?

An Italian artist, a Cornish knot and a Māori koru lead to a shocking exposé. As WWI escalates, can he keep his secrets safe?

In 1863, Matteo Borgoni is a desperate man. If he is to free his beloved wife held captive by her father in Melbourne, his picture framing business must succeed. Haunted by the memory of failure, he has many obstacles to overcome as he establishes himself with the artists of Dunedin, New Zealand.

Fifty years on, Luciano, a rakish Italian portrait artist fleeing from a life of lies, turns up at Borgoni Picture Framers seeking refuge. As the ravages of World War One escalate, an unexpected friendship and newly found rapport brings unforeseen repercussions. A terrifying pandemic is the last thing they need.

Over a century later, a man recognises a portrait in an Auckland gallery, and demands it back. Amid another global pandemic, a marriage on the brink of failure, and a life and death struggle, the portrait exposes generations of family secrets and deceptions with life-changing results.

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5-star ARC reader: Vicky Adin skilfully reveals a compelling mystery in the world of art, as actions from the past are mirrored in the present. Colourfully woven threads link 1860s Dunedin and Invercargill with present-day Auckland, all tied together by Luciano, the mysterious Italian lover from The Cornish Knot

Read my Interview about this release on Literary World with Kathryn Gauci