Wednesday 13 April 2016

Review ~ Maestra by L S Hilton

Zaffre Publishing

Well, this one isn't half powering up the best sellers list, and, to be honest, I'm not altogether sure why that is. Perhaps it's the striking red cover with that tantalizing glimpse of something torn and spoiled or maybe it's the tag line of the most shocking thriller you'll read this year. Either way, I have to say, in all honesty that, even after finishing reading Maestra, I'm still not sure about it.

We first meet Judith Rashleigh when she is working as a rather harassed art researcher for a prestigious London auction house. Her enthusiasm for art is rapidly diminished by her contact with the corrupt and often indifferent world she inhabits. Forced to moonlight as a hostess in one of the city’s seedy west end bars, she comes into contact with those individuals for whom money, depravity and social immorality go hand in hand. What then follows is Judith’s spiral into a world of pleasure-seeking excess, and as her association with the seriously wealthy starts to invade her world, so a deception of epic proportions starts to be uncovered.

Some parts of the story are interesting. I liked the introduction into the art world and thought that the author gives an interesting view of what goes on in the complicated world of art, and of the wheeling and dealing that goes on behind the scenes. Judith is a feisty protagonist, a multi-layered personality whose character develops as the story progresses. She’s not always likeable but then, that’s not really important, as her character doesn’t need to be agreeable in order to succeed. 

So why am I still making up my mind about it, well, some parts of the book, I felt were a little too contrived, particularly the graphic sexual content, which, for me, appeared rather tacky and seemed to be there just to titillate. And if I'm honest, I sort of ran out of enthusiasm for the story as a whole, and when I started to skip whole sections, I knew then that the story, for me, had lost its focus to entertain.

I think, though, that it will be interesting to see what the film world makes of Maestra as I know it’s been optioned by Columbia for cinema sometime in the future.

Best Read with...a glass of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne and a bowl of piquant black olives...

About the author - L S Hilton is a writer and journalist who presently lives in London. She is also the author of several historical fiction novels.

My thanks to the publishers Zaffre  for my copy of this book.



  1. I think Ms Hilton is the author of several weighty and well-received books of historical fact, rather than fiction. She has made a career as an academic historian writing under her name, Lisa Hilton and chose to put initials on her foray into fiction so as 'not to upset the three or four ladies who read my history books'!


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