Reviews: Portrait of Ignatius Jones

This Gives Religion a Bad Name
by Teufel Hundon, 26 February 2016, Amazon 5 Stars
Suppose, instead of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, which, after all, simply showed the downside of dealing with the devil, you had a portrait whose eyes spoke to you, directly, any time you gazed into them. Suppose someone decided to sell viewing time with this portrait, and used those who believed in its power for all manner of nefarious purposes. And suppose there was a way to topple his mini empire that only required a clever forger.
Intriguing Blend of Ancient Power and Modern Greed
by Sheila Deeth, 8 September 2015, Amazon 4 Stars

There’s a smoothly authentic Victorian feel to the beginning of this tale, but the modern-day writing is equally enthralling and convincing, pulling the reader in to mystery that grows deeper, wider and scarier as the story progresses. Start with one old-fashioned psychic. Let him imbue a portrait with his presence. Then see what happens a hundred years after his death.

In the present day, a painting that has haunted a young woman’s childhood is sold to haunt a con-man’s future instead. But there’s so much more to this story, as psychic powers intersect with human greed, old-fashioned ways give space to the new, devotees are pulled into mystery while true psychics ponder the myth, and very human danger looms.

The story ebbs and flows like the tide, while one strong woman seeks a safe solution to what’s fast becoming dangerously strange. It’s beautifully crafted, with subtle hints and slowly believable change. And it works to a pleasingly honest conclusion, satisfying and just. I really enjoyed this book.

Portrait as a Portal
By JRTLVR “queni”  24 May 2015, Amazon  4 stars
Fascinating tale of a portrait painted by a renowned artist of a famous psychic. The psychic embeds it with a fractional piece of his soul that it might be a link across the veil of death. I enjoyed it very much, but found the ending a big simplistic for a rather complicated plot. It was still an excellent read!
Four Stars
By J. Garcia, 18 March 2015, Amazon 4 stars
Fun weekend read.
As the story progresses dull moments are few as Ignatius extends his influence through …
By Edward Barrall, 13 January 2015, Amazon 5 stars 
Mr. Shapiro has written a captivating spiritualist mystery with three dimensional characters in a vividly real environment. While doing this he has also avoded trashing Spiritualism! A neat accomplishment. As the story progresses dull moments are few as Ignatius extends his influence through the painting portal from Spirit to reality. The book demands a sequal and Frances G. needs to be better known.
Portrait of Ignatius Jones  
By Pure Jonel, 27 December 2014, Amazon 4 stars  
Shapiro writes in such a manner that you can`t help but find yourself fully immersed in the story. You don`t simply read it, but rather become part of it. This plot will keep you guessing right to the end. The elements of the story combine in a very unique way to produce a whole that is completely original. There were a couple of instances where I would have liked to see a more in-depth development of certain scenes, but as a whole, this story was very well done.The wonderful cast of characters that Shapiro presents to his readers made this story that much better. This rather character driven novel was definitely shaped by these unique individuals. I appreciated the fact that there were characters that I loved and could easily identify with, and others who just plain gave me the creeps. This contrast drew me in even further.As a whole, this was an extremely enjoyable read that I`d recommend to those looking for a one of a kind read.
Into The Maelstrom; With Feeling
By John Legates, 19 December 2014, Amazon 5 Stars
This author grows in depth and subtlety with each new novel. This one engages you with the characters right away. Then it leads you through each of their growing roles as stakeholders in the evolving drama of an enchanted portrait. It makes you an intimate insider in the story of how cults happen so that you are there; both as participant and as critic at the same time. It delicately treads the balance between natural and supernatural, again as seen differently by different actors in the drama. You really care about the people, the plot and the outcomes.My main complaint is that he can’t write as fast as I can read.
By Ionia Martin, Top 500 Amazon Reviewer,  18 December 2014. Amazon 5 stars
It is always refreshing for me to see an author that can switch genres and be a master of each one. Plus, I thought I would dislike this book when I read the blurb, but that turned out not to be the case at all.Peter Shapiro is good with action, and the previous novel I read by him was a true thrill ride, so when I began this one, I wasn’t sure what to expect, since it is obviously very different from his other work.

Right away I felt like I was a part of this story. The setting felt right and the book begins with a character that you may not love, but you will certainly find interesting.

One of the things I tend to judge books on is whether the idea is simply an idea I have already seen used before. With so many books out on the market it is hard to find pure originality, but I felt I got that with this book. I liked the way this author handled this novel, leading the reader to believe it would end one way and then not having it do so. I truly was expecting a Waco-Compound-style psychotic break at the end, but it was handled much more maturely and thoughtfully than that.

This was a pleasant surprise. The characters were good, the story was interesting and the ending was carried out with dignity. If you like your books to keep you on your toes and make you guess, this one will do the trick. Recommended.

Compelling, Intriguing and a Little Creepy
By Miss Mary, 1 December 2014, Amazon 5 stars

The book’s description seemed wild, which immediately piqued my interest, and I delved into the contents immediately upon arrival. I was immediately intrigued by the character of Ignatius Jones, who seemed to captivate an audience and hold their attention rapt with his claims of spiritual knowledge after death. The book contains a colorful cast of characters, and became almost too hard to read when the story took a twist into the realm of the occult. Despite all his promises to make it as least cult-like as possible, Charles immediately abandons this notion when he starts recruiting “pilgrims” to his Center for Spiritualist Discovery and dressing in a monk’s robe.There are times that I wished events would have unfolded more in depth, like Elaine’s death and the pseudo-relationship Frances had with the caretaker, but overall it was a great book with a surprise ending. Lots of emotions with this one, people – it’s definitely a read that will keep you on your toes.


An Enchanted Portrait

By Fred Camfield, 7 November 2014, Amazon 5-Stars

Something different in a plot. There have been stories of enchanted mirrors. In this case we have an enchanted portrait that provides a gateway into the spirit world. Ignatius Jones was a renowned spiritualist of the late 19th century, and also a womanizer. He was murdered by the brother of one of the women. But Ignatius had commissioned a portrait by a well known artist, and enchanted the portrait with his spirit. The portrait disappeared. Now it has resurfaced – it had been in the family of a woman’s late husband (the family having acquired it by unknown means – possibly theft). The woman had never liked the portrait and decides to dispose of it at a rummage sale, having no knowledge of its real value. That sets off a chain of events when its existence becomes known. Different people want the portrait for their own reasons – a museum because of its value, the woman’s daughter who had a personal connection to the painting, and a shading operator who sees the potential for raking in money from people who want to contact “the other side.” The spirit of Ignatius Jones has plans of his own.There are going to be winners and losers. A cult has formed around the portrait that will use deadly force to protect their position. They are opposed by locals, including the sheriff. Then their is a spiritualist who has her own agenda. Events go in interesting directions.

Readers might also like the author’s previous novel The Trail of Money


Engrossing View of Belief vs. Skepticism and Look Into Spiritualism

By Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes Haws, 30 November 2014, Amazon 5-Stars

Readers of author Peter David Shapiro’ s GHOSTS OF THE RED LINE know his gift for not just suspending disbelief, but for holding faith and belief in a sort of bubble or force field, acknowledging that belief exists, while simultaneously showcasing the absence of belief through skepticism and downright cynicism. He is no proselytizer, so don’t expect to be bludgeoned with conviction. I stead, each reader decides, just as each character must. Here again, the question of Spiritualism arises, the possibility of Afterlife continuance, and even more, of Afterlife communication.

The focus is an 1896 portrait, a painting of a famed Boston Spiritualist, murdered 7 years later, when the portrait simply disappeared. Over 100 years later, it is serendipitously discovered by a well-to-do con artist, who makes it central to his new operation.