By Noah Charney

Washington Square Press, September 2008 ($ various prices/used/bargain book)
ISBN-13: 978-1416550310
Format: Paperback

Kindle Format: $10.38

Reviewed by Miriam Martinez
(May, 2014)

Three art pieces go missing almost simultaneously from three different locations in different countries: an altar piece from a church in Rome (painted by Caravaggio), a Suprematist painting from a museum in France, and a recently-auctioned piece bought by a private collector. Detectives from each country, assisted by international authorities in Art Crime Detection, are working to recover the pieces. The reader can tell from the beginning that these three thefts must be connected, but how and why remains a mystery till the very end.

Clever, sophisticated, and enlightening, this novel takes you not only to the mystery of a crime to be solved, but if you love reading about art and art history (which I do) you will also be captivated by the secrets and techniques the author shares around art related crimes. This is a book to be enjoyed word by word, line by line, just letting the story flow. I need to say, because some things can't be missed, that at times the author's use of language gets a little convoluted (the kind of language that makes you go back and reread a passage just to make sure you are fully comprehending what he tries to say, especially when it comes to describing scenery.) Still, this is not the rule and in general the writing flows smoothly. I just loved it.

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