The Art Thief
Rome: In the small Baroque church of Santa Giuliana, a magnificent Caravaggio altarpiece disappears without a trace in the middle of the night.
Paris: In the basement vault of the Malevich Society, curator Geneviéve Delacloche is shocked to discover the disappearance of the Society's greatest treasure, White-on-White by Suprematist painter Kasimir Malevich.
London: At the National Gallery of Modern Art, the museum's latest acquisition is stolen just hours after it was purchased for more than six million pounds.
In The Art Thief, three thefts are simultaneously investigated in three cities, but these apparently isolated crimes have much more in common than anyone imagines. In Rome, the police enlist the help of renowned art investigator Gabriel Coffin when tracking down the stolen masterpiece. In Paris, Geneviéve Delacloche is aided by Police Inspector Jean-Jacques Bizot, who finds a trail of bizarre clues and puzzles that leads him ever deeper into a baffling conspiracy. In London, Inspector Harry Wickenden of Scotland Yard oversees the museum's attempts to ransom back its stolen painting, only to have the masterpiece's recovery deepen the mystery even further.
A dizzying array of forgeries, overpaintings, and double-crosses unfolds as the story races through auction houses, museums, and private galleries -- and the secret places where priceless works of art are made available to collectors who will stop at nothing to satisfy their hearts' desires.
Full of fascinating art-historical detail, crackling dialogue, and a brain-teasing plot, Noah Charney's debut novel is a sophisticated, stylish thriller, as irresistible and multifaceted as a great work of art.
With its flat characters, overly technical exposition and a plot implausible even in the wake of The Da Vinci Code, art historian Charney's debut disappoints. When a priceless Caravaggio altarpiece disappears from Rome's Santa Giuliana church, the police call in renowned art historian Gabriel Coffin to investigate. Coffin detects a pattern after a rare Kasimir Malevich Suprematist painting disappears in Paris and another Malevich is stolen from London's National Gallery soon after being purchased at Christie's. As potential forgeries are uncovered and the thieves taunt those on the trail of the missing art with riddles and ransom demands, Coffin and his fellow art experts must race to recover the stolen masterpieces before they disappear forever. Despite his extensive knowledge of the art world's criminal underbelly, Charney delivers a story so bogged down with minutiae that even the most dedicated reader will get stuck.