Ian's Reviews > Stealing the Marbles

Stealing the Marbles by E.J. Knapp
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Sep 05, 10

bookshelves: thrillers

Stolen marbles have been the subject of many a playground spat, but at the heart of EJ Knapp’s novel is something very much more heavyweight. Professional art thief Danny Samsel plans to steal the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum and return them to Greece.

This is a classic crime caper – think The Italian Job or The Thomas Crown Affair – involving a seemingly impossible heist. The plot is pacey and laced with sardonic humour, the hero flawed and racked by self-doubt.

Add in a world of secretive art collectors, Interpol, feisty love interest and elegantly invoked locations and you have a thriller to rival MacLean or early Deighton. There are some strong echoes of Ian Rankin’s Doors Open here too, but none the worse for that. If you’re only going to buy one thriller by a new writer this year Stealing the Marbles should be at the top of your shopping list.
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