Sara's Reviews > The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft

The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser
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's review
Feb 25, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: art, mystery, nonfiction
Recommended to Sara by: true crime fans, art lovers
Read in April, 2009

Boser's approach to telling the story of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist is just right. He sets the scene of the night of the crime with all the known details in place and adding in all the clues the experts have. This gives the reader the feeling of an insider, getting our interest piqued and developing our attachment to the artwork.

He weaves in the museum background, a brief history of the world of art theft and museum security standards and glimpses of the adventures of artwork once it's on the lam. Boser manages to make it both educational and exciting - all the background provided makes the details of the Gardner heist more interesting.

However, my adoration for the book faded slightly toward the end. Boser's decision to solve the crime on his own was ludicrous. His attempt, which mostly consisted of talking to untrustworthy "connections" and scoping out Irish bars for Whitey Bulger, came off as a childish foray into art crime superhero-ism.

I thought it was an example of how wrapped up an author can get in the story being researched. I'm fine with passion for subject, but this fantasy of being a lost art savior was ridiculous. He could be equally helpful by looking into every dumpster he passes in case Vermeer's "The Concert" happens to be hidden there.

If you are an art lover, if you enjoy a real-life unsolved mysteries, you are definitely going to enjoy this book. And if you happen to solve it, please let Ulrich Boser know.

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03/29/2009 page 77

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