"In December 2002, two burglars broke into the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They didn’t use helicopters or lasers or any of the stuff art thieves use in the movies; they climbed a fifteen-foot ladder to the roof and got into the second floor (European first floor), where the main display halls are. They tripped alarms, but the police didn’t respond. When they busted a window and slid down a rope to get to the ground, they had souvenirs: two van Gogh oils..."
"The Collection is a breezy read in the way the very early Leslie Charteris' Saint novels were breezy: entertaining with an underlining of grit below the surface... I’m certainly looking forward to more adventures in this budding series."
"Matt Friedrich encounters a whole clockwork factory ticking toward deadlines... Author Charnes has developed a meticulously complex, rapid-paced plot, and some of the ways the scam works are briefly difficult to follow, but you never believe for a moment that he hasn’t thought the whole thing through. The subtitle of this book – The Dewitt Agency Files #1 – sets you up for the final scene... More excitement to come!"
"...the mystery has enough twists and turns – with the characters keeping plenty of secrets – to keep the reader guessing until the very end... the tone and ease of the novel make the story feel fresh... The author's characters, especially protagonist Matt, are engaging and fully developed, with just enough mystery about them. Matt is charming; his partner, Carson, is abrasive in the best way; and their boss, Allyson, is mysterious enough to make Matt's fascination understandable... A charming start to what promises to be an intriguing series."
A crowd gathered outside the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, on the morning of January 24, 2008. They weren’t museum junkies; they were federal agents raiding the place. By the end of the day, 500 FBI, IRS, and Customs agents had hit the Bowers and 12 other targets, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Diego’s Mingei International Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, the Silk Roads Design Gallery in Los Angeles, and Barry MacLean, a private collector in Chicago. In all, agents seized over 10,000 smuggled antiquities from Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and China.
"Matt is not your typical good-guy detective, but a con artist forced into a good-guy role. It's this difference - and an impossible deadline - that elevates The Collection above other detective stories of intrigue and keeps it fast-paced and satisfyingly different."Add a gritty blend of international atmosphere, street savvy, art world politics and processes, and criminal interests to the action-packed saga of a ticking time bomb and you have a multi-faceted, well-detailed story that's hard to put down and highly recommended for detective story and intrigue readers looking for something refreshingly original."
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