Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pg. 69: Noah Charney's "The Art Thief"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Noah Charney's The Art Thief.

About the book, from the publisher:

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 GeneviƩve 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, GeneviƩve 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.

Among the praise for the novel:
"A vivid, marvelously readable look at the world of stolen art. The fascinating tale keeps you constantly wondering -- does this really happen? Noah Charney knows his stuff."
--Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Alexandria Link

"Noah Charney offers us a masterful thriller filled with revelations."
--Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Lady in Blue

"A thrilling, literary page-turner, The Art Thief paints portraits of lovers, frauds, innocents, and scholars, all presented in Charney's sharp, fresh voice. This exciting debut establishes young Noah Charney as the curator of crime."
--Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There

"Charney constructs an intricate web of crime, bolstering a sensational plot with well-crafted characters and extensive research. Eventful and exciting, The Art Thief is an enthralling novel."
--Vernon Rapley, head of the Art & Antiques Unit, New Scotland Yard

"Sleek, sharp, and sophisticated, The Art Thief will steal your spare time -- and you'll be happy you were robbed."
--Don Winslow, author of The Winter of Frankie Machine
Noah Charney holds degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and Cambridge University. He is the founding director of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA), the first international think tank on art crime. The Art Thief is his first novel.

Read an excerpt from The Art Thief and learn more about the book and its author at Charney's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Art Thief.

--Marshal Zeringue