Before I begin, let me state unequivocally that I don't like abstract art at all. I think art must evoke emotion
THE ART THIEF
by Noah Charney
In Rome, a Caravaggio altarpiece is stolen in the middle of the night, without a trace. Police are called in, along with an investigator for the insurance company.
Around the same time, a curator in Paris notices a listing in an upcoming Christie's auction catalog for a Malevich "White-on-White" supremacist painting which is in the collection she oversees. When she calls Christie's to tell them that theirs is a forgery, they insist it's real. Looking into her collection, she discovers that the painting is missing. Paris police are called in.
At the Christie's auction during which the "White-on-White" painting is sold, the curator sees that the painting offered is not the one stolen from her collection; it's a different one altogether. At the same auction, a painting which is simply blocks of bright colors is sold to a collector in London. It's stolen a couple of days later, and a Scotland Yard investigator is called in.
Eventually, the author ties all of these together. The insurance investigator is a common figure through the three investigations. This was a pretty good book, in concept. However, there is a very long, boring stretch at the beginning of the book dedicated to discussion of abstract art, along with the auction at Christie's. I'm sure it's all technically very correct, since the author has degrees in art and history from prestigious institutions, but it leads him to believe his readers will share his passion for the behind the scenes art world. The book wasn't very long, under 300 pages, but it took me nearly a week to get through it, with most of the holdup being the first half of the book. So, while I finished it, and the ending was pretty good, I have to give this book only a 2.5/5.
Happy Thorsday, everyone!