Sunday, May 18, 2008

Book Review: "The Art Thief"

Noah Charney, author of The Art Thief (Atria, 2007), is the founder of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA), the first think tank focused on art crimes. This, his debut novel, is a light mystery in the vein of Pears' Jonathan Argyll series (but not quite as enjoyable as those). Charney's knowledge of art crime comes through clearly, but in the form of long expository passages in the middle of a novel, that knowledge is misplaced.

The book is filled with way too many characters, none of whom is granted sufficient room to develop. I didn't like - or dislike - a single person in the book, possibly because I had a hard time figuring out which goofy investigator was narrating at any given moment (and by the time I'd figured out where I was, Charney had whiplashed me off to someplace else). And the end leaves much to be desired.

Not particularly noteworthy or memorable.

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