In 1990, thirteen pieces of art were stolen from the Gardner Museum. However, unlike this story, they were never recovered. The Gardner Museum theft is still an active and ongoing investigation. The story pulled me in with Portia's passion for artwork and the author's ability to describe the pieces I have never seen. The pacing is a little slow at first with a lot of discussion about art and why someone would have stolen the specific pieces. While this is all fascinating, it was a lot of dialogue and rehashing some of what the reader already knew. The pace did pick up as Portia was scouted by the FBI and sent to Mexico. The suspense of Portia being up close and personal with the suspected thief and his family added danger as well as a sense of humanity to an art thief. Portia's time in Mexico revealed how the drug trade transformed some Mexican cities as well as the lifestyles of everyone nearby. It seemed almost impossible to stay out of the business as everything was connected. I was compelled by the psychology of the pieces and what they would have meant for the thief. Portia's insights pay off for an exciting and satisfying conclusion, if only this were true for the real pieces of stolen artwork.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.