5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Chasing Thieves and Detectives through the Secret World of Stolen Art
“[An] outstanding work of journalism.” National Post
“This is riveting non-fiction that reads like a novel, with detectives out of central casting and a twist that would make the Coen Brothers proud.” Chatelaine
“Wickedly entertaining. . . His suspenseful writing has a filmic quality, and his characters could have walked out of a Raymond Chandler or Nathanael West novel.” Literary Review of Canada
For the extensive review coverage of Hot Art, click here.
A young journalist from Toronto spends four years immersing himself in the mysterious world of international art theft, travelling from Cairo to New York, London, Montreal and Los Angeles. He befriends the slippery Paul, a master thief who got his start in Brighton as a knocker—travelling door to door as a junk collector while secretly scanning homes for valuables that he would steal later on. He gets caught up in the world of Donald Hrycyk, a detective who works on a shoestring budget in downtown L.A. to recover stolen art. Through alternating chapters focusing on Paul and a small international network of detectives, the story of the thief and the detective unfolds, revealing the dramatic rise of international art theft.
Joshua Knelman’s investigation finds there are only a handful of detectives, FBI agents and lawyers fighting a global battle against a thriving black market estimated to be one of the largest in the world. Meanwhile, the chain of criminals moves from thugs on the street to multinational organized crime syndicates, to a global network of art dealers who wash the artworks’ provenance clean again. In a surprise ending, Knelman learns that corruption can appear in the unlikeliest places.
A major work of investigative journalism, Hot Art is a globetrotting mystery filled with cunning and eccentric characters.
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