Author(s): Edward Dolnick
On a frozen February morning in 1994, two men in a stolen car skidded to a halt in front of Norway's national art museum. They raced across the snow and grabbed the ladder they had stashed away the night before. Two minutes later, they roared off. Wedged behind the driver sat one of the most valuable paintings in the world: Edvard Munch's The Scream. The thieves had made sure the world was watching: the Winter Olympics, in Lillehammer, began that same morning. Baffled and humiliated, the Norwegian police called on the world's greatest art detective, Charley Hill, a half-English, half-American undercover policeman. Edward Dolnick's riveting tale takes us inside the art underworld, from ponytailed aristocrat Lord Bath, to 300-pound fence David Duddin. We meet Munch, too, a haunted misfit who spends nights feverishly trying to paint the visions in his head. Scotland Yard's Charley Hill, an ex-soldier, a would-be priest, and a complicated mix of brilliance, foolhardiness and charm, is the book's most compelling character. The hunt for The Scream will either cap his career or end in a fiasco that will dog him forever.
Winner of Edgar Allan Poe Awards: Best Fact Crime 2006.
'A masterpiece. Engrossing, entertaining, often surreally hilarious' Mary Roach, author, Stiff 'Much more than an outstanding detective story that happens to be taken from real life. Dolnick has provided us with an insider's view of the hidden world of art theft, where paintings by old masters are used to settle gambling debts and priceless canvases are rolled up in the trunk. This is a fascinating tale, expertly told, with characters as crisply drawn as any Rembrandt and the sort of intrigue generally found only in a thriller.' Arthur Golden, author, Memoirs of a Geisha 'An entertaining account of the eternal struggle between high art and low cunning.' Time 'There has never been a better book on art crime.' ArtNews
Edward Dolnick is a former chief science writer at the Boston Globe. He has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine and many other publications. He has two grown sons and lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.