Friday, January 19, 2007

Loot, by Aaron Elkins

This novel was my first time experience with this author. I downloaded the audiobook from It was 11:03:39 long, and was narrated by Paul Hecht.

A pawn shop owner buys a painting from a mysterious Russian visitor, and it turns out to be a very rare painting that was part of the looting of the Jews by the Nazis. During the last gasps of WW2, a truckload of art was seized by a Russian patrol, and then it all disappeared until after the fall of the Soviet Union. And now this painting has made its way to Boston.

The owner calls in a friend, Ben Revere, who is an art expert who has done some contract work for the police. Ben, who is our main character, believes this is a rare Valasquez, and tells his friend that they should get the police involved. After Ben leaves, his friend is beaten to death in his shop, but the painting is still in his safe, providing a good bit of evidence to begin his search for who killed his friend, and where this masterpiece came from.

Although this book is not a masterpiece, it was a well-paced, easy read with good characters and an interesting background story: the ever-circulating treasures of the Holocaust. It gets 3 stars if you just want to be entertained, 2 if you wanted violence and bloodshed.

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