Sweeping and fast-paced, Hot Art is a major work of investigative journalism and a thrilling joyride into a mysterious criminal world.Hot Art traces Joshua Knelman’s five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption. With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his way into a thriving career organizing art thefts and running loot across the United Kingdom and beyond, and LAPD detective Donald Hrycyk, one of the few special investigators worldwide who struggle to keep pace with the evolving industry of stolen art. As he becomes more and more immersed in this world, Knelman learns that art theft is no fringe activity―it has evolved into one of the largest black markets in the world, which even Interpol and the FBI admit they cannot contain. In this battle, the thieves are winning. Sweeping and fast-paced, Hot Art is a major work of investigative journalism and a thrilling joyride into a mysterious criminal world.
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Too often, however, Knelman assumes a novelistic tone in which extraneous detail slows the pace. And, periodically, his narrative takes on the thug vernacular, which undermines his authority.Read Full Review of Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and ... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail
Knelman, in this outstanding work of journalism, places the problem in perspective by quoting the FBI’s Wittman on the successful case of a stolen Rembrandt. “The Rembrandt that I recovered was 400 years old,” he says. “Do you know anyone who is 400 years old? Cultural property is permanent. We are fleeting.”Read Full Review of Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and ... | See more reviews from National Post arts
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