Aaron Elkins Loot

ISBN 13: 9781497643093

Loot

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In April 1945, the Nazis, reeling and near defeat, frantically work to hide the huge store of art treasures that Hitler has looted from Europe. Truck convoys loaded with the cultural wealth of the Western world pour in an unending stream into the compound of the vast Altaussee salt mine high in the Austrian Alps. But with the Allies closing in, the vaunted efficiency of the Nazis has broken down. At Altaussee, all is tumult and confusion. In the commotion, a single truck, its driver, and its priceless load of masterpieces vanish into a mountain snowstorm.

Half a century later, in a seedy Boston pawnshop, ex-curator Ben Revere makes a stunning discovery among the piles of junk: a Velazquez from the legendary Lost Truck. But with it come decades of secrets, rancor, and lies, and the few who know of the painting’s existence have their lives snuffed out one by one by an unknown assassin. Revere must travel back to the grand cities of Europe to unravel the tangled history of the lost truck and its treasures before fifty years of hatred, greed, and retribution catch up with him.

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Review:

The gifted writer Aaron Elkins takes a break from his series about forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver (Twenty Blue Devils was the outing prior to Loot's appearance) to introduce a new sleuth, Boston art expert Ben Revere. Revere is a retired curator who helps the police when he's not supporting lost causes like the Red Sox. The shapely and exciting story begins in April 1945, when a German soldier steals a truckload of already stolen paintings and is killed by the Russians before he can trade them to the Americans for his freedom.

Fifty years later, a Valezquez painting from this bundle of loot arrives at a Boston pawnshop run by a friend of Revere's. A murder during an attempted robbery and a guilty conscience send Revere off on a chase across Europe, where a rich old Viennese count, a Hungarian swindler, and the ubiquitous Russian mafia all offer clues and/or threats regarding the remaining paintings. Revere shares with the best of the fictional world of art detectives (such as Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy and Nicholas Kilmer's Fred Taylor) an obvious love for and knowledge of what they seek. Here's Elkins on Revere's first impressions of the Velazquez:

You knew at once that, despite the quaintness of costume, or trappings, or pose, this was a real person you were looking at--or rather, was looking at you--and you couldn't help feeling that if you could only look at him long enough, or in the right way, you might make a connection, an actual human connection, over all those years.
That's why we look at pictures--and read books. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

Aaron Elkins is a former anthropologist and professor who has been writing mysteries and thrillers since 1982. His major continuing series features forensic anthropologist-detective Gideon Oliver, “the Skeleton Detective.” There are fifteen published titles to date in the series. The Gideon Oliver books have been (roughly) translated into a major ABC-TV series and have been selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Literary Guild, and the Readers Digest Condensed Mystery Series. His work has been published in a dozen languages.
 Mr. Elkins won the 1988 Edgar Award for best mystery of the year for Old Bones, the fourth book in the Gideon Oliver Series. He and his cowriter and wife, Charlotte, also won an Agatha Award, and he has also won a Nero Wolfe Award. Mr. Elkins lives on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with Charlotte.

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Book Description Open Road Media, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In April 1945, the Nazis, reeling and near defeat, frantically work to hide the huge store of art treasures that Hitler has looted from Europe. Truck convoys loaded with the cultural wealth of the Western world pour in an unending stream into the compound of the vast Altaussee salt mine high in the Austrian Alps. But with the Allies closing in, the vaunted efficiency of the Nazis has broken down. At Altaussee, all is tumult and confusion. In the commotion, a single truck, its driver, and its priceless load of masterpieces vanish into a mountain snowstorm.Half a century later, in a seedy Boston pawnshop, ex-curator Ben Revere makes a stunning discovery among the piles of junk: a Velazquez from the legendary Lost Truck. But with it come decades of secrets, rancor, and lies, and the few who know of the painting's existence have their lives snuffed out one by one by an unknown assassin. Revere must travel back to the grand cities of Europe to unravel the tangled history of the lost truck and its treasures before fifty years of hatred, greed, and retribution catch up with him. Seller Inventory # AAV9781497643093

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Book Description Open Road Media, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In April 1945, the Nazis, reeling and near defeat, frantically work to hide the huge store of art treasures that Hitler has looted from Europe. Truck convoys loaded with the cultural wealth of the Western world pour in an unending stream into the compound of the vast Altaussee salt mine high in the Austrian Alps. But with the Allies closing in, the vaunted efficiency of the Nazis has broken down. At Altaussee, all is tumult and confusion. In the commotion, a single truck, its driver, and its priceless load of masterpieces vanish into a mountain snowstorm.Half a century later, in a seedy Boston pawnshop, ex-curator Ben Revere makes a stunning discovery among the piles of junk: a Velazquez from the legendary Lost Truck. But with it come decades of secrets, rancor, and lies, and the few who know of the painting's existence have their lives snuffed out one by one by an unknown assassin. Revere must travel back to the grand cities of Europe to unravel the tangled history of the lost truck and its treasures before fifty years of hatred, greed, and retribution catch up with him. Seller Inventory # AAV9781497643093

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Book Description Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller. Paperback. Condition: New. 312 pages. Dimensions: 8.5in. x 5.5in. x 0.8in.In April 1945, the Nazis, reeling and near defeat, frantically work to hide the huge store of art treasures that Hitler has looted from Europe. Truck convoys loaded with the cultural wealth of the Western world pour in an unending stream into the compound of the vast Altaussee salt mine high in the Austrian Alps. But with the Allies closing in, the vaunted efficiency of the Nazis has broken down. At Altaussee, all is tumult and confusion. In the commotion, a single truck, its driver, and its priceless load of masterpieces vanish into a mountain snowstorm. Half a century later, in a seedy Boston pawnshop, ex-curator Ben Revere makes a stunning discovery among the piles of junk: a Velazquez from the legendary Lost Truck. But with it come decades of secrets, rancor, and lies, and the few who know of the paintings existence have their lives snuffed out one by one by an unknown assassin. Revere must travel back to the grand cities of Europe to unravel the tangled history of the lost truck and its treasures before fifty years of hatred, greed, and retribution catch up with him. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781497643093

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