In a secret meeting in 1981, a master thief named Louis Royce gave career gangster Ralph Rossetti the tip of a lifetime. As a kid, Royce had visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made a habit of sneaking in at night to find a good place to sleep. He knew the Museum's security was lax, and he gave this information to a boss of the Boston criminal underworld. It took years before the Museum was hit. But when it finally happened, it quickly became one of the most infamous art heists in history: 13 works of art valued at up to $500 million - including Rembrandt's "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee". The identity of the thieves was a mystery, and the paintings were never found.
What happened in those intervening years? Which Boston crew landed the big score? And why, more than 20 years later, did the FBI issue a press conference stating that they knew who had pulled off the heist and what had happened to the artwork, but provided no identities and scant details? These mysteries are the story of Stephen Kurkjian's revealing audiobook. He will take the listener deep into the Boston mob and paint the most complete and compelling picture of this story ever told.
©2015 Stephen Kurkjian (P)2015 Tantor
"[E]ngrossing real-life crime story." (Kirkus)
I live in Boston, work in East Boston in the shadows of many places mentioned. I remember the heist, and the roller coaster decades of false reports of a breakthrough in the case. I had hoped that a Boston Globe reporter could bring some insight into the story. Unfortunately it is a book of rehashed newspaper stories told in clipped and tacit prose. Hard to follow the non linear tangents and filler stories.
The Gardener heist is one of the most intriguing mysteries of the past 50 years. Unfortunately this was book provides no good leads or even solid speculation on the identities of the thieves or whereabouts of the paintings.
The author appears to have spent many years chasing whispers and pulling on threads seemingly at random and wrote this book as a means to recoup some money on a failed investigation. He fails to turn up anything of value on the theft and in turn swindles the reader out of time and money.
Even if the book had shed any light on the crime the book does not flow well. Any interest is lost in the jumble of narratives he tries unsuccessfully to weave into a substantial text. He does not succeed. I will be attempting to get a refund from Audible for this purchase.
If this author is an "Investigative Reporter" than I've missed my calling. No depth, little to no research and certainly no "investigating". I love how he compares the theft tragedy to the Boston Marathon Bombing. Then, it slowly and gradually goes torturously down hill from there. Author should refund my money for this waste of time.
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