Stealing the Scream: The Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick
The incredible story of the theft of a great painting and the brilliant detective who gets it back. 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.