‘Among Thieves’ an art heist mystery

  One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read authors I’ve never read before. Actually, this was my resolution for 2009, and it worked out so well that I’ve decided to carry it over to this year.
  Next on my list: David Hosp.
  Hosp is a young, up-and-coming Massachusetts author whose first three mystery novels were praised by Boston media and by the Daily Telegraph in London. His first novel, “Dark Harbor” (2005), was nominated for a Barry Award in the “best first novel” category.
  So I was looking forward to read his fourth mystery, “Among Thieves,” which was released earlier this month. The verdict: not too shabby. It’s a gritty story that puts readers in the heart of Boston. But it’s predictable, and its plot lags in too many spots, especially in
the first half of the story. Character development could use some work, too.
  The story itself is based on an intriguing, real-life crime. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1990, paintings by master artists, including Rembrandt and Monet, were stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The paintings have never been recovered, and the thieves have never been caught. The value of the paintings? About half a billion dollars. It’s still the largest unsolved art heist to date.
  Hosp takes that event and throws his protagonist, Boston attorney Scott Finn, into a tense mystery that involves the Boston criminal
underworld, the police and the IRA.
  Finn visits old neighborhood friend Devon Malley in a city jail. Malley is a well-known thief, but he pleads with Finn to take up his case and help his troubled daughter, Sally. Finn and the members of his small firm agree to take up the case and get Malley out of jail on bail. But they realize there may be dangers ahead.
  “I don’t know what you’re (complaining) about,” Finn says to his co-workers. “This is gonna be a lot harder on me than anyone else.”
  As the case unfolds, Malley tells Finn that he was involved in the 1990 art heist. He says the recent murders of a few members of Boston’s criminal underworld may be the work of an IRA baddie, Liam Kilbranish, who played a major part in the theft. Malley believes Kilbranish might be targeting him next.
  This revelation shifts the story into a higher gear. Danger lurks around every corner as Finn tries to help Malley, solve a monumental case, protect his co-workers and keep his good reputation intact.
  I haven’t read the other Finn stories, but Hosp doesn’t focus on him all that much in “Among Thieves.” For a leading man, Finn appears shallow and isn’t given much room to develop. Kilbranish is the more intriguing character in the story and seemingly steals scenes at will.
  Perhaps Hosp did this intentionally, but I expect a lot more from my “hero” attorney.

News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like