Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I told my friend yesterday I only allow myself to read non-fiction books. She said, "I can't read non-fiction. They're too boring."

Yes, and no. I told her about the book I just finished: Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman with John Shiffman.

Wittman tells his story of how he founded the FBI Art Crime Team... and how the bureaucracy of the Bureau destroyed it.

More interesting is his background - how he always wanted to be an FBI agent, and how his background uniquely prepared him for undercover work and helped him develop his passion for solving art crimes.

He tells wonderful stories about how he recovered some amazing pieces. But the story that overrides all the others were his efforts to recover the paintings stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston.

If you're not familiar with the Gardner Heist, read a fascinating book by the same name. I wrote a review of it here.

Wittman came pretty close to recovering those paintings, but several events (and people) conspired against him.

It's a disappointing, but real-life, ending to an great read.

By the way, my friend did admit this non-fiction book sounded interesting. That's because it is!

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