Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander (Garev Publishing International, Inc., 2008) weaves together a suspenseful crime story that includes accurate historical facts. This makes for a fast paced drama that is more plausible.
The crime story begins in Germany with the discovery of a list of art worth millions of dollars. A meeting with a dying man’s last wishes to track, obtain and deliver this collection of artifacts safely is what sets the drama and deceit in motion.
A valuable art carving that also had sentimental value was sworn to stay in the church in Estonia. Greed and theft led to murders, with best friends betraying each other.
- There were actual orders from Hitler to obtain ancient artifacts and records of Nazis stealing masterpieces. The author, Edwin Alexander makes the story appear real with his research and detailed knowledge of history.
Sometimes murders happen for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The pace of the story picks up as it continues in San Francisco.
The main character’s investigation
- Private Investigator Al Hershey is a former Vet who is skilled not only in investigating but in martial arts and strategizing, with strong instincts for staying alive. Hired to investigate a murder, he follows the trail of smugglers, which leads back to the antique art that is causing all the trouble.
- He begins with the Medical Examiner and his suspicions increase when he starts to unravel the strange and mysterious circumstances of the death. The details of the murder deemed accidental appear omitted with no witnesses present to verify whether the examination followed proper procedure.
- Mysterious anonymous emails and phone calls made with distorted voices cause the PI to dig deeper yet. After several scuffles and attempts on his life, he continues to persevere with the investigation. Slowly he pieces together the facts, tracing evidence further and further up to the top as the body count increases.
Characters are so well described that you begin to either love or hate most of them. Al has connections with the newspaper editor and sergeant, who help lead him to unravel more suspects and suspicions.
Relatives and friends of the murdered woman help round out the story to add more emotion and suspense. A couple greedy thugs and wannabe wise guys are immediately suspects but other unexpected twists begin to appear.
With all these characters that you cannot help becoming attached to, it is bittersweet when Theft of the Master ends. Thankfully, Edwin Alexander plans to release another novel that includes more of PI Al Hershey’s adventures.