The Art of Art Thievery
When Hiram Jacobs is murdered, the responsibility for his internationally renowned security company falls upon his daughter, Desiree. But a container full of stolen paintings screams the ugly truththat her father was a thief. Option A: Turn the goods over to the law, disgrace her fathers name, destroy their business, put people out of jobs, and embarrass international museums with the fact that they have been displaying clever forgeries. Option B: Surrender the art to the bad guys. But then she becomes an unwilling accomplice to the thieves, and her fathers murderer would walk free. Worse, a death threat warns her not to cooperate with federal agents. Can she trust God to guide her down the right path when no option seems right…let alone safe?
Art stole her heart…
Now can she return the favor?
If Desiree Jacobs knows anything, its art. Her father, whose security company is internationally renowned, taught her everything he knew. Most of all, he taught her about honor. Integrity. Faith. So surely God will forgive her for despising the one man determined to destroy her fathers good name?
Special Agent Tony Lucano knows Hiram Jacobs is an art thief. But what he cant figure out is Desiree. Is she the innocent victim…or a clever accomplice?
Then Hiram is murdered. And along with his company, he leaves Desiree a hidden container full of stolen paintings. But she cant admit her father was a thief! That would destroy their business, put people out of jobs, and embarrass international museums that have been displaying clever forgeries. No, she must find out why her honest father would turn criminal. And she must return the priceless art to the rightful owners without their knowledge. Even if it means facing down a ring of cutthroat art thieves…or accepting help from the man she most distrusts.
"Buckle your seat belt for a wild, heart-pulsating read. Jill Elizabeth Nelsons debut novel will leave you breathless!"
Linda Wichman, award-winning author of Legend of the Emerald Rose
"Reluctant Burglar offers a unique blend of who-dunit mystery and high-stakes thriller, with a touch of humor and romance."
Sharon Dunn, award-winning author of the Ruby Taylor mysteries
READERS GUIDE INCLUDED
Story Behind the Book
"One night I woke up, my whole body tense, after dreaming that a woman had snuck into a home in the middle of the night to return a genuine painting that had been stolen and replaced by a clever forgery. I knew little about her except that she was an expert at what she did, and if she was caught, disaster would follow. My imagination began to play with that nugget. I love stories where people risk much to do the right thing, and I feel sick whenever I hear of art or antiquities desecrated or stolen. Putting these elements together into a tale of intriguewith a sassy heroine and an intense herocame easily. I believe that capturing the imagination with a gripping story makes a most effective vehicle to convey thought-provoking realities."
Jill Elizabeth Nelson
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Reluctant Burglar, Jill Elizabeth Nelson blends suspense, mystery, and romance to give readers a glimpse into the widespread, though often unacknowledged, world of art theft. Desiree Jacobs is a professional, independent woman. She works for her fathers security company, dealing directly with priceless works of art. The only problem is she soon encounters Tony Lucano, a composed and calculating FBI agent investigating an art theft ring operating in Boston. Tony is certain that Hiram Jacobs, Desirees father, is involved and that she probably is, too. When Hiram is murdered, the FBI is given a new lead in what had appeared to be a standstill case. Convinced of her fathers innocence, Desi vows to uphold his memory with honor. Then she discovers a clue that leads her to a container holding enough evidence to give Tonys claim validity. Now Desi must figure out her fathers role in the theft ring and why he even began stealing art in the first place. When the criminals who killed Hiram come after her, Desi must make the hard choice of whether or not to trust Tony Lucano.
The story is told from both Desiree and Tonys points of view. While the circumstances they face are extraordinary, their faith is tested in ways that readers can relate to. Tony attempts to witness to his stone-hearted, giant of a partner, Steve Crane. Though his masculine nature fought against it, Tony followed divine guidance and shared a broken part of his heart that no one else had known about, which proved beneficial for both men.
Nelsons diverse range of characters adds substance and even humor to her overall story. Her characters and their relationships are the novels greatest strengths. Seeing the relationship between Tony and Desi unfold is both painful and entertaining. Though each feels attracted to the other, uncertainty causes them to try to unnerve each other with audacious schemes.
Reluctant Burglar is Nelsons first novel. She has written professionally for many years as a journalist, columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller, and book reviewer. Her style is fast paced and flavored with humor, action, and emotion. Her description is carefully worked into each scene so that readers not only get a sense of background, but they also see the characters emotions reflected in their appearance and actions. Reluctant Burglar has depth and spirit; it would be a great book for those who love mystery, action, or romance. Bridgette L. Oakes, Christian Book Previews.com