Antique dealer Picker finds himself stranded in New York City after being knocked unconscious ninety miles away from home. He spends his day buying and selling valuable antiques until he discovers that his old friend Anthony ‘Doo Wop’ DeAngelo is dead.
Doo Wop is a world class forger well known for his copies of famous artists. After completing his masterpiece, Anthony is found murdered in his studio. His latest creation is missing.
An accomplished antiques dealer, Picker is drawn into the world of duplicity, deceit and murder while being pursued by multiple sets of bad guys and various levels of law enforcement. Uncle Moe, girlfriend Penny Lane, his trusty German Shepherd, the long lost half brother and his boyhood friends assist Picker in unraveling an international conspiracy while trying to stay alive.
Simultaneously you’ll discover the forces that occurred in the previous generation that impact Picker’s life in the present. Find out how his parents met and fell in love; the discovery of his half-brother and the mysterious Frenchman that may be Picker’s greatest foe or possibly his most powerful ally.
Every once in a while, I come across a protagonist that makes me wish I knew them in real life. Picker is definitely one such character. Picker is such an interesting, astute, and unpredictable antihero, but he’s very likeable. He’s sarcastic and irreverent, but I still wanted to be best friends with him.
I absolutely loved this book. All of the characters were so colourful and unique and they really made this novel as great as it was. It was also enjoyable to learn about antiques throughout the novel. Antiquing is something I’ve never been interested in before, but the plot revolving around art and history in combination with antiques was a genius idea.
The plot was entertaining and involving and draws the reader into Picker’s world effortlessly. Even though there are some elements of the unbelievable in it and the plot does get a little convoluted at times, the book comes together nicely in the final act and I was really satisfied with its resolution. However, it did take a little time to adjust to the format of the chapters with one chapter taking place in the present and one in the past. Luckily, it does not detract from the book at all.
I give this book four and a half stars. It could be a five star book except for the minor spelling and grammar mistakes. One pass with an editor would make this novel incredible, but even as it is, it’s highly recommended. Scott Soloff has written a gem of a novel with an extraordinary protagonist, intriguing characters and an engaging plot. I can’t wait to read the next Picker mystery!