The Map Thief: A Novel

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Beijing, China, 1421: It is a momentous time for the Ming Dynasty. Honoring the completion of the Forbidden City, a fleet of unprecedented size sets sail under Admiral Zheng He. Zheng’s mission is to chart the globe, trading for riches and bringing glory to China’s emperor. Among the crew is the talented cartographer and navigator Ma Zhi, whose work will lead to the first true map of the world–but whose accomplishment will vanish when the fleet returns to a very different China than the one it left.

Lisbon, Portugal, 1496: At the height of Portugal’s maritime domination during the Age of Discovery, the legendary explorer Vasco da Gama embarks on a quest to find a sea route to India. On board is navigator Antonio Coehlo, who guards Portugal’s most secret treasure: a map that already shows the way.

New York, present day: Mara Coyne’s new client has left her uneasy. Republican kingmaker Richard Tobias has hired her, he says, because of her skill in recovering stolen art and advocating for the rightful owners, but Mara senses that he is not telling her everything. Tobias reveals that a centuries-old map was stolen from an archaeological dig he is sponsoring in China, and he wants her to get it back. But as Mara begins her investigation, she uncovers the shocking truth: The map is more valuable than anyone has ever imagined, and her client’s motives are more sinister than she suspected.

Weaving rich historical detail and astounding fact into a fast-paced suspense-fiction ride, The Map Thief is an incredible entrée to the murky underworld of stolen artifacts and the thieves and traders who broker them. From Hong Kong to the Italian countryside, from Lisbon to the remote reaches of Communist China, and literally around the world on the ships of fifteenth-century explorers, Heather Terrell takes readers on a globe-trotting adventure of epic proportions.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Heather Terrell is the author of The Chrysalis. A lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies, Terrell is a graduate of Boston College and of the Boston University School of Law. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Jul 29, 2008
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780345507242
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Crime
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Multiple award-winner Loren D. Estleman has produced a major biographical novel on the infamous Mobster known as Scarface, rigorously researched and deftly nuanced to offer an intimate portrait of the gangster whose terrible crimes and larger-than-life persona have both fascinated and appalled the world for nearly a century; whose legacy is still widely debated; and whose brutally ambitious career in the Mafia continues to inspire filmmakers and writers to plumb its excesses and its contradictions.

In 1944, after Al Capone has been released from prison, J. Edgar Hoover assigns an FBI junior agent to insinuate himself into Capone's life and gain his trust so that Hoover can nail as many of Capone's Mob confederates as possible. Capone, suffering from the neurological effects of syphilis, is alternately lucid, full of the passion and energy that fueled his rise to the pinnacle of American crime...and rambling or ranting, the broken shell of a man released from prison so he could die at home with his family.
With the superb narrative gifts honed in dozens of novels, Estleman has captured the essence of this American icon as never before. With subtly nuanced portrayals of those in Capone's circle—his underrated wife Mae Capone, members of the Chicago Outfit including the deadly Frank Nitti—as well as his nemesis, J. Edgar Hoover, Hoover's secretary Helen Gandy and others, The Confessions of Al Capone is a major literary achievement.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Haarlem, Holland, seventeenth-century: The city’s chief magistrate commissions a family portrait from Dutch master painter Johannes Miereveld. But when the artist sees the magistrate’s daughter, Amalia, an illicit love affair begins. Miereveld creates a captivating masterpiece, The Chrysalis–a stunning portrait of the Virgin Mary, full of Catholic symbols, that outrages his Protestant patron and signals the death of his career.

New York, present day: Mara Coyne is one high-profile case away from making partner at her powerful Manhattan law firm, and now the client that is sure to seal the deal has fallen into her lap. The prestigious Beazley’s auction house is about to sell a lost masterwork, The Chrysalis, in an auction that is destined to become legendary. Standing in the way, however, is the shocking accusation that the painting belongs not to Beazley’s client but to Hilda Baum, the daughter of a Dutch collector who lost his paintings–and his life–to the Nazis.

The case brings an unexpected surprise when Mara discovers that Beazley’s in-house attorney is Michael Roarke, a man for whom she once had an intense attraction. But the same skills that make her a brilliant litigator also make Mara suspicious, and she begins to believe that Hilda’s tragic family story might be more than just heartbreaking–it might be true. And the man she’s come to love might not be who she thought he was at all.

Spanning centuries and continents, The Chrysalis is a brilliant, intelligent, fast-paced thriller that melds art and history into a provocative work of fiction. From the underground Catholicism in seventeenth-century Holland to the unspeakable crimes of the Nazis and the repercussions that reverberate to this day throughout the art world, Heather Terrell has created a fascinating story that will entrance readers to the very last page.


From the Hardcover edition.
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