At the end of World War II, as Nazis were rounded up and detained by occupational forces and small towns across Europe were bursting to the seams with Allied personnel assigned to mop-up duties, an ancient treasure-trove somehow managed to vanish from a heavily guarded cave outside of Quedlinburg, Germany. This was "treasure" in the authentic sense of the word: religious manuscripts and other artifacts so extremely valuable that no one could even offer an estimate of their potential worth. Almost 50 years later, one of these treasures turned up, sold to the West German government by a private interest in the United States. This is where William Honan picks up the story inTreasure Hunt
, and the point at which Honan not only began covering the story but became a part of it. Honan, a former newspaper editor who was then working as a reporter for theNew York Times
, became one of the central figures in the story, a supersleuth on the trail of international art criminals. His own investigation makes for gripping reading as he unravels mystery after mystery, bringing him to a small, ramshackle Texas town where some of the most valuable art objects in the world had secretly resided for decades.
Honan spins a fast-paced yarn, and he fears for his life as friends and employees of the main suspect attempt to knock him off the scent. Honan's quirky sense of humor helps: his anti-Texas tirades may not win him many friends in the Land of the Yellow Rose, but they add levity to a case that reeks of sheer audacity and overwhelming greed. --Tjames Madison