Stealing the Scream : The Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece, Paperback Book

Stealing the Scream : The Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The incredible story of the theft of a great painting and the brilliant detective who gets it back.

On a frozen February morning in 1994, two men in a stolen car skidded to a halt in front of Norway?s national art museum.

They raced across the snow and grabbed the ladder they had stashed away the night before.

Two minutes later, they roared off. Wedged behind the driver sat one of the most valuable paintings in the world: Edvard Munch?s The Scream.

The thieves had made sure the world was watching: the Winter Olympics, in Lillehammer, began that same morning.

Baffled and humiliated, the Norwegian police called on the world?s greatest art detective, Charley Hill, a half-English, half-American undercover policeman.

Edward Dolnick?s riveting tale takes us inside the art underworld, from ponytailed aristocrat Lord Bath, to 300-pound fence David Duddin.

We meet Munch, too, a haunted misfit who spends nights feverishly trying to paint the visions in his head.

Scotland Yard?s Charley Hill, an ex-soldier, a would-be priest, and a complicated mix of brilliance, foolhardiness and charm, is the book?s most compelling character.

The hunt for The Scream will either cap his career or end in a fiasco that will dog him forever.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, Illustrations, unspecified
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9781840468649

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Edward Dolnick has written an entertaining true crime story centered on the stealing of Munch's painting, The Scream, in February of 1994. His technique is to tell the story of the theft and recovery of the painting in a leisurely manner, interspersing it with material on art theft in general, art thieves, those who sell stolen art, and those who catch art thieves, including Charley Hill, the Scotland Yard officer who recovered The Scream. There is so much of this background material that one could just as well describe this book as Hunts for Missing Masterpieces, with the stealing of the Scream as one if its many illustrations.The author is skilled in capturing dialogue, telling stories and anecdotes, and letting us ordinary folk look in on the thoughts, words, and actions of burglars and police. What amazed me is the number of times the same art pieces are re-stolen, including The Scream.

Also by Edward Dolnick