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Priceless : how I went undercover to rescue the world's stolen treasures
Robert K. Wittman and John Shiffman
Adult Nonfiction N8795.5.W58 W58 2010b

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Former FBI agent Wittman, who created the agency's Art Crime Team and pursued a lifelong interest in antiques and collectibles, goes undercover to hobnob with infamous art thieves. The ineffective, the stupid, the clever, and the dangerous; Wittman befriends them all, in order to betray them, a fact that causes him a certain amount of angst. Among other challenges are bumbling agency bureaucrats and government turf wars when attempting to recover stolen art abroad. A fatal car accident that Wittman was involved in early in his career shaped his perspective: "I understood that because someone made a mistake in judgment, it didn't make him evil. My newfound ability to see both sides of a situation-to think and feel like the accused-was invaluable." Wittman keeps the narrative interesting, and reveals himself as something of a renegade: "Under the FBI's strict undercover rules, you're only supposed to work one case at a time. I never followed that rule." Keep the lies to a minimum, he advises, and avoid working in your home town. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

The theft and retrieval of priceless works of art, historic documents, or artifacts can be a Herculean law enforcement challenge. With the creation of the FBI's Art Crime Team-led by 20-year veteran special agent Wittman-the reader enters a clandestine world of criminal activities of epic proportion. Writing with investigative reporter Shiffman, Wittman unfurls a web of intrigue and danger in this rare glimpse into high-level detective work that has resulted in the retrieval of more than $225 million worth of stolen artwork and documents in the past two decades. One of the recent cases solved by the Art Crime Team was the return of one of 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights taken by Union soldiers at the end of the American Civil War (this is depicted in full in David Howard's Lost Rights: The Misadventures of a Stolen American Relic). Wittman's successes as an undercover agent, extensive training in the world of art, and skill as a lead detective and investigator are well documented in this autobiography. VERDICT An essential read for those interested in art history and law enforcement.-Claire Franek, MSLS, Brockport, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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