Benjamin Revere, former curator, former Harvard professor, former entrepreneur, tracks down the true owner of a truckload of Old Masters that disappeared in the waning days of WWII. Despite his charmed career, Revere is drawn as a schlemiel, a lonely, friendless bumbler who has drifted into a vocation as an art cop and who finds himself far over his head trying to pick up girls in a Back Bay cafe, much less dodging Mafia thugs in Budapest. This its protagonist, this book is complicated, relentlessly competent, and less interesting that it has any right to be: having filled the scene with the a host of wonderful backstories (imagine a Russian Milo Minderbinder, fifty years later), Elkins spends most of his time with a plodder.