The Missing Piece
Review: The Missing Piece, a legal thriller by Kevin Egan, is an electrifying courtroom drama featuring Linda Conover, a law clerk for a seasoned judge ready for retirement, Oliver Johnstone, who is presiding over a trial in the courthouse at 60 Centre Street in New York City.
The case involves the ownership of an ancient Roman urn dating back to the fourth century. Almost eleven years ago Paul Douglas Leonard White, the fourteenth Earl of Leinster, purchased the urn from a Syrian antiquities market for one million American dollars. He had since then purchased the companion fourteen pieces, collectively known as the Salvus Treasure, investing twelve million more American dollars. The estimated value to a private collector or a museum was estimated to be seventy million dollars. An auction house was willing to sell the treasure, but only after they put it on a world tour to drum up interest. Croatia filed a lawsuit to stop the sale, with Hungary and Syria separately joining in. Each country claimed that the treasure was found there and illegally smuggled out. The silver urn was brought to the courthouse under police guard as evidence. Just as Judge Johnstone was about to reveal his decision of how he wanted to handle the case, two masked men flashing guns, entered the courtroom. They removed the urn but not before shooting one of the court officers in the back. The case was immediately dismissed, the urn and the criminals vanished.
Three years later, the Appellate Court has decided to reopen the case with the now Judge Linda Conover presiding. At the pretrial hearing the only motion is the sole issue as to where the treasure was unearthed. Relentless litigation follows. Judge Conover not only has to hear the persistent arguments from the attorneys, she is also facing personal issues: her marriage falling apart and she is pregnant.
The Missing Piece makes for fascinating reading. The case is incredibly complex and yet never feels confusing. The characters are engaging and their interpersonal relationships are all well-defined. And the venue for the proceedings, 60 Centre Street, is as much as character as anyone else. Indeed, some of the participants maintain that the urn never left the building, and is hidden somewhere inside. Overall, an intense but thoroughly enjoyable legal thriller.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Missing Piece.
Acknowledgment: Forge Books provided a copy of The Missing Piece for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Missing Piece: New York City
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The Missing Piece by Kevin Egan
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: April 2015
List Price: $27.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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