In March 1990, 13 works of art, then valued at over $300 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, by thieves who gained entry posing as police officers.
The robbery gained worldwide attention and speculation as rife as to who could have carried out this audacious heist.
The robbers were never identified – although the FBI suspected an organised crime syndicate, based in New England. A reward of $10 million for information leading to recovery of the lost masterpieces remains unclaimed.
In September 2015, June Harper is kidnapped from Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is personal assistant to Megan Anderson, the chief pharmacist.
The investigation is led by FBI special agents Ruth Rowland and Lawrence Brooks. Their main problem in identifying the perpetrator is that there is no obvious motive for the abduction – the case becomes even more complicated when June’s husband, Ryan, is murdered a few days later.
Although separated by 25 years, these three crimes – robbery, kidnap, murder – are linked. But how?
“I first visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, in Boston, in the summer of 2005. In those days, it was like being a guest in someone’s home – full of beautiful paintings and works of art. I was intrigued by the story of the robbery – you could still see the spaces where the stolen paintings used to hang – and wondered about the thieves. What had become of them and their stolen treasure? This is where the idea for The Bad Samaritan came from.”Lyon Bell
Lyon Bell was born in England and grew up in Wales, where he now lives. The Bad Samaritan is his first novel. Before becoming a writer, he had a long career as a civil engineer and civil servant in England and Wales. He has already started work on his next novel.
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