The Lost Van Gogh

A.J. Zerries

Forge Books

When Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Monsieur Trabuc turns up unexpectedly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—a $50 million painting shipped from Argentina via UPS, like an ordinary package—the case goes to Clay Ryder, the NYPD Major Case Squad detective assigned to art theft.

Ryder discovers that in Paris, late 1944, a Jewish widow accused a German SS officer of stealing the painting. The officer was reported to have died in a car crash at the war’s end, and the whereabouts of the Trabuc between then and now remain a mystery. Ryder’s search for the widow’s heirs leads him to Rachel Meredith, who teaches at NYU. The museum presents the painting to her in a spectacular public ceremony that winds up on the front page of newspapers around the world.

Though the case is closed, Ryder can’t seem to shake it. When Rachel Meredith is attacked, she calls on him; what might be a simple assault doesn’t quite add up. And he still wonders who sent the van Gogh from Argentina. One of his most reliable contacts in the art world floats a theory that ties the van Gogh portrait to a black market auction in the 70’s that might have involved a Swiss art dealer and an international crime kingpin with unlimited cash. Then Israel’s Mossad pays Ryder a clandestine visit; the news splash about the van Gogh is the first link they’ve had to the SS officer in decades.

Meanwhile, art dealers, auction houses, and museums vie to buy the van Gogh from Rachel Meredith. When she refuses to sell, the situation goes from predatory to violent. Ryder has to race against time to outmaneuver a cunning mastermind who will resort to as many murders as it takes to get hold of the Trabuc.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONENeither of the two men trusted the other, but that, after all, was the nature of the business.Anxious to get started, uncomfortably close, they faced one another in the semidarkness, each with a shoulder pressed against the exit door to the roof. The tight, airless space at the top of the fire stairs barely concealed them, and they strained to keep apart, to maintain the few inches separating them during the long wait.When they finally emerged at ten-thirty, the brisk breeze that had whipped up at sundown was gone, smothered by a thick, warm haze. Below them, neighborhood


Praise for The Lost Van Gogh

"Great action sequences, complicated characters, swanky settings, dramatic betrayals, and intriguing art history make for a suspenseful and provocative tale about the perplexing union of beauty and evil."--Booklist Starred Review for The Lost Van Gogh
"A great roller-coaster of a thriller. The Lost Van Gogh is a masterful blend of suspense and police procedural, with a touch of history brilliantly added to give the tale resonance. Bravo!"
--Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Twelfth Card

"A fascinating look into the world of stolen art, The Lost Van Gogh, with its intricate and well-researched plot, will keep you engrossed and intrigued until the last page. A.J. Zerries uses a deft touch to create a tense and clever story that rises high above the usual art theft caper. This one will leave you breathless."
--New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille
"The Lost Van Gogh is a stylish thriller that combines historical and contemporary intrigue with fascinating glimpses into the rarefied world of fine art. A most promising debut novel. "
--Marcia Muller, New York Times bestselling author

Reviews from Goodreads



  • A.J. Zerries

  • A. J. Zerries is the husband and wife writing team of Al and Jean Zerries. Previously, they worked together as a creative team at several advertising agencies, Jean as a copywriter, Al as an art director. Al is an accomplished and nationally recognized portraitist. The Lost van Gogh is their first novel. They currently reside in Huntington, New York.
  • A. J. Zerries





    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Lost Van Gogh

    A.J. Zerries

    • e-Book



    Forge Books