A Hilarious Art Robbery
Two security guards at an American museum are sitting in their office at night, oblivious to what’s going on outside. The bell rings. One of the guards looks up and, seeing a uniformed police officer, opens the door. He is staring straight into the barrel of a pistol. The intruders take pictures from the wall, wrap them up, and disappear. Fantasy? No, this really happened, in an American museum. Dutch author Elvin Post decided to base his second book on the incident.
The thieves in Fake are two former partners - separated by a prison term - who rob the museum for ageing gangster, a mob boss, who wants to hang an authentic Dutch master over his mantelpiece.
The burglary itself goes smoothly; the problems for the thieves begin afterward. What do you do with stolen paintings if your client kicks the bucket? This dilemma is fluently and plausibly described by Elvin Post. The book has pace, and it has humour which never goes over the top.
Fake is a real page-turner, similar in its relaxed comic style to Post’s debut Groene vrijdag (‘Green Friday’). In combining humour and suspense, he adds an American tradition to Dutch thriller writing. Elvin Post has the potential to become the Elmore Leonard of The Netherlands.
With Fake Post continues on the same path as his Noosewinning debut Green Friday. Post’s readers don’t have to fear the postmodern symbiosis of murder and humour that made Quentin Tarantino famous. His protagonist is again a rather sympathetic fringe character, not a hardened criminal. Luckily the story has enough sharp edges to guarantee suspense.