A schizzy first novel that begins as a tough-cop story, flips to a caper heist, and ends as a romance. When LAPD cop Rachel Start agrees to help her suspended partner Johnny Haid on a B&E (for evidence that will clear him), he's murdered, she escapes, and the papers in her hand implicate Jacob Tong, a jewelry broker in Honolulu. Rachel then accosts art professor Nicholas Snow as he's lifting a Van Gogh and blackmails him into helping her. Soon the two are chatting up Honolulu art collector Kincaid, who introduces them to Tong, who offers Snow $500,000 to steal the ""Red Heart,"" a gorgeous diamond on display at the Honolulu Art Museum. Meanwhile, a bent LA cop is breaking Rachel's cover story, and the goons are closing in--but not before she and Snow appropriate the Red Heart and uncover a diamonds-for-drugs operation out of Kincaid's warehouse. Finally, the DEA and Honolulu police join in to vanquish the setup, gently remove the diamond from Snow's mitts, and leave him and Rachel to live happily ever after. The To Catch a Thief romantic repartee seems awfully lighthearted for a story beginning with a cop's murder, though Zimmelman does handle patter better than splatter. Better, however, would have been only one style carried consistently throughout.