A wife and mother becomes an unlikely art thief in this debut novel.
When Sophie Porter and her museum-curator husband buy her dream home in Philadelphia, she knows it’s slightly out of their budget. What she doesn’t know, however, is that in a year she’ll be in deep financial trouble and unable to make the payments. With her freelancing opportunities all dried up, Sophie isn’t sure what she’ll do to keep a roof over her children’s heads. But when she impulsively swipes an expensive antique mirror from her husband’s museum, she realizes that stealing and reselling priceless artifacts is big business. Soon, she’s on a first-name basis with a buyer and sneaking art out of the museum in her son's diaper bag. Sophie’s able to make her house payments, and she even finds an unsettling amount of personal satisfaction from her new gig as a thief—but how long can she keep going? And once people start to suspect her, can she even make herself stop? Cobb’s careful exploration of Sophie’s past and motivations makes her actions believable, and Sophie’s financial situation will seem all too real to many readers. The museum details are also meticulous and will place readers deep within the art world. The pacing, however, is a bit slow, and Sophie’s career as a thief never seems quite as suspenseful as it should. Still, Cobb does a commendable job of painting Sophie as a normal woman who copes with financial and family strain by doing something extraordinary.
This look into the life of an unlikely thief builds slowly but creates a believable picture that readers will admire.