A Scotland Yard investigator travels to New York City to help recover a missing Crown Jewel stolen from an exhibit. Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Nicholas Drummond wasn't planning to visit New York. But when he gets word that the infamous Koh-I-Noor diamond has been stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he knows he has to go. Partly because his uncle is in charge of security for the "Jewel of the Lion" exhibit. And also because his ex-colleague Elaine York was murdered and there is some indication she might have been in on the theft.
When Drummond arrives in NYC, he's reluctantly given access to the site and is tasked with helping the FBI on the case. There's video of the museum, but a five-minute gap caused by a mysterious power shutdown leaves the team without many clues. The theft is kept secret from the public and the main museum curator Dr. Victoria Browning arranges for a fake stone to be used for the exhibit's opening. But minutes before the opening, Browning overpowers two agents and makes off with the stone from the exhibit. Drummond realizes that the initial theft report was a hoax. He suspects Browning is actually the famed art thief nicknamed The Fox . He believes she used a fake identity to get the museum job and she initially claimed the stone was stolen so she could gain access to the exhibit and steal it for real.
Browning disappears, but Drummond and FBI Special Agent Lacey Sherlock track her to Europe. They suspect Browning stole the stone for a specific buyer, but aren't sure why. It turns out the client is named Saleen Lanighan and is the direct descendant of the original Indian owner of the stone. He is ill and believes in a story that claims that reuniting the Koh-I-Noor with its sister stone will give the owner immense power. Drummond and Sherlock realize the planning for the theft had to have started before the NY exhibit was announced. That connect Browning to a woman who was dating a Royal Family guard before she mysteriously disappeared. They use that info to uncover her true identity and track her to her meeting place in Paris.
Drummond and Sherlock also uncover the identity of Saleen and realize he plans to betray Browning and eventually kill her. They convince The Fox that she is going to be doublecrossed and she promises to help them stop Saleen and recover the stone. She also tells them that she won't give up any of her clients, but agrees to provide info on the many thefts she committed for her mentor, who has joined Saleen and doublecrossed her. The three of them are able to recover the diamond, but in the battle a fire breaks out, eventually trapping and killing Saleen and Browning's mentor. It also appears Browning died in the same fire.
Weeks later the stone is back where it belongs, and Drummond has been offered a job with the FBI. He receives a package containing a deposition listing the whereabouts of hundreds of missing pieces of art and he realizes it's from Browning and she's survived. It turns out that she is back in London, watching the only man that she has ever loved complete his daily guard duty. She thinks today might be the day when she says hello and asks for his forgiveness.
Best part of story, including ending:
The crime was clever and well constructed. But what I really enjoyed about the story was how readers are slowly introduced to the Fox and as we are, it becomes clear that she's a complex woman who above all is looking for a different direction in life.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is the final one, in which Victoria (The Fox) watches her former fiancee with binoculars. She loves him too much to stay away but can't think of the words that might allow her to come back into his life.
Opinion about the main character:
Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Nicholas Drummond is a driven man and doesn't play well with others. But he's also loyal and smart and his inability to believe his former colleague might be a thief drives him to the clues that allow him to solve the case.