Investigator Mitch Laughton is tasked with finding a missing pair of jewels that were stolen as part of a home invasion robbery, only to find out the jewels have an international cast of characters chasing them. Mitch used to be a jeweler himself, but now he works for insurance companies, locating stolen jewels. He's frustrated that his wife Maddie, a blind heiress, brings more money to the family than he does.
So when this job is presented to him, he jumps at the opportunity, because even though it sounds complicated, the $25 million payday would be worth it. The mission is simple: a rich couple were robbed last week, and he's been asked to find a rare and valuable set of jewelry that was taken -- a pair of inscribed emeralds.
Mitch prowls the shops of West 47th Street, New York's jewelry district, but none of his usual contacts have seen the emeralds. He also hits up the local mobsters, whom he tries to avoid when he can. Only someone mob-connected would be able to move such a valuable set of gems, but all Mitch manages to do is get the mob jewelers interested in finding the emeralds themselves.
Mitch does manage to find out the story behind the missing jewelry. The robbery victims had fled to the United States from Iran after the Revolution, but not before helping the exiled Shah retrieve gold and valuable jewels he'd hidden prior to his departure. The couple had helped themselves to some of the loot, one of which was a historic set of jewelry that the Islamic Republic of Iran wants back.
Mitch figures out that the emeralds were never stolen in the first place, and he and Maddie go to the home of the robbery victims to find where they are still hidden. One of the mobsters trails him, and they fight until the jewelry flies out of the gangster's hands and across the floor, landing at the feet of the Iranian minister who hired Mitch in the first place. He pockets the emeralds and leaves Mitch empty-handed.
Days later, Mitch receives a letter stating that the nation of Iran thanks him for his work, and a check for several million dollars. But Mitch knows the letter is a fake, sent by Maddie to trick him into believing he didn't really lose out on a huge payday. The novel ends as Mitch must decide whether to tell Maddie he knows the truth.
Best part of story, including ending:
The story is a little slow, and there are too many digressions to get truly caught up in the plot at any given time. Mitch is constantly flashing back to the first time he met a particular jeweler or describing what a rare and incredible goddess his wife is, over and over again.
Best scene in story:
When Mitch receives the letter (and check) thanking him for a job well done, you can tell from the beginning that it's a bogus letter. But he strings his wife along, pretending that he thinks it's real, until she leaves the room. It shows how Mitch is not above holding something over his wife's head (the knowledge of her little trick) and that despite all of the overblown prose, they're not the idealized perfect couple after all.
Opinion about the main character:
Mitch spends too much time moping around, apparently depressed about being rich. I get it, his wife is the one with the money, and he feels like a freeloader because he didn't earn the money himself. But life is short, and he should get over it.