Riley Wolfe excels at what he does: elaborate, improbable, dangerous, lucrative art heists. He knows he’s the best, and he gets a substantial thrill out of accomplishing the seemingly impossible with flair and rough justice. As he explains in Jeff Lindsay’s Fool Me Twice, “It’s what I live for—grabbing stuff from people too rich and privileged to deserve it.”
Of course, Riley’s illicit activities make him very wealthy, which is quite helpful for establishing secret hideaways, paying subcontractors to assist him in his schemes and ensuring his beloved mother (who is in a persistent vegetative state) is well cared for. All of these elements come into play in Lindsay’s second Riley Wolfe novel (the first is 2019’s Just Watch Me), as a dizzying chain of betrayals, threats, double-crosses and misdirections add up to a wild international caper that’s at once nerve-wracking and fascinating in its extreme peril and layered complexity.
Riley’s newest boss, Patrick Boniface, is an arms dealer known for his ruthlessness—which pales compared to what his sidekick, torture aficionado Bernadette, likes to do for fun. Boniface informs Riley that he can either be Bernadette’s ill-fated plaything, or steal Raphael’s "The Liberation of St. Peter" . . . which is, unfortunately, a fresco that is part of a wall at the Vatican. It gets worse: A rival crime boss tells Riley that, if he doesn’t double-cross Boniface, Monique (the world’s best art forger and Riley’s quasi-romantic interest) will come to great harm. And, as is not uncommon with world-famous art thieves, there’s also an FBI agent determined to capture him once and for all.
At first, Riley is completely nonplussed; stealing a wall doesn’t happen to be within his expertise. But inspiration does strike, and Lindsay does an excellent job of building toward the solution via masterful feats of planning, costuming, social engineering and a well-placed felony (or several). Readers travel to various spots around the globe as Riley races to complete the job, protect his loved ones and live to steal another day. This frequently funny, always inventive, often quite dark thriller will delight fans of Lindsay’s bestselling Dexter series and the hit TV show it inspired.