THE LOST ART ASSIGNMENT begins as a simple job for Morgan Stark and Felicity O’Brien and their security firm: retrieval of two high-value paintings.
Ex-mercenary Stark and former jewel thief O’Brien, go undercover as part of J.J. Slash's growing crime empire. Slash, a 17-year old gangster with some unique ideas about crime and capitalism, is at the center of a war to reshape the underworld in New York City. To stop that battle, Stark & O’Brien rely on a special gift, a psychic link that alerts them to danger to themselves or each other. But danger comes in many forms in J.J.'s world.
Their mission leads them into New York gang wars, a car chase through Atlantic City, and a final confrontation in J.J.'s private playground, a replica of 1930's Harlem hidden deep in the Catskills. They need all their skill and luck to survive gangsters, killers, and attacks from the most unexpected sources
“With THE LOST ART ASSIGNMENT, Austin Camacho breaks new and fertile ground on the kind of landscape he's already so well versed. This is gritty, urban noir at its absolute best, combining the best of Lawrence Block and Andrew Vachss. Filled with memorable characters populating a deceptively colorful world on the edge of the abyss itself, this book is a great addition to a fine series." - Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of Strong Light of Day
“There’s always something appealing about a reformed crook. Many of the greatest heroes started off their careers in the wrong side of the law: Wyatt Earp, the Dirty Dozen, Remington Steele, even Severus Snape and Megamind. Among this celebrity group we can count Felicity O’Brien and Morgan Stark, an unusual pair composed of a thief and a mercenary—and quite the pair they make. Note that I don’t use the word couple because their relationship is strictly platonic, with a touch of the paranormal. However, one thing is certain; they were meant to be together.” – The Big Thrill, magazine of the International Thriller Writers
“It’s the first I’ve read by Mr Camacho, but it won’t be the last. All of the elements are there. We find a former mercenary (which means skilled and very well trained), a reformed jewel thief, now his partner, valuable art that goes missing, and even a psychic connection. -
The story is fast paced, filled with action, romance, and suspense. When Morgan Stark and Felicity O’Brien are hired to recover missing artwork, it seems an easy task for a former thief. It’s no problem for her to break in, retrieve the paintings, and leave without a trace. What they find instead leads them down a far more dangerous path, to a young gang leader. A very young gang leader with plans of his own to revamp his entire operation.
Will bravado allow Stark and O’Brien to infiltrate the gang? Will their actions cost them their lives? Even their connection may not save them this time.
It was a very enjoyable read, and a fast one too. Partly because once started I had to see it play out. With near misses, potential romance, and a number of uncertain characters with their own goals, the suspense maintains until the dramatic finish.
I enjoyed the relationship the two featured characters share. They complement each other well, a definite asset in the security business they own. This book does contain a few violent scenes, some which may stay with you awhile. The psychic connection is well done as well. It isn’t a paranormal mystery, simply a connection that proves invaluable.
Give it a read. If you like mystery suspense, you will appreciate the author’s skill with this complex thriller. It is easily a stand alone novel, though it is always a treat in a series to go back to the beginning then watch the books and characters develop. If you prefer to start with book one, read The Payback Assignment first. Whichever you choose, you will become a fan.” - Mystery Suspense Review