Rocket Robinson, Nuri, and Screech are back for another thrilling adventure. This time they are visiting the beautiful city of Paris when a painting is stolen from the Louvre. It seems strange that with all the priceless artwork to choose from, the thief took a portrait of an obscure saint. Our heroes hear of the theft the morning after it occurs and are upset to learn that Nuri's uncle is the prime suspect in the crime. Despite warnings to stay away from the investigation, the youngsters begin searching for clues to the painting's whereabouts and the identity of the real thief.
Just as in his earlier adventure (Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh's Fortune), Rocket seems to be a young Indiana Jones in the making. Narrow escapes from armed criminals, scuffles on board a zeppelin, Nazis with sinister intentions, and his interest in antiquities make the comparison almost mandatory. But with the setting and the link to the Knights Templar, this story also has some Robert Langdon vibes. The good professor would be very interested in the iconography of the saint's portrait, the cryptic clues, and the link to a fabled treasure.
Readers will have a hard time putting this down until they reach the end and see what becomes of Rocket, Nuri, Uncle Turk, and the villains. Is there truly a treasure, or is it all a legend? Will the bad guys escape? Will the intrepid police inspector ever believe that Turk is innocent? And will anyone make it home on time for the dinner Mrs. Mahfouz has cooked?
If you haven't encountered Rocket before, don't be afraid to jump right in. You can always go back and read the first book later - this story stands on its own just fine. And once you read one story, you'll be eager for more!
I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.