Theft of the Master starts in 1493 with the commission of a wood carving of Christ preaching in a sitting postition. The carving is placed in an Estonian church. During the German occupation in WWII the masterpiece is taken.
The book then jumps forward to 1992 where a young lawyer is sent to Paraguay to document and transport a large number of stolen masterpieces belonging to a former Nazi officer who is dying. One of these pieces being the wood carving. This lawyer works for The Templars who wish to return The Third Reich to power. The poor lawyer is caught up in a situation of having a job he can not quit. He dreams of absconding with the carving.
The next story takes place in the San Francisco Bay area. Meg Gilchrist is staying with her godfather while starting her first job, studying superconductivity. The young brilliant physicist is killed while walking on a beach and inadvertently observing a smuggling operation. Al Hershey is hired to investigate her death which was ruled accidental.
Al Hershey visits Sweden, Paraguay, New York City and San Francisco in search of what has happened. In each locale a little bit more is learned until it leads back to Half Moon Bay.
Edwin Alexander weaves all these stories together in a dramatic mystery where all is not what it seems. The sculpture is the centerpiece linking it all. Who really has it now? Although these stories seem all unrelated to begin with they are all very cleverly brought together.
This is a fast-paced thriller with amazing descriptions of the locations Hershey visits.