BOOKS

 
DIAMOND

For centuries, diamonds have symbolized wealth, prestige and love, but behind those symbols lies a world of deceit, theft, monopoly and war.  Although 85% of American women own a diamond, the diamond trade remains one of the world’s most mysterious industries.

Hart follows the diamond trail around the globe, from the secret basement workshop where Gabi Tolkowsky, the world’s greatest diamond cutter, polished the 599-carat Centenary diamond, to the fog-bound smugglers’ paradise of Africa’s Diamond Coast. He records the heroic struggle of the 24-year-old woman who discovered a multi-billion-dollar diamond mine on the Arctic Circle, and describes the company that feared her most – De Beers, masterminds of the shadowy diamond cartel.

Mixing history, science, business, and adventure, Diamond captures the essence of this priceless gem and the world that surrounds it.


"Hart tells a great, great story while explaining one of the world’s most mysterious industries. The book is first-rate and immensely readable.”
—Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

“A splendid account.”
—National Geographic Adventure Magazine

"A fascinating read."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A lively history [in which] the heroes really are heroic.”
—The Economist

“Hart leads us through diamond fields from Brazil to South Africa as well as to the burgeoning new sites in the Canadian Arctic, capturing the camaraderie and scheming that accompany the search for stones.”
—The Washington Post



THE IRISH GAME

An audacious heist, a brilliant sting, an astonishing discovery.

In the annals of art theft, no case has matched—for sheer criminal panache—the heist at Ireland’s Russborough House in 1986.

The Irish police knew right away that the mastermind was a seedy, rotund, and brazen Dublin gangster named Martin Cahill.  Yet the great plunder—including a Gainsborough, a Goya, two works by Rubens, and Vermeer's "Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid"—remained maddeningly at large for years. Cahill taunted the police with a string of other crimes, but in the end the paintings brought him low.  The challenge of disposing of such famous works forced him to reach outside his familiar world into the international arena, and when he did, his pursuers were waiting.

The Irish Game sets the great theft in the context of Ireland’s troubled history, and follows the thread that led to Cahill’s assassination by the IRA. The reader follows the twists and turns of this celebrated case, and learns how it is linked to two other world-famous thefts—of Vermeer’s “The Concert” and other famous paintings at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” at the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo.

“Hart reveals a compelling world filled with desperation and betrayal.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Hart delivers the tale with an understated relish for the perfidy, audacity [and] avenging determination….”
—The Boston Globe

“The reader is gripped from the start.”
—Irish Independent

“Hart cares so intimately, knows so much and selects so impeccably.”
—Sunday Times (London)



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 OTHER BOOKS BY MATTHEW HART

NON-FICTION

Golden Giant: Hemlo and the Rush for Canada's Gold. 1985:
Douglas & McIntyre, Toronto. A blow-by-blow account of the discovery of the richest gold mine in the western hemisphere – a fabulous lode that continues to support three mines. Golden Giant chronicles the adventures of a legendary stock promoter, of a pair of grizzled prospectors, and of the mad staking rush that followed the gold strike.

A Viewer's Guide to Halley's Comet. 1985: Pocket Books, New York. The history and lore of the most famous of all comets, including a short sketch of the life of the great astronomer, Edmund Halley, and current theories of the nature of comets and their origin in the great Oort cloud that lies beyond the farthest planets of our solar system. Illustrated guide for amateur astronomers and general science enthusiasts published to coincide with the most recent visit of the comet.

FICTION

Into the Purple Duchy. 1995: Key Porter Books, Toronto. A fantasy in which the World War II German battleship Bismarck appears in the St. Lawrence river in contemporary time, pursued by the British battlecruiser Hood. Since both these ships were actually sunk in battle, and their fictional successors are overgrown with vegetation and inhabited by aged sailors, the story is a meditation on the futility of war.

The Male of the Species. 1993: Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, ON. (Published in Paris in 1994 by Editions Balland as Le mâle de l’espèce.) A coming-of-age story about a boy in the throes of sexual awakening, and further anguished by the break-up of his parents’ marriage and his father’s increasing remoteness.

Death Train. 1981: Macmillan/NAL. A techno-thriller in which a train derailment spills deadly chlorine gas into a city. Heavier than air, the gas sinks into the subway system and the sewers, seeping through the city and spreading panic everywhere. The action follows a number of characters as they struggle to survive the disaster.