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Canto for a Gypsy by Martin Cruz Smith

Canto for a Gypsy

by Martin Cruz Smith

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I've read most of MCS' more recent books (Dec. 6th and Wolves Eat Dogs are still on the TBR, though!), so I was intrigued by this earlier (1972) novel, published before he achieved success with ‘Gorky Park.'
The book shows the author's ongoing interest in creating protagonists from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds – here, art dealer Roman Grey, although he lives in NYC, is a Romany Gypsy.
The story is a fairly basic action/mystery – the holy Crown of St. Stephen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Crown), a potent political and religious symbol to Hungarians, is due to be displayed at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, before returning to Hungary. But various groups may be out to steal the relic for their own purposes. And is the crown even the original – or a clever fake? Roman Grey has a trip with his girlfriend planned – but gets blackmailed into using his expertise to analyze and protect the Crown. Of course this all ends up in a dramatic and action-packed shootout.
Not bad, for a quick adventure – but not up to the standard of MCS's later work, either. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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If in the morning a Gypsy you meet,
The rest of your day will be lucky and sweet,
But if the black-robed priest comes first,
Your luck is gone, expect the worst.

For Bob and Dolly
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St. Patrick's lay below them, sanctuary bounded by ambulatory and communion rail, pews like an endless repetition, faith overwhelmed by stone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The priceless Royal Crown of Hungary was on display in St Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Guarded by many, including the NYPD and the gypsy, Roman Grey, a heist was impossible. But it happened, and murder, mayhem and all hell broke loose...
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