The first of the Dortmunder (sp?) books. Petty thief Dortmunder does a casual jewelry store break in and takes a huge, priceless gem that was recently stolen by an international group, not knowing what it is. Due to the politically sensitive nature of this stone, he eventually has many terrorists, the entire police force, and an newly organized criminal underground looking for him. As will Westlake's work, there are a number of really good laughs and creatively awkward positions, numerous character to track, and a jolly good time.