In the New York winter of 2002, a 15 year old girl and boy are shadowed by the Russian mafia as they strive to solve two kidnappings, the key of which lies in decoding an old European diary that tells of lost paintings by the masters smuggled during World War II. Their lives become interwoven with a former Warsaw Ghetto resistance fighter and a mythic-like warrior from the past, both survivors of the Holocaust, who inspire a street-smart, talented girl interested in nothing but boyfriends and rock music ("history sort of bores me") and a boy (who knows nearly everything) into acts of heroism. After a flashback to the darkest time of Nazi-occupied Europe, the action of the book takes place against the backdrop of New York's great museums, Grand Central Station, Central Park, a frantic chase down 5th Avenue, and more.