The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1269 would like feedback on the revision below.
Pawnbroker Flynn Christopher is a diamond and jewelry expert. When asked by a friend [he?] uses his expertise and knowledge to work with the FBI providing hands on training to undercover agents, whose unit is investigating the jewelry and pawn business. [A friend asks him to work with the FBI? I have a lot of friends, but I can't imagine any of them asking me to work with the FBI, unless they were being sarcastic. Something like:
Me: Some kid stole my newspaper but I chased him down and got it back.
Friend: Yeah, incredible. You oughta get a job with the FBI.]
[I can imagine a roomful of FBI agents who've been trained in bringing down bank robbers and kidnappers and serial killers having to sit through Flynn's Powerpoint presentation on how to tell the difference between a diamond and a cubic zirconia. He'd get heckled off the stage.]
Now, a diamond once owned by Peter the Great is stolen from a Baltimore museum [This isn't the Smithsonian Don't they have a diamond owned by Lord Baltimore or Stringer Bell? I doubt you'd find a home run ball hit by Cal Ripkin in a St. Petersburg museum.] and the FBI sets up a sting using Christopher to recover the stone. Who better than a local pawnbroker with an FBI connection to help recover a purloined diamond? [Pawnbrokers are where you sell the diamond you stole in a mugging. You'd get a thousand times as much selling a museum-quality diamond steeped in Russian history to some rich Russian.] Meanwhile the FBI is running another operation in Philadelphia on Alexei Antonov, a ruthless ex Russian Colonel, that ends with two dead. Before he is caught Antonov returns to Russia where he steals untold millions in diamonds from a mine deep into the Ural mountains and smuggles them back to the U.S. The FBI once again sets its sights on Antonov this time using Flynn and his connection to over five thousand members of the American Pawnbrokers Association as the bait. Antonov needs an outlet that asks no questions and he thinks Flynn is tailor made to sell ANTONOV’S DIAMONDS. [There are over 5000 pawn shops, and the one Antonov chooses just happens to be the one whose owner is working with the FBI?] [If I stole millions of dollars in diamonds I'd probably take them to some Arabian sheik. What's Antonov's plan? Walk into a pawn shop with untold millions in diamonds and say, "What'll you give me for these?" Hoping the guy behind the counter doesn't lowball him with, "I'll give you 1.5 million, take it or leave it."? If you're pawning something worth millions to someone who doesn't ask questions, do you expect him to have that much money available?]
If investigating the jewelry business falls under the FBI's purview, wouldn't they have their own expert to train agents?
Does Antonov have anything to do with Peter the Great's diamond? If not, I'm not sure why Peter's is in the query. Your main plot is that the FBI asks Flynn to help them get Antonov. Set that up with one paragraph. Then just tell us what they want him to do, what goes wrong when he does it, how he plans to recover from this setback, what happens if he fails.