|Publication date||May 3, 2002|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
The Arctic Incident
Artemis Fowl is a genius. At twelve years old, he is the mastermind of a renowned Irish criminal family. Following what seems like a wild goose chase, he has the brains and the faith to try for an unbelievable heist that could cause interspecies war and destroy everything humanity has known for millenia: Artemis Fowl is going to steal gold, but not just from anyone. He is going to steal it from the People.
Deep under the surface of the world, the People have lived in relative peace for centuries. They are the Fairy folk: elves, centaurs, trolls, sprites, dwarves, and many more that have been relegated to surface myths. Captian Holly Short is one of these People, an elf and a member of LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police recon Special Forces). She seems to have continuous bad luck; as the first female member of LEPrecon, she is under high scrutiny at all times, and her consistant fiascos seem likely to put her out of a job. Most recently, she ran out of magic on a mission, so that her invisibility (or rather lack thereof) put the entire team in jeapordy. Her Commander, Julius Root, is furious: she is ordered to complete the Ritual as soon as possible to restore her magic. Holly is ordered to pack up and head for the nearest oak tree and riverbend location. Her arrival at this very specific location does not to unnoticed, however. Artemis and his manservant Butler are waiting.
Holly is captured and brought back to Fowl Manor. Artemis sends a message to the People, demanding fairy gold and safe passage as ransom for the safe return of Captain Short. Holly, trapped in a small concrete room, desperately searches for a means of escape: hopefully one that gives some answers as to how this human discovered the people. The LEP scramble to keep a lid on the situation, desperate that no more humans learn of their existance. Who will win this battle of wits? Will Artemis get the gold, or will the LEP keep their secrecy? Can Holly escape?