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Monday 16 September 2019

‘A Spot of Vengeance’ by C.J. Anthony

Published by Troubador Publishing,
28 July 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-78901838-7 (PB)

The Prologue introduces us to a Danny Swift, ex-army intelligence and an aspiring artist. He is the main character in the story that unfolds.

Danny is determined to get known in the art world and befriends a well-known art dealer and critic Hafiz de Mercurio. He agrees to help him further his talent as he has contacts in all the right places.

One day Hafiz takes him to the Serpentine Gallery where he is introduced to Bernadette, she runs the gallery, Danny is instantly in awe of her. 

He meets her again when he is at an art exhibition and they get on really well. However on the way home he is abducted by British Intelligence, it seems they want his help once again. To his amazement he is told his friend Hafiz is an Islamic extremist sleeper and is believed to be plotting some sort of terrorist attack. They want Danny's help in discovering what he has planned, he reluctantly agrees.

They tell him they believe Hafiz is behind two recent horrific killings. Both incidents involved a painting of Joseph Legend being destroyed along with a print of each painting. Although Danny finds it hard to believe his friend is involved, he starts to spy on him. He surreptitiously photographs some papers he discovers in a “locked” draw. It gives details of people with different chemical names by each of them. Danny realises they all have connections to Legend paintings.

As he researches Legend's work further it becomes apparent that Hafiz has devised a code involving the spots, circles and numbers depicted in all of the works of art. But what is he planning and where?

Thom his contact in British Intelligence is convinced that whatever Hafiz is plotting is going to happen soon and urges Danny to discover what.

Can he solve the codes connected to the paintings in time? He is sure the answer lies in a work by Joseph Legend entitled “Chemical Warfare” being displayed in the Tate Modern Gallery. But what is it and can he find out in time to prevent the horrific attack Hafiz has planned? Time is running out.

A very clever and intricate plot set in the world of modern art. It tells of how someone slighted in the past plots to exact terrible vengeance on the people involved. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

C J Anthony was born in Birmingham. His debut draws on his experiences as a former British Soldier, technical advisor and security specialist in the Middle East. He is passionate about anything creative, an avid art collector and a keen painter who has exhibited in London.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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