Nam Ton ware — centuries-old ceramics from Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle — captivated the DeWitt Agency’s tech-tycoon client. Now Immigration and Customs Enforcement is on his case for buying smuggled antiquities. To get immunity, he’s hired the agency to run an off-books investigation into Nam Ton’s source.
Disgraced ex-L.A. gallerist and ex-con Matt Friedrich will run the investigation. If he finishes within sixty days, he’ll earn an early end to his probation. If he doesn’t, he may go back to prison for bending the federal criminal code into a pretzel.
Soon enough, Matt’s in San Francisco, getting tight with Savannah, the client’s beautiful art advisor, to scam his way into the smuggling operation. As the burglary, blackmail, tax evasion and customs fraud piles up and Matt finds himself sandwiched in a federal turf war, he realizes he’s in way over his head with no good way out. And that’s before he ends up in a real live jungle.
Matt’s dealing with a type of art he knows nothing about from an area he’s seen only in war movies. Now the fate of some trafficked pottery may decide whether Matt gets his freedom… or spends a long stretch in a concrete cell.
What the Reviewers Say
“[The] novel is fast-paced with strong tension and a well-constructed plot…Protagonist Matt Friedrich’s voice is distinct and believable. Charnes’s dialogue is gripping and easily moves the plot forward… Chasing Clay is an entertaining and fast-paced mystery, featuring an everyman hero thrust into a high-stakes spy world.” — The BookLife Prize
Bonus material: deleted scenes and a conversation with the author.
Published 2019. ISBN: 978-1-7333989-0-9 (paperback); 978-1-7333989-5-4 (ePub)