Chasing Clay cover imageIt’s pure white, deep blue… and dirty all over.

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

Chasing Clay is available now in Kindle and trade paperback editions.

Download the first four chapters of Chasing Clay -or- preview it in the Kindle reader.

Bonus material: deleted scenes and a conversation with the author.


Chasing Clay is available in various formats at the following locations:

Amazon Kindle Unlimited | Trade paperback
Trade Paperback (English only) U.S.:* | Indiebound |Espresso
InternationalAdlibris (SE/NO) | Angus & Robertson (AU) | Book Depository (UK) | Chapters Indigo (CA) | (DE) | Fishpond (UK) | Thalia (DE) | Waterstones (UK) | More coming soon!

* Affiliate link. I make money, and so do independent bookstores. A double win!

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