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 playing Hoskins – his crooked-rich-guy cover identity – to get tight with the ambitious museum curator and the gallery owner who together may be running the scam.
Savannah, the client’s beautiful art advisor, has an agenda for Hoskins. But is she fishing for a rich boyfriend or a fall guy? 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.
Chasing Clay is in revision. Look for it at your favorite online bookseller in Q2 2019.