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Synopsis

Lady (Jack) Troutbeck is missing. So too, is Sir Henry Fortune, celebrity curator, and his partner in love and money, louche art dealer Jason Pringle. Panic begins in the London art world when no one can locate Anastasia Holliday, sensational abject artist, Jake Thorogood, the critic who catapulted her into stardom, or Dr Hortense Wilde, notorious for having influenced generations of art students to despise craftsmanship. Spotting that the victims’ common link is that their careers blossomed when they whole-heartedly embraced newly-fashionable conceptual art, there is media hysteria. Are they hostages? If so why? Ransom? Revenge? Who will be next? Will it be Sir Nicholas Serota, mighty overlord of British temples of the avant garde? The internationally renowned Young British Artist Damien Hirst, whose dross became platinum? Is Charles Saatchi – mega-rich husband of a TV cook and the genius who took talentless young people and turned them into a winning brand – in danger? When news comes of a New York disappearance, the fears of the art establishment go trans-Atlantic. Are even such stars as Jeff Koons at risk? What bewilders the police and her friends is that Baroness Troutbeck is a standard-bearer of conservative values in education and art who recently publicly described admirers of conceptual art as knaves and fools.

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