By Shane Maloney
Murray Whelan, political adviser to the newly appointed minister of tradition, is striking directly to his activity via his toenails after the latest ministerial shakeup. His studying curve is compelled fast upward whilst, on his first day, the disgruntled younger artist Marcus Taylor is located lifeless, drowned within the decorative moat outdoors the nationwide artwork Gallery. A born detective regardless of himself, Murray digs, and the deeper he is going, the extra complicated the secret turns into. who's this different painter, Victor Szabo, unknown in his lifetime and now the darling of the paintings international, his work fetching loopy costs? And what approximately artwork maven Lloyd Eastlake, who sounds like the chess grasp relocating his art-world pieces...but towards what sinister finish?
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Family matters needed to be considered. ‘ Oh, another thing, ’ added Trish. “ Wendy called. She says to ring her urgently. ’ Wendy was the mother of my ten-year-old child Redmond. They lived in Sydney where Wendy ran equal opportunity for Telecom. ‘ Not in trouble with the ex again, are you, Murray? ’ ‘ Malacca fungula, ’ I said. A Mediterranean expression mean ing ‘ Don ’ t be silly ’ . Trish, who ’ d picked up a smattering of Southern European at the Electoral Office, pretended to laugh and hung up.
Luckily, Red ’ s deferred arrival meant I had a free evening. Not that disrupting my personal arrangements had ever unduly concerned Agnelli. ‘ This Eastlake and I don ’ t know each other from a bar of soap. Do I wear a white carnation and carry a furled umbrella, or what? ’ ‘ I told him to look for someone who can ’ t believe he ’ s still got a job. ’ I backed off, not complaining. Stroking the relevant policy committee chair was one of a ministerial adviser ’ s chief chores, after all. And the Centre for Modern Art, whatever that was, had to be a step up from the Maltese Senior Citizens ’ Association annual dinner-dance, the sort of delegated duty that normally occupied my Friday and Saturday nights.
Agnelli snorted derisively. ‘ The skyline ’ s full of cranes. Fucking sunrise industries left, right and centre. People making money out of our polices hand over fist. And ten grand is the most they can cough up. What ’ s wrong with these pricks? ’ Keogh was really on the ropes now. ‘ It ’ s a sensitive area. Either they give or they don ’ t. Mostly they don ’ t ’ Another voice weighed into the discussion, soothing, placa tory. ‘ Duncan ’ s right, Angelo, ’ it said. ‘ This is a sensitive area.