Thursday, November 8, 2012

Memory of Bones by Alex Connor

 R E L E A S E D   T O D A Y


The head of Francisco Goya was stolen from his tomb in the wake of his death. No one has ever known what happened to it. Until now. Leon Golding has always been ignored by the art world he loves, but he's finally going to make his name as the man who found the skull of Goya. But he's asked the wrong people to help him prove he's right. Now everyone wants to own the most prized piece of art history ever to come to light ... And they're ready to kill for it.
The head of Goya has been missing for centuries. The most valuable - and dangerous - relic the world has even known.
When the art historian, Leon Golding, finds Goya's skull his rivals gather: a ruthless female collector in New York; an immoral scion of the notorious Ortega family; and a killer hired by the most dangerous man in London.
All of them are after the skull - and the man who has it.


Like all Alex Connor’s books, the history is so fascinating, and unique, I always rush to look it up and read as much as I can about the background. This was exactly true with Memory of Bones. Goya was interred at the cemetery of the Chartreuse of Bordeaux, in April 1838. However sixty three years later, in 1901 the Spanish Government requested his remains moved to a grave beneath the floor of the church of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. When his body was disinterred, the skull was found to be missing, and has not been located since.

Ben Golding finds himself thrown into the murky world of those who seek world recognition in the art world and are willing to pay anything to achieve it. Ben and Leon's parents died when they were young and they were raised in Spain by their nurse, Detita, a woman who instilled in the boys a belief in a voodoo like spiritualism that Ben can take or leave, but Leon takes to heart. When Leon tells his brother he has been handed the lost skull of Goya,  and that he has a theory about why Goya painted his famous and enigmatic ‘Black Paintings,’ Ben is sceptical but agrees to have the skull examined.

The story moves between Leon’s farmhouse in Madrid, to the Whitechapel Hospital in London, and becomes increasingly more sinister when the body count starts mounting and the skull goes missing – again.

Ben would like to walk away and concentrate on his work as a plastic surgeon and taking care of his girlfriend, Abigail, but fate and loyalty to his dead brother won’t allow him to ignore that although everyone believed Leon was disturbed, he was mortally afraid when he died, and his so called girlfriend, Gina, doesn’t appear as heartbroken as she should be either.

However, Ben Golding is not experienced in subterfuge and deceit and although he unearths some startling evidence, he also makes a few near fatal mistakes which make the chase for the skull more dangerous – for him.

Alex Connor is a master at keeping the pace moving and just when you think the story is beginning to take a predictable turn, the plot takes a surprising route that keeps you turning the pages even though you promised yourself to put the light out fifteen minutes ago! I thoroughly enjoy all her work, and even though I wasn’t, enthralled with the personality of Goya himself, the final conclusion was compelling.

Anita Davison is a Historical Fiction Author whose latest release, ‘Royalist Rebel’ a biographical novel set in 17th Century England, is being released by Claymore Books in early 2013 under the name Anita Seymour

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