Legacy of Blood by Alex Connor

I am ashamed to say that I had never read anything by Alex Connor before I noticed Legacy of Blood on the “recommended” shelf in my local library.  I have found out that she was born and educated in England and has had a variety of careers: including photographic model, personal assistant to a world famous heart surgeon, and working in a Bond Street art gallery in London.  With such a varied back ground it should be no surprise that she creates a wide selection of interesting characters.

The author has an intense interest in the history of art.   So Alex Connor is now writing conspiracy thrillers set in the art world.  These books combine her passions; art history, painting and thriller writing.   She creates a fascinating historical back story, combined with a hard hitting contemporary thriller:  this gives an insider’s glimpse into the art world. Legacy of Blood is one of these and is the best book I have read for a very long time.

ImageFrom the first moment I opened the book, I was drawn into the mystery and history that is involved throughout the story. I have rarely encountered so much suspense reading a book.

I was not disappointed at any point in the story.  The author has a great way of building the tension.  She then leaves the reader floundering when all the clues she lays are proved wrong. There is never a quiet moment in this story.  The main story is interwoven with the voice of long-dead Hogarth.  He appears at intervals to tell us what he did and why.  At least to some extent! All Alex Connor’s characters stand out, each with their own stories that affect their actions when it comes to honour, greed or a sense of self.

“The Legacy of Blood” is an intricate conspiracy mystery that twists and turns at an amazing pace. The flashbacks to the 1700’s are related by William Hogarth, and the present day narrative by Sir Oliver Peters who is an art dealer and Victor Ballam: a disgraced art dealer.

legacyI have read a lot of crime fiction and can usually see where the story will end, but this one had me totally surprised.   The end is simply stunning.  It is an unexpected ending that will take your breath away.  It seems impossible to know who to trust and who to be wary of as Connor keeps us guessing. Her readers flick through the pages, captured like a fly to a spider’s web struggling to penetrate a world that holds many secrets, to find answers.

On she weaves, as the plot twists and turns right to the very last page. Legacy of Blood is a story of greed, ruthlessness, murder and deceit.   In the race to own a painting that causes so much scheming and lies the reader remains keen to discover who will emerge victorious.   We want to know whether good will prevail over those who intend evil.  The reader is also intrigued as to whether a secret that has remained buried for centuries will emerge to befall the British Government itself.

I recommend Legacy of Blood for anyone to read and enjoy.

Valerie Penny

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