The world’s most prized violin becomes the centerpiece of intrigue as FBI Special Investigator Chris Clarke and his partner Carlos “Chubbs” Gonzales weave their way through a maze containing a notorious assassin, Illuminati, secret documents, a master violin forger and his deceptive and... show more
The world’s most prized violin becomes the centerpiece of intrigue as FBI Special Investigator Chris Clarke and his partner Carlos “Chubbs” Gonzales weave their way through a maze containing a notorious assassin, Illuminati, secret documents, a master violin forger and his deceptive and charismatic daughter, a Hollywood film producer and one of L.A.’s finest and most neurotic sneak-thieves. The chase across two continents resolves in an art gallery in the South of France for a shocker of an ending. FBI Special Investigator Chris Clarke doesn’t like “…anything or anyone” in his way while working a case. In his seventeen years with the Bureau, he has dealt with everything from retrieving stolen works of art to tackling some of the world’s biggest scumbags. With his diverse background of art evaluation and Desert Storm duty, Chris Clarke is ready for all comers. Only one fugitive haunts his thoughts: the notorious and ruthless assassin known only as “The Man in Black," whose trail of contract killings had never led law enforcement to anything but a figure lurking in the shadows. One morning in August 2010, the “man in black” suddenly popped up, seen by witnesses in Cremona, Italy to have been in the area where a young violinist was found dead with his throat cut. Chris Clarke and Gonzales head off to Europe to track down the assassin while attempting to decode the mystery that lies behind the motive. Weeks before, Hollywood movie-mogul Max Pendleton, who loves fine works of art, no matter how they are acquired, hires veteran sneak-thief Gus Edward Happy to fly to Europe and steal the most valuable violin in existence—the famed violin coveted by the Jimi Hendrix of the nineteenth century, Niccolo Paganini--thought to be in league with the devil because his genius was unexplainable in earthly terms. Through a tangled web involving Illuminati, secret documents in the possession of Paganini at his death, a master violin forger and his deceptive daughter, thieves, and assassins, Clarke faces the challenge of his career as he and his partner Gonzales move across Italy to the South of France where pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place with the Devil’s Violin center stage, leading to a rapid-fire conclusion. The author: From jazz clubs smelling of stale beer to Carnegie Hall, the journey of Art Johnson has been diverse. As an accompanist to Luciano Pavarotti and Lena Horne, with credits for Grammy and Academy Award winning music, his background of world travel and experience has provided him with a story-telling nature which has produced his first novel, The Devil’s Violin.