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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 February 2013
Well, I did like the brief historical flashbacks to Hogarth, but most of the time there's not much art involved and the majority of the novel is set in modern times. Victor and Tully are tolerably engaging characters, but essentially wander through the book, only taking any kind of decisive action at the very end. Much play is made of the danger to the monarchy posed by the lost Hogarth painting, but this felt completely unconvincing to me. Yes, the revelation of the existence of a royal bastard in the 1700s would briefly generate a lot of publicity, perhaps some of it negative, but it's hard to imagine this threatening the position of the royal family in the 21st Century. And if there's no threat to the royal family, a lot of the action in the story makes no sense.

I was equally unconvinced by the eventual unmasking of the main killer, which felt very much like a rabbit out of a hat, since the character drawn earlier in the book appeared utterly incapable of the vicious murders they are supposed to have committed. In general, the book degenerates towards the end as a mess of disconnected motives and actions are revealed to be behind several of the murders and thefts throughout the book. Over the last few pages it feels as if Connor was unwilling to draw a line under the story as she drags out a sketch of the six or seven years following the end of the main action that contains a big revelation, but one that is meaningless to the novel.
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on 3 February 2012
I very much enjoyed The Rembrandt Secret so I was excited when Legacy of Blood came out. I was not disappointed Conner has written another fantastic conspiracy art thriller. Once I picked it up I could not put it down. It has a great plot and I also enjoyed learning so much about Hogarth and Conner's excellent intensive research. I read a lot of thrillers and this one takes a lot to beat. Any journey would fly by if you had this book.
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on 28 January 2012
After thoroughly enjoying Alex Connor's The Rembrandt Secret in March of last year, I felt a sense of eager anticipation when turning over the first page to her latest offering, Legacy of Blood. I definitely wasn't disappointed. Once more Connor delves deep into the murky, murderous depths of the art world, this time emerging with a sensational secret which threatens the very monarchy itself.

A fateful journey on a private jet: the mad whisperings of an art dealer confused and in a mind-state far from calm. One sudden foolish mistake: with dreadful and potentially devastating consequences. The confirmation of the existence of a William Hogarth painting believed to be lost - but who heard Bernie Freeland's splutter out his secret? Three art dealers, ruthless and manipulating in a world that takes no prisoners; three call girls who have information at their fingertips, and a madam that has contacts in high places. The secret is huge, and people are prepared to commit unspeakable deeds to have the painting for their own. The Russians, the Chinese, and those in the English hierarchy that know the painting must remain safe at all costs.

What impressed me the most about Legacy of Blood was the delightful way in which the author weaves a complex, intricate web of characters; each with their own stories and secrets, each with their own motives, but whose paths, and in some cases pasts, are closely interwoven. As a result, the reader is pulled cleverly from side to side, thoughts racing in an attempt to get the measure of each of the characters involved, the list of possible culprits seemingly endless. It seems impossible to know who to trust and who to be wary of, as Connor keeps us guessing; we flick through the pages, captured like a fly to a spider's web as we struggle to penetrate a world which holds many secrets, to find our answers. On she weaves, as the plot twists and turns right to the very last page.

In a sense, the dénouement is one which has multiple layers; the answers are never so simple in the elusive and secretive art world. It is unclear how the tale will unravel, because each character has separate ideas about the painting and its importance. Someone is committing murders, ruthless and gruesome; another, dying himself of a terrible illness, knows he must keep the painting safe to insure the future of his family when he is gone. A recently disgraced man, fallen from the art world, takes up an investigation more dangerous than he realises; dreaming of the painting that can restore him to prominence in the art world once more. A mother weeps as her son lies dying in a coma, the fateful overdose coming just hours after stepping off Bernie Freeland's private jet.

Legacy of Blood is a story of greed, ruthlessness, murder and deceit. In the race to own the painting that causes such scheming and lies, who will emerge victorious? Will good prevail over those who intend evil, and will a secret that has remained buried for centuries emerge to befall the government itself? Read Alex Connor's fantastic new thriller for a rip-roaring, action-packed tale that will make your jaw drop and your fingers itch with excitement as you turn the pages.

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on 14 February 2012
Alex Connor has followed "The Rembrandt Secret" with another gripping book. In the "Legacy of Blood" she has again cleverly combined some carefully researched art history, this time concerning 18th century Hogarth, with an imaginative story of the dark side of the art world in the 21st century. A multi-faceted story which doesn't fail to hold the reader's attention.
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on 15 August 2013
I must admit to being a huge fan of Alex Connor up until I got conned and ending up buying the same books over again because they had been renamed with little information telling you this.
The Hogarth Conspiracy has not been published under another name before, but I still felt that I had read it before.
All the books have very similar plots, surrounding old masterpieces, where death and destruction happened at the times of the paintings, and now that the painting has turned up again, people start to die in a very similar way, in this book, the women are skinned, they have all some connection to the paintings, one having found it in the Thames, one having completed a copy of the painting for someone. There are little twists and turns in the book, to keep you interested in who the killer may be.

I probably wouldn't buy any more Alex Connor books, as I am bored with them now.
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on 6 January 2014
just read this in a day and a half on holiday and really enjoyed the experience. The quality of the writing puts many of the other offerings on here to shame and the storyline was intriguing. Looking forward to starting the next Connor right away
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on 19 February 2012
In London 1732, Polly Gunnell has become notorious as a model to Master William Hogarth, the famous painter. But cocking a snoop at the world through William Hogath's art has brought plump pretty Polly to a violent end - she and the boy child, both left for dead, to be buried by William Hogarth.

Centuries later Australian millionaire Bernie Freeland, has invited a select number of art dealers to fly back to London from Hong Kong on his private plane. The flight has just seven passengers, including three of the best escorts in the business - one with a sense of humour, which results in a disclosure that brings death to a number of the passengers within a short time of landing.

This is a story of loyalty, greed and survival, as the guardians of a painting protected for three hundred years becomes sought after by a number of unscrupulous buyers.

Legacy of Blood is an intricate conspiracy mystery that twists and turns at an amazing pace. The flash backs to the 1700's are related by William Hogarth, but the present day narrative is by Sir Oliver Peters, and by Victor Ballam a disgraced art dealer, just released from prison, who is retained to find the painting. As the story progressed I could not see how the story would pan out. As a long-time reader of crime fiction I can often see generally where a story will end, but this one had me totally foxed. The end is quite simply stunning - an unexpected take your breath away ending, that I didn't for a moment foresee.

Cleverly plotted, Alex Conner is a gifted writer and I am eagerly awaiting her next book.
Lizzie Hayes
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on 18 February 2013
The main plot point is frankly unconvincing- the secret would never have the repercussions the author states and therefore her repetitions of its importance just seem ridiculous. There are also too many loose ends, unbelievable actions by characters and shoddy writing. The author's ignorance in her constant allusions to the throne of "England" and the "English Monarchy" is also evidence of second rate writing. The Rembrandt Secret is a far better book.
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on 8 October 2012
Like others, I bought this on the back of some "excellent /best book ever" reviews.
While the story was ok with some plot twists etc, I must admit it bored me half way through the book and I ended up clicking pages on my Kindle to finish the book quicker.
I know we all have different tastes, but for me this book was not exciting enough. I like to be gripped by a book and look forward to picking up where I left off, but not with Legacy of Blood.
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on 12 September 2012
Really enjoyed this. I bought it for my Kindle because of the low price and decent reviews. I thought the art world background was a fresh approach to a saturated genre and the plotting and characterisation was well crafted. Worth a read.
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