‘fast-paced . . . a tonic for anyone with an interest in the current art market’
—Adam Pearson, Irish Arts Review
‘a marvellously entertaining book about a world the author knows inside out’
—J. P. Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man
‘Lyons has the crime thriller down to a fine art’
‘secateurs-sharp and wickedly entertaining’
—Niall MacMonagle, Sunday Independent
Art dealer Hugh Rhattigan is heavily in debt to Douglas Virgo, a freelance fixer for some of the most powerful banks and corporations in London. With little hope of repaying the debt, Hugh is coerced into establishing a gallery as a front for illicit payments. Blue-chip banks and corporations can’t easily show bumper staff bonuses in the accounts any more, let alone bribes to politicians to stave off regulation, or payments for Bolivian coke-flake and all manner of other nocturnal pursuits, so why not book these outgoings as a piece of art? All they need is a gallery to provide the paperwork and an artist to manufacture the work. But the gallery is soon dragged into a turf war between rival criminal gangs, while a host of ever-richer, ever-greedier collectors set about making a killing of their own. Like a Breaking Bad in the art world, Lead White is gripping, irreverent and very, very funny. A page-turner from an exciting new talent.
Ronan Lyons, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, has worked as a staff journalist with The Economist Group, covering eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet republics. He also is a founding director of The Molesworth Gallery, now one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art galleries.