'Art, my dear boy,' said Mr Askern, 'especially sacred art, needs tradition. Tradition is the bedrock of our art . . .'
He broke off, staring at the woman in front of him. Her face seemed to lose all definition and her skin turned an unnatural shade of putty-coloured grey. 'Art,' she said, her voice scarcely more than a whisper. 'Art! Oh my God, art!'
She swayed dangerously. Jack leapt forward, catching her as she fell.
Jack Haldean expected Lythewell and Askerns' exhibition of church art in Lyon House, London, to be a sedate affair. After all, Lythewell and Askern, Church Artists, were a respectable, old-fashioned firm, the last people to be associated with mystery, violence and sudden death. Or so it seemed - until after the exhibition . . .