A small work of historical fiction about some well known historical facts. That there was an artist called Schalken is factually correct. That he was painting in Holland during the 17th Century - when the Treaty of Westphalia brought peace to Europe and the English tried their hand at revolution - is also true. That he murdered Anthony Van Dyke, through diabolic witchcraft, colluded in the surrender of Crete to the Grand Turk, and thereby bankrupted the Republic of Venice in the process, whilst also being active in the shadowy world of Industrial Espionage and Arms Dealing - will largely depend upon whether or not you have the capacity to believe in an old man and his memoirs. Prepare to enter a world where the pious meet the profane.