The Forgotten Painting; a FREE Novella


To reward my loyal readers for their encouragement and support and to answer some of the many questions about the Jack Rogan Mysteries, I decided to write a short novella to explain where it all began, and give it away for FREE.

You can find out more about how this came about in the Author’s Note and the Foreword. However, before you do, a little explanation is in order.

Firstly, this is a Novella, and not one of my thrillers you are used to. By definition, a novella is short, so please, don’t be disappointed by its length and please don’t expect something it isn’t.

Another reason for writing the novella was to introduce newcomers to my work to the Jack Rogan Mysteries and pique their interest. For that reason, I have provided short excerpts of my books at the end of the novella in the hope that this little gift will ignite curiosity and turn ‘visitors’ into readers.

With that in mind, I hope you enjoy The Forgotten Painting.

Happy reading!

Gabriel Farago


Author’s Note

A few weeks ago, my publicist left a message on my phone: ‘Must talk; urgent!’ Assuming something was wrong, I called her back at once. To the best of my recollection, this was the gist of our conversation:

A few weeks ago, my publicist left a message on my phone: ‘Must talk; urgent!’ Assuming something was wrong, I called her back at once. To the best of my recollection, this was the gist of our conversation:

‘You have a lot of new supporters out there and many have subscribed to your mailing list, follow you on Twitter, have become Facebook friends and are part of your launch team. They all want to know what’s happening’, she said.

‘They know what’s happening; we are about to release the next book’, I replied.

‘Yes, but we should reward them for their loyalty and support, and offer them something in return: a gift.’

‘What kind of gift?’

‘Well, they are all readers, so giving them something interesting to read would be a good idea …’

I realised at once where this was heading. ‘What’s on your mind?’ I asked, expecting the worst.

‘A novella.’

‘What? I’ve just finished The Hidden Genes of Professor K, and you want me to write a novella? Now? Just like that?’

‘Exactly. No more than say, thirty-thousand words. Something exciting, a page-turner to showcase your writing. What would be really great is if you could feature your main characters and create a storyline that somehow touches on all of your three books. You know, come up with something really interesting that gives your readers something new, creates a little mystery and perhaps extends the plot,’ she prattled on, warming to the subject, ‘and answers some of the questions left open in the books and then ties everything together. Does this make sense?’

‘Do you know what you’re asking?’

‘Come on … you can do it!’

‘I don’t know …’

‘And one more thing …’

‘Yes?’ I asked apprehensively.

‘I really need it now! This is urgent! So, get right into it.’

‘But I’m going to Japan next week; my walking tour, remember?’ I protested lamely. I always like to take some time off after finishing a book.

‘No problem! You can think about the storyline while you walk, and then write it all down when you get back. Perfect! Sorry; must dash!’

Well, that’s how The Forgotten Painting started. I did go to Japan the following week, and for twelve blissful days without internet, I walked part of the famous Nakasendo Way, a historic Shogun trade route crossing the mountains from Kyoto to Tokyo. Surprisingly, I did find time to think about the storyline, how to combine all the necessary elements suggested by my publicist, and turn it into a novella that is both exciting and entertaining. It was quite a challenge. This is what I came up with. My little gift to you. I hope you enjoy it.

Gabriel Farago

Leura, Blue Mountains: 1 August 2016



At the book launch, I noticed a reader looking at my novella. I saw her frowning so I went over to ask if she had any questions.

‘It’s very short’, she said. ‘Is this some kind of prequel?’

‘Yes … and no’, I replied.

“What kind of answer is that?’ she demanded.

‘Well, it’s a little difficult to explain …’

‘Try; you’re a writer, yes?’

‘Good point. Have you read the Author’s Note at the beginning of this book?’

‘I have.’

‘That explains some of it, but there’s more …’

‘Tell me about it.’

‘It’s where it all began.’

‘Oh? What?’

‘The Jack Rogan Mysteries.’

‘Please explain …’

‘Well, all of my books are loosely connected, but they are not sequels. Each of them ‘stands alone’ and can be read separately. However, they are all linked  …’

‘In what way?’

‘Through the characters, and of course the storylines. Jack Rogan is my central character. He’s in all the books …’

‘Ah; hence The Jack Rogan Mysteries, right?’

‘Exactly. If you read my books in the correct order, you can follow Jack Rogan’s adventures and his life …’

‘So, I should really begin with The Empress Holds The Key, and then read The Disappearance of Anna Popov and so on?’

‘Yes. If you do that, you’ll get a lot more out of my books because you will pick up the finer points  and nuances from the other books, if you know what I mean. But you should really start with this one, The Forgotten Painting, because–’

‘That’s where it all began?’ she interrupted. ‘And that’s why it’s Book One?’

‘Precisely! If you start with this one, it will introduce you to the Jack Rogan Mysteries and all of my published books in the series. That’s why it’s free; a little present to my readers to pique their interest.’

‘You’ve certainly piqued mine.’

‘Good. And you will find excerpts from all of my books at the back of this novella, which will give you an idea of what you can expect.’

‘Great. What are you working on now?’

‘My next book, of course.’

‘The one coming after The Hidden Genes of Professor K?’


‘What’s it called?’

Professor K and the The Stolen Recipes of Suleiman.’

‘Wow! What’s that all about?’

‘I have included a little ‘teaser’ at the end of The Hidden Genes of Professor K, which tells you all you need to know – for now.’

‘A few chapters perhaps?’ she asked, hopefully.

‘Yes. All of my books have an extract from the next book included at the end.’

‘To create anticipation, I suppose.’

‘Yes, and let my readers know what’s coming next.’

‘Great idea. When will it be released?’

‘All going well, towards the end of next year; 2017.’

‘Can’t wait!’

‘In the meantime, you can read all of my other books and get into the swing of things.’

‘Are you tempting me?’ she said.

‘I certainly hope so!’



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