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by Ute Perkins
Category: Science Fiction/Horror
Description: Some 5,000 years ago an ancient race of immortal beings brought humanity into existence by pulling them from their grass huts and caves and into a modernistic society along the Nile river valleys. For centuries, mankind flourished under the tutelage of these immortals until a group of men became conscious of the power their living gods possessed and plotted to eliminate them... the group, the Masons, nearly succeeded. Since the decimation of his people Warren Alexander has roamed throughout the world feeding on humans in order to conceal his true identity. As one of the few survivors of their ancient immortal race he now walks undetected amongst the humans while he hunts the members of the group of men that killed his family and virtually eliminated his people. When Warren meets the step-daughter of a direct descendant and participating member of these Masons he draws the girl close, in an effort to reach her step-father and access to the Mason organization. Not expecting to, Warren begins to fall in love with the girl as they race to avoid the FBI and the secret Masonic guard that has been trained to capture and eliminate the immortal threat. Now, Warren must not only fight to save his own life, but the life of the girl he has grown to love.
eBook Publisher: TheEbookSale Publishing/TheEbookSale Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [507 KB]
Reading time: 339-475 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Bodies are showing up in the mountainous areas of Western Montana stripped to the bone. Animal attacks? Maybe, but something just doesn't make sense to FBI agents, Marcus Reading and Travis Russell. Usually, with an animal attack, the bones are visibly gnawed on and scattered around the area, but this killer seems to be taking great care in how it eats its prey. The only theory that makes any sense is another Jeffrey Dahmer type of cannibalistic serial killer. Or maybe, they ponder, it is a cult-like game among college students. Then, just when it seems like you have indentified this as just another FBI murder mystery/thriller, the author throws in an ingenious fantasy component that puts an interesting twist on events in history, including the origins of Egyptian civilization and the secret brotherhood of the Masons. That's all I am going to say about the plot, though, because part of the beauty of this book is how the story unfolds gradually, revealing crucial details that allow you to slowly put the puzzle together. Each reader needs to experience the journey themselves, with no spoilers, to get the most out of the experience. It's one of those stories that open up your mind to alternate possibilities which are still rolling around in your mind after the last page is turned. It's the type of book that you want to talk about afterwards to keep the story going in some sense. I don't even know quite where to start with my review because I am filled to overflowing with praise for this book. Ute Perkins has definitely succeeded in putting all the different ingredients together to make the perfect recipe for an edge of your seat suspense story. The anticipation begins with the intriguing title, and then it is like the best amusement park ride, taking the reader up to great heights of suspense, then plunging them down again, and being able to do it all over again at other key points in the story. It had me hook, line, and sinker from Page 1. The characters are strong, believable, and interesting, and the relationships between the characters are well developed. As the age-old battle between two groups intensifies once again, you feel the frustrations, tension, and fear of everyone involved, and there were many times when I felt like I was running with the characters as they tried desperately to evade their pursuers. Throughout the story, we follow the characters through their inner turmoil and battles to do what is right but which also fulfills their desires. We meet Marcus who is torn between upholding his duty as an FBI agent to protect his country and its people and fighting for what his instincts tell him is right. And then there is Warren who is torn between his growing and barely controllable feelings for Rachel and his desire to save her and his perpetual goal to eliminate the Mason bloodline and avenge the extermination of his race. In order to save Rachel, will he be able to make the ultimate sacrifice? He may have to face the failure of not fulfilling his people's vendetta! On the one hand Warren seems like such a cruel, savage beast, but on the other hand you really feel for him and his cause. Perkins is a gifted writer with excellent descriptive skills and wonderful use of similes and metaphors to help make the story visual for the reader. He definitely has a way with words -- his writing just flows. I knew it was a great read when I almost didn't go to work one day. I just couldn't put it down because the suspense builds so gradually that it almost drives you crazy. I was so very impressed by this book -- from the unique story line, to the strong, believable characters, and the suspense that stimulates the reader's appetite but always leaves you wanting more. This is Perkins' maiden voyage into the literary world, and he has shown skills equal to those of any authors on the bestseller list. I would be proud to have this book in my collection! Reviewer: Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Review.
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The body, or what was left of it, was lying on a cold hard outcropping of rock in the mountains of Missoula County, western Montana. Practically every bit of flesh had been stripped from the bones leaving gleaming white strands of sinew hanging at the joints and dangling towards the giant stone of their final resting place. They seemed to come to life in the faint morning breeze lazily rustling through the pine forest at the top of the mountain. The scene was straight from a Discovery Channel documentary shot on location in Africa; except the prey, or carcass in this case, wasn't an antelope or gazelle. It was suspected to be the remains of the girl who had gone missing two nights before.
Even though it was late spring, the cold was holding out, not wanting to give up its hold on the mountaintops surrounding the small Missoula valley. It sent a chill down Marcus's spine even though his navy blue windbreaker worked to defend his body against the cold.
"Travis, come take a look at this," Marcus said in a half-shout to his partner, Travis Russell.
Marcus Reading and Travis Russell had been partners for the last four years while serving in the FBI field office in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had become good friends and knew each other well. Even though Marcus was older and unmarried, he spent time with his partner and friend during family picnics, soccer games and various other sporting events Travis's three boys were involved in.
Over the last couple of years, the agents had been sent reports from regional law enforcement in association with several animal-related deaths in Montana and Wyoming's mountain ranges. Typically, this wouldn't have even been a concern for the FBI, but over the last few months, four of the attacks had been relatively close to populated areas, and the condition of the bodies had puzzled local law enforcement enough to make them contact the FBI field office. This was the first site they had actually been able to get to before it was completely contaminated or 'cleaned up' by the locals. At this site, the FBI forensic team was actually able to gather evidence, though not much admittedly. The others, like almost all these kinds of cases, were not thought to be out of the ordinary, so the FBI only received pictures and reports just before the locals contaminated the entire the site. However, given the relative seclusion of the towns in these areas, and inexperience of rural law enforcement the reports were sketchy and half-baked at best.
"What is it?" replied Travis as he approached Marcus, who was standing over the skeleton with his back to his partner.
"Remember the pictures we've been getting on these recent deaths?" Marcus continued without giving Travis a chance to answer. "How a few of the bodies appeared to be eaten. Almost as if the animal or whatever it was took great care about how it ate its prey?"
Travis squatted down to take a closer look and agreed. "Yeah, maybe there's a sophisticated mountain lion out there running around in a tux, carrying a cane and wearing a monocle."
Marcus didn't approve of Travis' lighthearted outlook on life and death, but it came along with the man's boyish charm and personality. Where appropriate, Travis' quick wit or quirky looks could usually pull a smile from Marcus, and on rare occasions a laugh. However, there were times, like now, when Travis would make a comment Marcus felt was completely unnecessary and Marcus would just have to ignore them as if he hadn't even heard.
"This one," pausing for a moment and looking around making sure none of the locals could hear him before he went on, his attention back on the remains at his feet, "this was no animal attack." Using the pen he had been making notes with, Marcus pointed at the skeletal hand and continued, "An animal wouldn't leave fingers and toes intact. None of them are broken or damaged at all really. Most of the bones seem to have little or no abrasions. If an animal had done this, the bones would have been gnawed on and they'd be scattered all over the place."
"Your thinking a person did this?" Travis asked, a slight skepticism in his voice.
"From what I see, not much else it could be." Marcus paused a moment. "You saw the pictures from the last one. The bones were scattered, the site was a mess and that was even before the local police got in there to clean up. That one was obviously an animal attack. This one though, I have little doubt this one was not an animal attack. We'll hang around another day; ask some questions while the forensic team heads back to perform a full analysis of what they collected. I'm sure once we get their report, we'll be back up here looking for some kid who thinks he's the next Jeffery Dahmer."
Marcus could see that Travis wasn't quite ready to agree with his quick assessment of the situation, but the young agent kept quiet and just listened... for now.
While Marcus had been with the agency for a while, Travis was relatively new to the FBI, eager to learn and make a good impression and a name for himself. He had been brought up through the ranks of the local law enforcement in SLC before some strings were pulled and favors cashed in, allowing him to get his foot in the door with the agency. From there, it was all on him. He made the grade and the Bureau brought him on board and kept him in the SLC field office. Had the four years been with any other office, Travis would have been a more seasoned agent. However, due to their region, he was still a bit green in agency standards and Marcus got the assignment of bringing the young man up to speed.
Before long, the forensic team completed the work and began heading back to SLC while Travis and Marcus returned to the small college town of Missoula for the night. Tomorrow, they would be spending some time talking to family and friends before heading back to SLC.