Tuesday, August 30, 2016

An Excerpt from The Lafayette Sword by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

We are delighted to welcome authors Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne to Omnimystery News today.

Eric and Jacques second thriller in their popular Antoine Marcas, Freemason series is The Lafayette Sword (Le French Book; July 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we are so pleased that the publisher has provided us with an excerpt to share with you.

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Grand Orient Masonic Hall, Paris, Present Day

ANTOINE MARCAS SMOOTHED HIS APRON AND made sure his double-edged sword was secure at his side. Next to the elevator, a display system similar to the ones at airports informed him that the meeting would be in Lafayette Temple. The 9 p.m. initiation ceremony was the only gathering scheduled for the night. The seventeen other temples in the building were closed. Marcas checked his watch. Only five more minutes.
  "Well, my brother, I see you're a fan of modern technology. So what's next? Skyped initiation ceremonies?"
  Startled, Marcas turned around. A man in a wheelchair was smiling at him.
  "Paul! I didn't hear you."
  Paul de Lambre, a physician who had lost the use of his legs in a car accident, was a descendant of the illustrious Marquis de Lafayette and a high-ranking Freemason.
  "You wouldn't believe what they're doing with wheelchairs these days," Paul said, tapping one of the wheels. "This one's made of carbon fiber: strong, flexible, and darned-near silent. Four detachable components, and the footrests even have LED lights. That means I can see you in the dark, but you can't hear me coming."
  "As long as you're being sarcastic, that's a good sign, my brother."
  A shadow seemed to cross the man's face, and his eyes became serious. "The signs are not very good right now. I have something on my mind, Antoine, and since you're a police detective and a brother, I think you're the person I should be talking with."
  Marcas studied the man. "Of course. The ceremony is about to begin. Why don't we get together afterward? Right now it's time to go to the temple of your glorious ancestor. That must be quite an experience for you."
  Paul de Lambre's jaw stiffened. "You could put it that way," he said as he spinning his wheelchair around.
  
  
The hooded man wearing the Masonic apron waited in the darkness of the closet. He fiddled nervously with the ceremonial sword as he ticked off the minutes. Finally, he took a deep breath, opened the closet door, and made sure the hallway was empty. He stepped out of the shadows.
  "I am the Sword of Light. I march in the night," he chanted in a low monotone.
  He advanced noiselessly. Slipping through the dark corridors was child's play. Tricking the security system had been a joke. It was even intoxicating. He'd been exploring this prodigious labyrinth for at least a dozen nights. Each time he'd stop just before reaching the chamber of reflection. Then he'd leave. Only one time had he crossed paths with a brother, and that hadn't caused any problems. He knew the building's strange topography by heart, and now he could make his way over it blindfolded.The tangle of hallways, the crooked floors, and the myriad temples in this vast structure made him feel like he was moving on a gigantic movie set.
  But this would be the last night he'd go unnoticed. His quest would begin with sacrifices.
  He could hear the voice again. Perhaps it was his. "I kill, and I die. I kill, and I am born again."
  He took the stairs two by two and reached the next floor in a matter of seconds. He smiled in the darkness.
  "I am the chosen one."
  He was on pins and needles as he recited the ritual words. The taste of blood filled his dry mouth.
  
Rue Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie, Paris, March 13, 1355

Nicolas Flamel sighed. The Templars and the Saracens. The furrier was narrow-minded and superstitious.
  "Master Maillard, Baphomet isn't the Saracens' god, but a simple idol, nothing more. And the Templars were tortured. Chained to a stone and subjected to God knows what, they would have confessed to anything."
  "Not another word. Do you want to end up burned at the stake?"
  Flamel made the sign of the cross. It had been many years since anyone in Paris had been sent to the pyre. The king had little desire to invoke the sentence. The last executions by burning had taken place forty years earlier, with the Templars. And the grand master's curse on the royal family and its descendants still resonated in the minds of the people. Since then, France had known nothing but woe: the collapse of the House of Capet, the English invasion, and the plague, which had decimated the country.
  "To order such a punishment, King John would need a very good reason," Flamel said. "God does not forgive the burning of the innocent."
  Master Maillard chuckled. "It's a Jew who's being burned. That's what the uproar by the river is all about. And who better to burn? He's a scholar, from what I've heard. From Spain. Our king, whose goodness is without limits, even hosted the man. Jews know much. Don't forget that they were the ones who crucified our Lord Jesus Christ. Since then, the Devil has showered them with favors."
  "But —"
  "Our king was deceived," Master Maillard said, his face hard. "That is all. And when he realized he had opened his home to evil, he called for an inquisition."
  Flamel shivered.
  "You do know what that means, don't you? And that Jew didn't come alone. He brought his daughter and …"
  Across the street, a door opened with an otherworldly creak. For years, the façade had been mute, the windows boarded up, and the door nailed shut. Rumor had it that the building belonged to the Dominicans, who had inherited it and let it fall into ruin. But since Christmas, someone had been living there.
   A hooded man dressed in black emerged and slipped down the street. He was heading toward the Seine.
  Master Maillard grabbed Flamel's sleeve. "For the salvation of our souls and the survival of our bodies, pray that he didn't hear us."
  Flamel was wondering if he did, indeed, spend too much time with his books. Even his wife, Lady Perenelle, who mingled with gossips every day at the market, had said nothing about this new neighbor.
  "Master Maillard, you speak in enigmas. First you allude to a pyre, and then you tremble at the sight of that man."
  The furrier waited for the stranger to turn the corner. "My dear neighbor, I simply do not like coincidences, with that mystery man dressed in clothing as black as death."
  "That hood was hiding his face."
  "He wears it to remain anonymous and keep himself safe. Who knows how many people would assault him if they knew who he was!"
  "Master Maillard, would you, for the love of God, tell me who he is?" The usually calm Flamel was getting perturbed.
  "He's the new torturer."
  Nicolas Flamel visualized a scene of hell sculpted on a cathedral tympanum.
  His neighbor continued. "That's why the Dominicans gave him that house. You know they are the ones charged with tracking heresy. For that, they need a powerful man, a man no one can touch."
  Flamel remembered another scene: a body washed up alongside the Seine. The man's arms and legs were hanging by threads. His belly was filled with water, and his mouth was frozen in terror.
  "The work of the torturer," a bargeman had told him.
  Master Maillard checked the locks on his house. The Angelus bell rang out from the Notre Dame.
  "Let us give thanks that we are good Christians and sons of the Church. The night will be long for some. You have worked hard this week. Come with me to the river to see this Jew be punished. It will be a great joy for all the good people of Paris to witness the spectacle."

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Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne
Photo provided courtesy of
Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

Eric Giacometti studied biochemistry and genetics in Toulouse, France, before going into journalism. Then, at the height of his career as an investigative reporter, Eric Giacometti was contaminated by the thriller virus. His life took on another dimension: journalist by day, writer by night. That is when he and his childhood friend Jacques Ravenne created the Freemason police inspector Antoine Marcas. In 2013, he left his full-time reporting job with a French daily newspaper to work freelance and write. He teaches journalism and writing

Jacques Ravenne is a high-level French Freemason. He is also a literary critic, known for his work on the writers Paul Valéry, Yves Bonnefoy, Gérard de Nerval and Stéphane Mallarmé. In addition to his academic work, he was also a local elected official for a number of years, and contributes regularly to Freemason publications.

For more information about the authors, please visit their page on LeFrenchBook.com.

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The Lafayette Sword by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

The Lafayette Sword by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

An Antoine Marcas, Freemason Thriller

Publisher: Le French Book

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

Following the murder of a Freemason brother, Antoine Marcas uncovers unsettling truths about gold and its power to fascinate and corrupt. A priceless sword is stolen and deaths ensue setting the Freemason detective on a case of Masons turned bad.

A clue points to mysteries and conspiracy about elusive pure gold, launching a frantic, deadly race between two symbolic places — the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

The Lafayette Sword by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

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