Books & Bonbons: MJ Rose’s THE MEMOIRIST! Read an Excerpt Here…
By SMW Staff
Two great thrillers, by M.J. Rose. Two enthralling excerpts. Read the second one, THE MEMORIST, here…
The Dreads are back.
As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the dreads are back. The past has reached out again in the form of a strange letter that sets her on a search to unlock the mystery of who she once was.
With the help of her father – a Kabbalist, known as the Jewish Indiana Jones – Meer attempts to learn the meaning behind her hauntingly vivid memories. What they discover could reveal a frighteningly powerful secret hidden for generations by one of the greatest composers of all time.
With each step she comes closer to remembering the connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, a lost flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven and David Yalom, a journalist who understands all too well how the past affects the future.
David knows loss firsthand – terrorism is a reality that cost him his family. He’s seen every solution promised by security experts around the world – and he’s seen every solution fail. Now in a concert hall in Vienna, he plans to force the word to understand the cost of those failures in a single violent act. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The Memorist is a literary page turner that races across the Austrian countryside and takes you to a Viennesse tear-gas filled auction house, dusty museums, hidden passages deep within the walls of the secret Memorist Society. It’s a journey through the centuries as Meer unravels the mystery behind her own past lives.
Thursday, April 24th 6:30 PM. For a few minutes the cold stones turned into plush red chairs, gilt molding edged the rock walls and the crypt became a concert hall as two men listened to a symphony, lost in its sound. David’s wife had especially loved the Fifth and shutting his eyes, he allowed himself the indulgence of memory.
“Are you all right?” Wassong asked.
The music rose to a crescendo that filtered down the bowels of the earth, reaching his core. David didn’t hear Wassong’s question. At least, he was thinking, next week, when they were all ushered out of this world it would be on the wings of music that belonged to the angels.
“How far down are we?” David asked, back to business.
“Twelve or fourteen meters,” Wassong said. “Too deep for ground penetrating radar to find you and the perfect place to plant your explosives. Right here, right where we are standing. Nothing – not the building –not the audience will survive the attack. You have to admit, it’s an excellent spot, no?”
Pausing for a few more notes, David Yalom tugged the gray life raft from behind the stalagmite where he’d stowed it after coming across the subterranean lake two hours ago. Something was wrong, it was completely deflated. Flipping it over, he saw four short parallel rips on the underside. “How the hell did that happen?”
Wassong bent down and inspected the slashes. “The rocks are sharp here. When you pulled it up out of the lake you must have ripped it.”
“No, I remember, I lifted it up. I didn’t drag it, precisely for that reason,” David stared at the slashes. “Beside, these cuts are too clean to have been made on the ragged edges of these rocks.” Frantically, he scanned the cavern, his halogen beam flashing wild streaks of light on the rocky walls. “Someone did this. Someone is down here with us, Hans.”
“You sure? What if someone followed you here?”
“Me? Think about what you’re saying.”
“What’s going on then?”
“Maybe it was the rats.”
David’s light beam shinned right into Wassong’s light brown eyes. In an article, he’d once described them as surprisingly kind and he thought of that now.
“There are thousands of vermin living in these tunnels, you’ve seen them for yourself. These marks certainly could have been made by a rat’s claws. There’s no reason to worry. You are overreacting – understand, I don’t blame you – the stress you are under would make anyone overact. But we still have my raft. If this were some kind of suspicious activity, my lifeboat would have been attacked also. We have enough rope to rig my raft so that I can go across and then you can pull it back and use it.”
There was no other choice. The water was thirty percent hotter than the human body’s temperature thanks to the geothermal heat under the lake’s bed. If you tried to swim across you’d be boiled to death.
“Did you look? Are you sure your raft isn’t damaged too?”
But it wasn’t.
Wassong pulled a coil of rope out of his knapsack and knotted it through the plastic ring in the raft’s rubber edging.
“This will work fine,” he said tugging on the knot. Done, he took his glasses off, wiped them on his bandanna, then wiped the bandanna across his forehead and finally put his glasses back on.
“Once I’m on the other side and give you the signal, you’ll be able to pull the boat back.” He picked up the rope and tossed it to David.
Watching Wassong paddling across the water, the steam mist shrouding him, David thought about the likelihood of a rat ripping through the PVC. As if he were attempting to reconstruct it for a newspaper write up, he ran through his and Wassong’s earlier actions once they’d reached the shore and stowed the boats. Did Hans have time to sabotage the raft? And if he had, why? Sweat dripped down David’s back. He unbuttoned his workshirt and mopped his brow with the sleeve. Reaching into his knapsack, he grabbed his last bottle of water and drank down what little was left. They’d only brought supplies for the day and the day was over.
He listened to the even splashing of Wassong’s oars.
When they’d come through this section earlier they hadn’t lingered. Just inflated the rafts, unfolded the oars, paddled across, stowed the boats and then continued on. No, he suddenly remembered, they had stopped. David had needed to record directions for the map he was keeping so he could find his way back on his own next week. What had Wassong been doing while David had recorded his notes?
He tried to remember, thought back a few hours ago, but what came to mind was another night. The last time he’d used the recorder before today. He’d been fast- forwarding through an interview he’d taped, rushing to file a story about an uprising in the Gaza strip, trying to find one last quote. He’d looked up at the clock. It was 6:02 PM and he’d thought – I’m going to be late. I’d better hurry – not imagining that by then everyone – everyone