Authors: Peter James
Monty Bannerman's father is a leading genetic scientist who has just been seduced into joining what will shortly be the world's biggest pharmaceuticals giant, despite some misgivings about their company ethics. He needs their money, they need his mind. But when Monty stumbles upon a fertility drug trial that is killing women and producing terribly deformed babies it looks like they have unwittingly sold themselves to the devil.
âPeter James has found his own literary niche, somewhere between Stephen King and Michael Crichton'
Mail on Sunday
âGripping â¦ plotting is ingenious â¦ in its evocation of how a glossy cocoon of worldly success can be unravelled by one bad decision it reminds me of Tom Wolfe's
Bonfire of the Vanities'
âProbably James's finest novel to date. I have not read a work so focused and intense in its depiction of the classic Orwellian nightmare'
âA thought-provoking menacer that's completely technological and genuinely frightening about the power of future communications
âJames has been compared with Stephen King, but in many ways he's better'
âAn awesome talent â¦ one of the few writers working in the genre today whose work is always a pleasure to read and a disappointment to finish'
âA well-paced thriller that delivers maximum emotional torture'
âThis compulsive story is a tale of the search for immortality â¦ I cannot remember when I last read a novel I enjoyed so much'
Peter James was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screenwriter and film producer before returning to England. His novels, including the number one bestseller
, have been translated into thirty languages and three have been filmed. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. He has produced numerous films, including the
The Merchant Of Venice
, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series,
, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. He is currently, as co-producer, developing his Roy Grace novels for television with ITV Productions. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year award in Germany, and
won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Coeur Noir award in France.
Looking Good Dead
was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, France's SNCF and Le Grand Prix de LittÃ©rature award.
Not Dead Enough
was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Thriller of the Year award and the ITV3 Crime Thriller Of The Year award. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex. Visit his website at
âThere is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.'
Israel. February 1991
Utter conviction was the Englishman's only luggage.
He sat in silence on the lumpy seat in the back of the lurching Mercedes taxi that smelled of greasy vinyl and old cigarette butts, immersed in his thoughts.
Alpha and Omega
. The words repeated like an old tune in his head he could not shake free.
I am the Alpha and Omega
the beginning and the end
the first and the last
Not any more you bastard, he mouthed silently.
The air conditioning was not working. He stared out of the open window at scenery that had looked much the same for the past hour. Hot, arid air riffled his hair. A plastic thermometer stuck to the dash registered close on 120Â°; every few moments there was an irritating âping' as a Star of David suspended from the interior mirror struck it.
Occasionally he noticed the smells of the desert outside; mostly a milky sweetness soured by occasional sharp tangs of salt. They passed through a village, through a stench of sewage, then thick sweet smells of grilling meats and roasting nuts. A child waved at them, but he did not wave back.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Shelley, he thought. Ah yes, Shelley.
understood. Shelley, Byron; they knew the secret, they had tried to share it, tried to live it.
The Devil is a gentleman
Twenty minutes later the taxi halted abruptly. âYou walk from here,' the driver said. âNo good, the road.'
But to the Englishman the road looked no worse ahead than
it did behind: still a scar in the sand, fly-blown, strewn with boulders and loose stones, shimmering in the heat.
He paid the driver: âHalf now and half when I come back.'
The driver was staring at the mountains at the end of the scar with frightened eyes. âCome back,' he said as if it were an echo. âTomorrow. Ten o'clock I waiting here.' He already had the Mercedes in gear and was gunning the engine.
Then the Englishman was alone under the metallic blue sky with the drifting plume of the taxi's dust. He shivered, feeling just a fleeting doubt as he stared across the pink, yellow and cream hues of the desert sand, strewn with the occasional oil drum from past wars.
He had travelled three thousand miles by aeroplane and by taxi. Now he had the hard part ahead, the walk on foot alone to the end of the journey. And to a new beginning.
He felt suddenly awed by the power he had come to meet, and he knew that the taxi driver had felt so also; knew that was why he had refused to go further. This was a land where history held the evidence for legends, where the proof sought by the rest of the world still lay locked away, where a secret could remain untouched in the mountains for centuries. For millennia. Or could be lost for ever like the Clavicle of Solomon. And had been.