After a mass murder in Israel, a renowned investigator from the Ministry—Vince Ramsey—is called in. Some experts at the scene believe only something supernatural could be responsible for such an atrocity. Ramsey finds an artifact which leads him to the Antiquities Authority. There, he teams up with historical specialist April Fulton. Together they learn the artifact is linked to an ancient secret society founded by a famous Greek philosopher. Only it’s much more sinister than they could have ever imagined. Being hunted down at every turn of their journey by ruthless assassins, they race to discover the truth—and finally encounter the diabolical villain controlling a powerful force only spoken about in the Book of Revelation.
“A riveting thriller exploring the end of the world…”
—Midwest Book Review
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've always been curious about secret societies and ancient Greek history, so I did a lot of research to come up with this compelling mystery/thriller.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I envisioned a macho protagonist with a moral code as a preacher but also licensed like James Bond to dish out punishment if need be. I also tried to create a strong villain so that when the two opposites collide at the end it makes for an epic showdown.
TURN OF THE 1ST CENTURY
The moonlight cast a hideous pale glow over the destitute land below. Everything was washed over and illuminated in eerie bluish light. The arid desert was as bleak and grim as the last surviving frontier on earth. It was a cold, cold night, the temperature wretched and nearly freezing. A veil of enveloping darkness lingered over most of the land and all was unusually quiet.
Except for the fleeing footsteps of a lone priest.
He ran as fast as he could across the hardened sand—slipping every now and then, scraping his knees, but always regaining his footing. His heart was pounding mightily in his chest. Fear gripped every fiber of his being.
He clutched something protectively in his hands. Something worth dying over. It was an oversized book plated and sealed in hand-bound copper with strange esoteric symbols of Chaldean descent stamped like warning labels into its cover and binding. It was one of a kind. A grimoire—a sacred text on magic.
If he had known its true power from the beginning, he would never have opened it.
Now it was too late.
His entire village—his family, everyone he knew and loved—had been vanquished by the terrible monster. He was the last survivor… but he wouldn’t be for long. The thing—whatever it was—was coming for him.
He ran even faster now, his blistered feet striking the ground at dizzying speed. His heart was practically leaping into his throat and he felt a burning fever he’d possibly never recover from. Nerves frayed and on edge, he was panicking so severely he feared he might die from it. He knew if he didn’t make it to the place of refuge, the evil would spread, consuming the world.
He couldn’t allow that to happen.
His right foot suddenly tripped over something stuck in the sand—a rock perhaps—sending him sprawling across the ground. He tumbled a bit end over end, safeguarding the book as if it held his very life in its pages, finally coming to a resounding stop.
When he gathered himself once more and rose to his feet, he saw the most glorious sight in the world.
King Herod’s synagogue.
Of course, it was empty now at this godforsaken hour. He was totally alone. No one would be able to help him.
Picking up his sore feet and feeling the dire implications if he failed, he rushed toward the illustrious structure—for the first time feeling a warm tinge of hope that he might survive.
But not far behind him tolled the unruly sound of his own death. The stampeding hooves of the horseman galloped to the anxious rhythm of the priest’s runaway heartbeat. It constantly reminded him that he could never escape. It was the keeper of mankind’s souls, a collector of death.
He knew he didn’t have much time.
Slipping across the sand in his raggedy clothing and torn sandals, he bumbled ahead, getting closer and closer. But so was the horseman. It never gave up. It seemed to carry the swelling power and forces of the air with it. A terrible, screeching sound rose from the far east, blowing gale-force winds across the shifting pools of sand.
The priest gripped the book tighter, holding it close to his chest, his frail hands turning stark white. The doorway to the synagogue was just before him now, its grand architecture, formidable pillars, and exquisitely detailed hand-chiseled symbols a sight to behold.
He was flooded from head to toe with relief.
He exploded through the door, nearly destroying it. The book almost tumbled out of his hands, but he locked his viselike grip around it. Glancing from his left to his right, he frantically surveyed the holy room. The glamorous hallway was flanked by many rows of engraved pillars leading up to the altar.
He knew exactly what he had to do.
Racing down to the end of the hall, he finally collapsed to his knees, a part of him wanting to weep in self-pity. He had made it. He was here. Thank heavens. The soaring feeling of still being alive was undoubtedly overwhelming, but he must work exceptionally fast.
Placing the sealed book beneath the stone altar, he began to fervently recite a powerful prayer, one that only an elite circle of the priesthood had in their possession. It had been handed down throughout the ages. He hoped to undo the evil he had so unwillingly unleashed. He couldn’t hope to defeat it; that would be impossible. He could only pray to contain it. In the back of his mind, he heard the horseman approaching.
Finishing the prayer, he hastily moved his hand to the enigmatic amulet he wore around his neck. It was reported to have the mystical powers of the Guardians. He had bartered for it from a dying Egyptian sage in his recent travels. He hoped it would do a service now—because he heard the unmistakable sound of horse hooves scraping at the door.
His heart trembled in trepidation.
Death had come for him.
McPike's REALM OF THE UNKNOWN, brought to you by Alaskan publisher Paper Gold Publishing, will be out December 11th!
McPike's 6th Action/Adventure TREASURE FEVER: The Hunt for El Dorado will be released in the Spring of 2020. It was named a Top-10 semi-finalist in Clive Cussler's Adventure Writer's Competition. Red City Review gave it 5-stars, calling it "a real goldmine of a book". His last book SHIPWRECK ISLAND was based on a real 19th century New Zealand shipwreck that went missing–along with its legendary gold cargo.
McPike's previous mystery/thriller THE EMERALD CAVE was the grand finale in the acclaimed Ramsey trilogy six years in the making. The book reveals hidden secrets about the Grail and where it might be today. The prior book in the series THE LOST PROPHET was the winner of multiple literary awards, including the Pacific Book Award for Christian Mystery/Thrillers and the Beverly Hills Book Award for Religion fiction.
He is a member of the International Thriller Writers. His favorite authors are David Morrell, Preston & Child, and Charles L. Grant. He's traveled the world from Switzerland to Aruba to New Zealand. In 1998 he was recognized with an Honorable Mention for the William Saroyan San Joaquin Valley Writing Contest.
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