A RUMOR OF RICHES. A MAZE OF MURDER. AND THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS, SOUGHT-AFTER PRIZE.
Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase possess extraordinary pieces of an ancient puzzle that leads them from Singapore to the jungles of South America. Inside a storm of political and drug warfare, Nina is getting close to one of history's greatest secrets: the mythical golden city of El Dorado. As one discovery unveils another, Nina realizes that a legendary Incan leader made a deal with his Spanish captors--and hid forever the real El Dorado. Now, Nina and Eddie face a maze of death traps and betrayals, including one that reaches into Eddie's past in Afghanistan, even into his own family in England. Behind a waterfall in Peru is an unfound wonder of the world. And to get there, Nina and Eddie may have to sacrifice everything: their friends, their love for one another, even their lives.
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1 . More fun from McDermott!
Posted December 25, 2011 by stevep44 , Edmonton, ABWhat can I say - I really enjoy his books! This one has a bit of a surprise at the end ...
September 27, 2011
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Excerpt from Empire of Gold by Andy McDermott
New York City
Eleven Years Later
Eddie Chase strolled into the office with his hands behind his back and a knowing smile on his face. "Ay up, love."
His wife looked up from her laptop with a faint frown. "Where've you been?" asked Nina Wilde, flicking a strand of red hair away from her face. "We're going to be late."
"We've still got ten minutes. Anyway, I'm amazed you noticed I was gone, since you haven't lifted your nose out of that lot all morning." He glanced at the stacked paperwork on her desk.
"Don't be a smart-�ass." She eyed him more closely, noticing his expectant smirk. "What have you got behind your back?"
He stepped forward. "Oh, nothing. Just . . ." With a flourish, he dropped a large brown paper bag beside her computer. "Lunch."
Nina did a double-�take as she recognized the logo on the bag. "Aldo's Deli?" Her frown was replaced by surprised delight. "Wait, you went all the way to Aldo's just to get me a sandwich?"
Eddie shrugged, looking out at the view of Manhattan beyond the windows of the United Nations Building. "It's only in the East Village. It's not that far."
She opened the bag, and her look brightened still further. "You didn't."
"I did. Your favorite. Extra-�peppered pastrami on rye, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, not regular ones . . . and Aldo's special chili sauce. Just like you used to get when we lived down there."
Nina almost reverently unwrapped the sandwich. "That was over four years ago. I can't believe you did this." She was about to take a bite when she paused. "Why did you do this?"
"What, a bloke can't do something nice for his wife once in awhile?"
"Not when she knows him as well as I know you." A sly smile. "This wouldn't be a peace offering, would it?"
"Pfft, don't be daft. What've I got to apologize for? I'm right."
Her green eyes narrowed, the smile fading. "Don't even start." A discussion the previous night about the week's main news story had somehow degenerated into a full-�blown argument, and the atmosphere had still been frosty even over breakfast. A New Yorker named Jerry Rosenthal was on trial for having killed the man accused of raping his daughter after the case against him collapsed. To Nina it had been an open-�and-�shut case of revenge-�driven vigilantism, but Eddie had very different opinions.
Which he still held. "What, so you're saying that if it had been your daughter, you'd be happy to let the guy walk the streets because of some forensics cock-�up? We know he did it, he just got away with it on a technicality."
"We don't know he did it," she said irritably. "You weren't there--�you didn't see what happened."
"Neither did you."
"Which is why we have courts to decide whether a person's guilty or not. And why we have courts to decide on the sentence--�rather than some guy appointing himself judge, jury, and executioner. That's not justice."
"Sounds like it to me. You know somebody's done something bad and thinks they've got away with it? Boom. Kill the fucker."
Nina huffed. "Eddie, I really don't want to get into this again. You know what? I'm just going to eat my sandwich--�for which thank you very much, by the way. And," she added, "you are not going to get the last word just because my mouth's full!"
"As if I would," said Eddie, who had been planning to do exactly that.
She was about to take a bite when there was a knock at the door. Before she could ask who it was, Macy Sharif entered. "Hey, Nina. Hi, Eddie." The archaeology student, who had helped them discover the Pyramid of Osiris beneath the Egyptian desert the previous year, had accepted Nina's invitation to spend part of her summer vacation as an intern at the International Heritage Agency before completing her final year of study. "Dr. Bellfriar sent me to get you."
"Bet I know what he's going to say," said Eddie
with a mocking grin. "Eight months of looking at the things, and he'll tell us . . . they're made of stone. Thank you, that'll be fifty grand plus expenses."
"Oh, he's got way more to say than that," said Macy, the Englishman's sarcasm fluttering past her unnoticed. "I should know. I had to make all his PowerPoint slides."
"Not enjoying your current assignment?" Nina asked in an impish tone.
"No, no, it's fine!" said Macy hurriedly. "Just that I was hoping to do something a bit more fieldworky. With you."
Nina patted one of the stacks of documents. "Funny, I was hoping to do some fieldwork too! But then some idiot tried to kill a bunch of world leaders, and we made a find that changes the face of archaeology, and, well, high-�up people want to know about it. In triplicate."
"Maybe Bellfriar's found something that'll give you an excuse," Eddie suggested.
Nina looked hopefully at Macy, who tried unsuccessfully to hide a doubtful expression. "Anyway," said the young woman, "you can see for yourself. He's with Mr. Penrose and the others in the conference room."
Nina took a quick bite from her sandwich before getting up from her desk. "What?" she asked Eddie as she chewed. "I haven't had lunch yet; I'm hungry. Come on."
"Do I have to?"
"If I do, so do you." She shooed him from the office.