The room was not completely dark. High above the floor, five window slits provided flickering bursts of light whenever distant lightning struck. Beneath dark wooden beams, flashes created menacing shadows that quickly disappeared until the next glimmer.
Huddled in a corner with her sister, Emily, the wait became excruciating for Elizabeth. Where was the stalker now?
A large stone fireplace under an antlered head of a stag stood at the far side of the room. She decided to edge over to the hearth and look for a tool or piece of wood which could be used against the blackguard.
On hands and knees, she carefully advanced along the room’s perimeter trying not to make any noise. Fifteen feet, ten feet, five.., she felt the bricks. She reached out for a poker, but had to settle for a two-foot log, three inches in diameter. Clutching her prize, she turned to start back. A new creak punctured the air in the middle of the room.
Several English chairs and Queen Anne upholstered seats rested between game tables, turned at various angles to her sight. The sound had come from there. She stared at the outlines.
Lightning flashed again. To her terror, a dark figure rose behinda seat turned away from the chimney. Light disappeared before she could see anything more.
Elizabeth’s mind raced, wondering if she had been heard.
Another flash. The figure had moved toward Emily’s corner.
“Emily! Emily!” she screamed. “Wake up. Someone’s coming toward you!”
She could hear Emily stirring, muttering words that made it clear she did not understanding their plight. She had to help her sister! Her legs felt weak and a rush of panic welled up inside her. She could not move.
Glint came again. The figure had stopped.
William Darmon and wife Elizabeth were powerful figures who in 1818 set society’s pace from expansive grounds known as Mayfair Hall. When a family member is murdered, a mysterious pendant is found containing a long lost request by Napoleon Bonaparte for an American mission to burn down Parliament buildings. The couple sets out on an action filled pursuit of the killer. While interviewing Henry Clay in post-war Maryland about the failed mission, they uncover evidence of a conspiracy to free the Emperor from exile. The Darmons infiltrate the cadre, but a shipwreck off the coast of Scotland, a firestorm at the Darmon’s Manor and a harrowing assault on the Island of St. Helena loom before the mystery can be unraveled.
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Genre – Mystery, Historical, Thriller
Rating – PG
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