'I've searched for you.' The patient struggled to get the words out. 'There are...more.' 'More what, Mr. Baroni?' Perspiration beaded on the old man's upper lip and his already pale complexion blanched. He pulled Freeman closer and gasped, 'I'm sorry. Find the others...' In Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. David Freeman is given a strange wooden bead by a dying patient and soon finds ...
'I've searched for you.' The patient struggled to get the words out. 'There are...more.'
'More what, Mr. Baroni?'
Perspiration beaded on the old man's upper lip and his already pale complexion blanched. He pulled Freeman closer and gasped, 'I'm sorry. Find the others...'
In Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. David Freeman is given a strange wooden bead by a dying patient and soon finds himself pursued by a murderous band of Zulus, thought to be responsible for the gruesome murders of three elderly gentlemen in London, England.
Homeland Security agents Patrick Dartson and Adnan Fazeph are assigned the case and discover Freeman's bead to be one of twenty-four passed along to the world's first Scoutmasters in 1919 by Lord Baden-Powell in England. The Zulus are not content to merely steal the talisman but feel it necessary to ritually behead the owner in order to restore the bead's power. Much of the beads' history and power remains a mystery-and the Zulus may not be alone in their pursuit. The agents devise a plot to capture the Zulus alive but can they succeed before Freeman and his girlfriend, Pam Blanchard, become their next victims? Baden-Powell's Beads, the first book in the Beads series, is based on the true story of Zulu beads recovered in the Boer War. Paul Parsons uses historically accurate events and religious history to weave a gripping, fast-paced thriller that keeps readers enthralled until the very end.
Sprung from real-life details about the Scout movement's founder, this tense thriller is the first in a series concerning the hunt for a string of wooden beads that possess magical powers. Parsons, an orthopedic surgeon, mingles fact with fiction to concoct the story of ancient beads--a Boer War trophy for Lord Baden-Powell--becoming the albatross around the neck of a modern-day doctor, who finds himself tracked by murderous Zulus. The fast-paced story combines such disparate subjects as Zulu ritual, orthopedic procedure, the Department of Homeland Security and the Boy Scouts. In Memphis, 2005, Dr. David Freeman, a descendant of Baden-Powell's (fictional) camp surgeon, is in the last months of his residency. A dying WWII veteran insists Freeman take his bead and keep it safe--for good reason, as other second-generation bead-keepers are being beheaded for their talismans. This gruesome fact sets two DHS agents on Freeman's tail to both protect him and use him as bait to catch the mysterious Zulu pursuers. A flashback to the Boy Scout Jamboree of 1967 fills in the reason for the attacks, although explanation--and demonstration--of the beads' magical powers hold off for a future installment. The suspense builds as threats, break-ins, news of further deaths and a kidnapping all take Freeman and his girlfriend, Pam Blanchard, perilously close to their own decapitation ritual. The fate of the beads is as gripping as the couple's. Although Parsons' writing shines during scenes at the hospital, Freeman comes across as a rather disingenuous doctor who's lucky to have a resourceful, intelligent girlfriend. Other quibbles include the Arab-American agent's unnecessary and grating broken English, as well as the disconcerting use of terms that may come across as racially charged. Still, many readers will eagerly await the next book in the series, which will reveal more about the mysterious necklace and its ancient powers. A somewhat predictable but engrossing read with a Da Vinci Code–style central mystery.