Eye of the God

( 84 )

Overview

eye of the god takes the fascinating history surrounding the Hope Diamond and weaves it together with a present-day plot to steal the jewel from the Smithsonian Institute.

We follow Alex and Isaac Weld, the most lucrative jewel thieves in the world, in their quest to steal the gem, which according to legend was once the eye of a Hindu idol named Rama Sita. When it was stolen in the 17th century, it is said that the idol cursed all those who ...

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Overview

eye of the god takes the fascinating history surrounding the Hope Diamond and weaves it together with a present-day plot to steal the jewel from the Smithsonian Institute.

We follow Alex and Isaac Weld, the most lucrative jewel thieves in the world, in their quest to steal the gem, which according to legend was once the eye of a Hindu idol named Rama Sita. When it was stolen in the 17th century, it is said that the idol cursed all those who would possess it. That won’t stop the brilliant and ruthless Weld brothers.

However, they are not prepared for Dr. Abigail Mitchell, the beautiful Smithsonian Director, who has her own connection to the Hope Diamond and a deadly secret to keep. Abby committed long ago that she would not serve a god made with human hands, and the “eye of the god” is no exception. Her desire is not for wealth, but for wisdom. She seeks not power, but restoration.

When the dust settles over the last great adventure of the Hope Diamond, readers will understand the “curse” that has haunted its legacy is nothing more than the greed of evil men who bring destruction upon themselves. No god chiseled from stone can direct the fates of humankind, nor can it change the course of God’s story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426700682
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Although she speaks and writes, Ariel Allison is first and foremost the wife of Ashley, and mother of London, Parker, Marshall, and Colby. She has a penchant for adrenaline-infused madness such as rock climbing, running marathons, and jumping off bridges – as if raising four preschool boys were not adventure enough. Her first novel, Eye of the God, released in October 2009, from Abingdon Press. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006), Jesus: Dead or Alive (Regal Books, 2009), and the Justin Case series of children’s books (Harvest House, 2010). In addition, Ariel is also the assistant director of the nationwide book club, She Reads. When not immersed in a book, changing a diaper, or rescuing her dog from the death-grip of a toddler, you can find Ariel loitering in her little corner of cyberspace at www.arielallison.com. She also ponders on life and literature at www.shereads.org. She and her family make their home in Texas, which is, according to her husband, the greatest state in the union.
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First Chapter

Eye of the God


By Ariel Allison

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2009 Ariel Allison Lawhon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4267-0068-2


Chapter One

Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—Present Day

Abby Mitchell stared through the window at the feverish display of dancing outside. She placed her palm on the warm plaster wall of the Chacara do Ceu Museum and felt the pounding Samba music pulse against her fingers. She observed the frenzied celebration from within the safety of the museum's main gallery. An old mansion, turned resting place for some of the world's most renowned art, the museum was a pleasant combination of low ceilings, cream-colored walls, and quiet elegance.

Her cell phone buzzed, and she took a deep breath before answering. "Good morning, Director Heaton."

"It's not all that good, Dr. Mitchell. We have a bit of an issue." His voice was raspy, the ravages of age and cigarettes.

She cast a nervous glance over her shoulder. "What's going on?"

"The Collectors. They've taken two Van Goghs."

Abby closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against the window. "Where?"

"Amsterdam."

"How?"

"We're not exactly sure. Investigators are baffled. The paintings just disappeared in the middle of the night."

"Prints?"

"None."

"Of course not. In ten years they've never left a print. Or a clue for that matter."

"Abby," his voice prodded on the other line. "You know what this means."

She nodded, staring at her reflection in the window. "They can't get their hands on the Dali. And we know they want it."

"You know what you have to do."

A weak smile spread across her face. "Let's just hope I can."

"Call me when you're done," he said, and then hung up the phone.

A handful of tourists wandered the gallery, trying to study the timeless wonders on its plaster walls, but distracted by Carnival just a few feet away.

Lost in her thoughts, Abby paid no attention to the approaching footsteps until she felt a polite tap on her shoulder. She turned to find a woman, in her late fifties, wearing a white linen suit and a gracious smile.

"Dr. Mitchell, I presume?" she said with a distinct Brazilian accent.

Abby held out her hand. "Indeed. And you must be Director Santos?"

"Please, call me Ana." Though aging quite gracefully, it was obvious Ana Santos had been a sight to behold in her prime.

"Sorry to keep you," she smiled. "With all the tourists in town, I have been running behind all week. But things should calm down now that Carnival is almost underway."

"No trouble at all. I've been enjoying your remarkable collection."

Ana stretched out an arm and motioned Abby to follow. They turned their backs to the window and made their way through the gallery toward a series of priceless surrealist paintings. One in particular caught Abby's attention, and she leaned forward, appreciation evident on her face.

"Now, Dr. Mitchell, you said there was an urgent matter we needed to discuss. I assume more than Carnival brings you to Brazil?"

"I'm afraid so." She ran a finger over the nameplate which read Two Balconies, Salvador Dali.

Ana beamed. "Fantastic, isn't it?"

Abby nodded.

"Two Balconies is the only Salvador Dali painting on display in Latin America. It is one of the Chacara do Ceu's most prized exhibits."

Abby tapped her lips in contemplation. "I don't doubt that."

"Beautiful ring," Ana said, glancing at Abby's finger.

"Thank you. It was a gift."

She grinned mischievously. "He must love you very much."

"You would think so."

Ana smiled sadly and changed the subject. "So what is your concern?"

"I'm worried about this painting."

"Two Balconies? What do you mean? I thought you felt it would be a spectacular addition to your exhibit next year."

"I do," Abby assured her. "My concern is not with the painting itself, but with its safety. I have reason to believe it may be in danger of theft."

Ana relaxed a little and laughed. "I can assure you, meu caro, we have strict security measures in place. All of our paintings are bolted to the wall and connected to hair-trigger alarms. If a painting is moved even a fraction of an inch, the alarm sets off our security system. In addition we have state-of-the-art video surveillance and round-the-clock armed guards."

"I wasn't suggesting your security system is sub par, merely that we have gotten word there may be parties interested in this particular Salvador Dali painting."

Ana flashed a charming smile. "Do you mind me asking your source?"

"I've received notice from the art theft division at Interpol. There are rumblings of an illicit interest in Dali and this painting in particular. I thought it prudent to warn you, considering your partnership with the Smithsonian."

"Why is the International Criminal Police Organization interested in Two Balconies?"

"There has been a rash of thefts recently, and Interpol contacted me with a warning."

"I appreciate your concern, Dr. Mitchell, but I feel confident we have taken the appropriate measures to protect our facility."

Abby sighed. "All right. But know you have our full resources at your disposal should you need them."

"Thank you, Dr. Mitchell. I will certainly take that into consideration." Ana glanced back at the painting and asked, "I assume the Smithsonian is still planning to include Two Balconies in next year's exhibit?"

"Absolutely. Preliminary preparations are underway for its transport and security."

Ana beamed. "We would be delighted to accommodate you in any way. I will, of course, have to accompany the painting to Washington."

"Of course."

Both women turned back to the window as a loud burst of cheering and music erupted from the throng outside. Viktor Leite, the mayor, was barely audible over the din. Flanked on both sides by voluptuous women dressed in revealing Carnival garb, he screamed into the microphone so he could be heard over the pounding drums.

"Let the festivities begin!"

At his command the massive parade, seventy-thousand people strong, erupted in applause and began to snake through the streets.

"You will be staying for Carnival?" Ana asked.

"I'm afraid not. Duty calls me back to Washington."

"I thought this was a working vacation?"

"More work than vacation, I'm afraid."

"Surely the Smithsonian wouldn't object to you staying an extra day or two?"

Abby sighed. "My flight leaves at noon tomorrow."

Ana opened her mouth to argue her case but was jolted into stunned silence by the thunderous sound of a gunshot. Abby and Ana spun around to find two armed men standing at the museum entrance.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Eye of the God by Ariel Allison Copyright © 2009 by Ariel Allison Lawhon. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 84 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Boo

    Here she goes again. Harriet klausner and all the other plot spoilers. Just once, i woukd like to read a review without harriet klausner revealing every detail, along with all the others. Let us read the book. We dont need you to transcribe it for us. Bn, pkease delete harriet klausner and these other plot spoilers!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Fascinating story

    While this is a fiction book centered around the Hope Diamond, most of the historical information woven through the story is factual. I found myself going between the book and the internet looking up more information. It kept my interest from beginning to end and I quite enjoyed the little twist at the end. If you enjoy mysteries and like the romance of historical legends, I highly recommend this book. It's well worth your time.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    Fantastic

    This was a great summer read. It is fast-paced and very entertaining. Though somewhat predictable I enjoyed the plot and characters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Loved this book!

    Very good read, story was engaging and well thought out. I would be interested in reading additional stories with these characters and look forward to reading other works by this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Who is Abby?

    About this book: The book prolog tells of the purchase of a blue diamond in the 1653. Here we learn the tale of the diamond's beginnings. The book opens in the present day during Carnival in Brazil. Here we meet the girl from the Smithsonian, Abby Mitchell, as she tries to warn an art museum director of an impending theft - a theft that happens in the next few minutes! Thieves, Alex and Isaac Weld, steal from the museum and take Abby's beautiful ring at gun point before slipping off into the crowd of Carnival. The brothers work for a person they only know as the Broker and he takes orders from the Collectors, people who pay high prices for masters' artwork, even if that work must be stolen. In fact, it is the work that cannot be bought they seem to want most. And now they have set their eyes on the Hope Diamond, the very thing Abby is creating a fund raiser around at the Smithsonian. Between the story of Abby, Alex, and Isaac, the author weaves the myths concerning the Hope Diamond itself. Those tales cover, in detail, three of the owners of the diamond and how the curse of the Hope Diamond was true for them. When Abby returns to Washington D. C., Alex Weld poses as a freelance article writer who wishes to interview Abby. With charm and grace, he manages to worm his way into not only her heart but into the event where the Hope Diamond will be the center piece. Add to this the shadowy characters, Abby's father and Abby's two best friends and you have some real intrigue. My take: This is a suspense story with a dash of romance, just a perfect amount to feel real without overdoing it. I did enjoy the 'back story' of the Hope Diamond but I warn the reader even this is a tale, not history. The characters felt fully fleshed out to me, at least the main two characters of Abby and Alex. The reader is allowed to follow the process of the bad guys and the good guys throughout the story. The real question is not who is the bad guy; the real question is who is Abby and what is she doing? For me this was more intriguing than if the author had hidden the thieves from our view. There are several questionable actions taken by Abby and others, and the reader starts to wonder what is going on here. The truth is, until you get to the end, you don't really know why some things are done. What is Abby hiding? What is her father hiding? And who are DeDe and Dow and how do they figure into the story? These are the questions that make the book suspenseful. Recommendation: I recommend this book to all readers since the romance is basically chaste and the violence minimal. After seeing other reviews, I find that women tend to like the book better than men. I suspect it is because women are less likely to demand as much realism as men. I, for one, found it disturbing, having done major events in my time, that Abby had so much free time the week of the event. There were other things that demanded a suspension of belief but this only slightly distracted me from enjoying the story.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hope Diamond Mysteries

    Don't you just love the cover of this book? It's the reason I signed up to receive a review copy of it. The Hope diamond is featured on the front cover. The author talks about the diamonds history, its allure, the suspense and drama in getting ownership of it, and the legacy attached to this one of a kind blue diamond. Who knew there was that much to talk about? Who knew of all the misfortune associated with this diamond and its owners?

    Ariel Allison begins this story in 1653, Golconda, India, where the blue diamond is discovered. I enjoyed the way this author weaves history into the pages of this book. After you learn how the diamond was found the story rolls into current time at the Smithsonian Institute's where curator Dr. Abigail Mitchell to setting up a celebration-fund raiser featuring the Hope Diamond. The fun begins as Abigail prepares and triple checks security measures to make sure the diamond doesn't get stolen on her watch.

    She is an expert on the Hope Diamond even did her masters thesis on the subject, who better to be the master of ceremonies for that nights big event. I also liked how Ariel Allison would have Dr. Mitchell tell an interviewer about an event or a tragedy associated with the diamond, giving details of the event in history. Then the next chapter would be that story brought to life by the very characters that Abby had just explained in the previous chapter. I thought it was a very nice touch. It wasn't confusing but it actually brought you really up-close and personal with the curses, and drama the former owners of the Hope Diamond went through. Starting with Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette all the way through to Jackie Kennedy! Wow! This diamond has quite a reputation!

    This story reminds me of a Mission Impossible, the movie. Dr. Abigail Mitchell suspects that the Collectors, underground art thieves, might attempt to steal the diamond the night of the big celebration. She had to do everything in her power to prevent that from happening.

    This story is full of twists and turns and I enjoyed every minute of them. I can't wait to read another suspense story by this author.

    Nora St. Laurent
    ACFW Book Club Coordinator
    Finding Hope Through Fiction
    www.psalm516.blogspot.com

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    riveting fast-paced thriller

    The art thief ring the Collectors wants the Dali painting hanging in a Rio de Janeiro museum. Smithsonian curator Dr Abigail Mitchell travels to Rio warns the museum's director Dr. Ana Santos about the possible thefts. While they meet, two masked men steal several paintings. They are brothers Alex and Isaac Weld who plan to steal the Hope Diamond from the Smithsonian.

    Abby is in charge of the fund raising gala with the Hope Diamond as the centerpiece. Alex poses as a journalist and gets close enough to Abby to place a bug on her so that he and Isaac can listen in on discussions about security arrangements. As he gets closer to Abby, his emotions get entangled for the first time with a mark although he intends to go through with the theft. The theft will be easier because at the last moment it is decided Abby will be wearing the Hope Diamond. When she asks her father for help in recovering it, he dismisses her as he had all his life. She learns Alex betrayed her, but though hurt remains resolute to recover what belongs to the Smithsonian.

    This is an exhilarating inspiring thriller starring a heroine who never received her father's affection as a child or an adult yet still covets it and reaches out to him knowing the rejection is coming. Alex gets passed her mental defense mechanisms playing on her need to be loved; his betrayal rips her heart as like her father he affirms men don't care though he feels remorse and regret. Filled with action on three continents, EYE OF THE GOD is a riveting fast-paced thriller, but it is Abby in spite of another let down by a man remains filled with hope who makes Ariel Allison's tale a super read.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Most Read Novel!

    Found my Nook very hard to put down! Very will written and kept me on the edge off my seat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this historical suspens

    I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this historical
    suspense/romance. About the time you think you have a character figured
    out, there is a revelation that leaves you wondering, moving characters
    from good guy to bad guy and vice versa. This kept my attention, and I
    found myself on the internet checking out the Hope Diamond in more
    detail.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Recommended

    Lively read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Interesting read

    Enjoyed reading this book. A little irritating in the beginning due to the back and forth between history and current, but you get used to reading it that way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    A Surprising Gripping Tale

    It isn't often a book has me guessing. I began this book and within a chapter or two began to think it was predictable and boring. Author Ariel Allison managed to intrigue me and keep me guessing. I went from thinking there were one villain and a really stupid damsel in distress to realizing the heroine was more than met the eye. This is definitely a book worth being patient for and getting past the rising action!

    My only complaint is the ending of the book. It frustrated me to leave the two characters hanging on the last words of, "This isn't my name." The book would feel complete if there was a hint to where they are going. I hope their story can be concluded in a sequel somehow.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Could NOT Put It Down!

    This is the first book in a very long time that I absolutely could not put down. Part spy story, part romance and part history lesson, ths book is for anyone who likes those three genres. The book is well-written, easy to get lost in, and has completely relateable characters with enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing. LOVED IT!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Great story

    The details in this story really came to life. The author really did her research on the different art thefts and made thestory even seem true!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Great book!

    Absolutely loved this book! Could not put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Interesting read

    I enjoyed this book and the history it included. 255 pages

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Read this book!!!

    Gonna tell all my friends to read it. What is it about? Read the book!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2013

    Had no idea who was the good guy/bad guy until the very end... a

    Had no idea who was the good guy/bad guy until the very end... and even then!! :) Loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2013

    This was the best read I have had in a long time.  Lots of histo

    This was the best read I have had in a long time.  Lots of history, truths, twists and turns.  
    Surprises to the very end.....Loved this book and can't wait to read another....What's next???? for Abby!
    I have seen the hope diamond many times over the years, but I found the historical stories intriguing.
    Highly Recommend this Book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Good read.

    The story was quite captivating, full of romance and mystery, but I must say that these online books are rarely edited very well. I hate incorrect uses of YOUR and YOU'RE, Their and there, and PORING and POURING, which sadly seem to permeate most of these books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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