The Memorist (Reincarnationist Series #2)

( 24 )

Overview

“Rose raises the stakes for her ensemble until events come to an excruciatingly tense crescendo.” — People magazine [A People Book Pick]

As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by bizarre memories and faint strains of elusive music. Now a strange letter beckons her to Vienna, promising to unlock the mysteries of her past. With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, Beethoven’s lost flute and journalist David Yalom.
David...

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The Memorist

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Overview

“Rose raises the stakes for her ensemble until events come to an excruciatingly tense crescendo.” — People magazine [A People Book Pick]

As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by bizarre memories and faint strains of elusive music. Now a strange letter beckons her to Vienna, promising to unlock the mysteries of her past. With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, Beethoven’s lost flute and journalist David Yalom.
David knows loss firsthand — terrorism took his entire family. Now, beneath a concert hall in Vienna, he plots a violent wake-up call to illustrate the world’s need for true security.
Join international bestselling author M. J. Rose in her unforgettable novel about a woman paralyzed by the past, a man robbed of his future and a secret centuries old.

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  • The Reincarnationist Series
    The Reincarnationist Series  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423390169
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Reincarnationist Series , #2
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hrs. 6 min.
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

M. J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park, and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
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Read an Excerpt

The souls must reenter the absolute from where they have emerged. They must develop all the perfections; the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another…until they have acquired the condition that fits them for reunion with God.

—Kabbalah (Zohar)

Vienna, Austria

Thursday, April 24th—5:00 p.m.

Beneath a dome nature had carved out of limestone, David Yalom circumnavigated the rim of the underground canyon without once glancing into its black crevasse. Nothing about his measured footsteps suggested he was aware of how dangerous the drop was even though only minutes before his guide had thrown a stone into the abyss that they'd never heard hit bottom. Finally, after four hours of rock climbing and trekking through the gloomy network of tubes and channels, wading through subterranean streams, crossing still pools studded with stalagmites and boiling lakes, he saw what he'd come here for. Up ahead on the right, exactly as Hans Wassong had described it, was a crude but massive arch cut into the rock, a cross roughly etched in the stone like some kind of religious graffiti.

"So this place you told me about really does exist." David laughed, but it was a bitter sound that, instead of suggesting humor, suggested there was none left anywhere in the world.

"I told you that you could trust me." To converse, these two men—the Israeli journalist and the Austrian felon—each spoke English with different but equally heavy accents. "This entire area is part of the larger tell site," Wassong continued.

"Tell site?" David's irrepressible curiosity got the better of him. He wasn't there as a reporter, but a lifetime of digging deep into every aspect of every story was a habit that died hard.

"A tell site," Wassong said, showing off, "is one that builds up in layers over time. A Jewish ghetto on top of a medieval city on top of an ancient Roman city. You'd have to raze all of Vienna's streets to chart this underground world of sewers, cellars and catacombs."

The area up ahead glowed in the beams of light streaming from the halogen lamps affixed to the men's helmets. Everywhere else fell off into shadow and interminable darkness; each step they took vanished behind them. The last few feet of the dangerous ledge rose steeply until finally they reached the entrance. Wassong walked under the low-hanging arch but David had to stoop to follow him into the crypt.

At the sound of their footsteps a rat, its red eyes flashing, vacated an infant-sized skull and darted off, disappearing into a pile of age-bleached bones.

The noise alerted David and he pulled his gun.

Wassong reached out and lowered the weapon for David. "No, you could set off an avalanche. We could be crushed to death and I prefer to be buried where my relatives can come visit."

All around them, intact skeletons rested in dozens of alcoves scooped out of the walls. Looking around the secret cemetery, David tried not to superimpose his own family's features on these bones—but failed. All dead had become his own dead, victims of his country's enemies' relentless efforts to commit genocide and the abysmal failure of those in charge to protect the innocent.

"Listen to these acoustics," Wassong said, and pointed to the ceiling as if it were possible to see the music filtering down. "Astonishing that the sound reaches down this far, isn't it?"

As the sour notes split the dank air, instead of violins tuning up, David heard an air raid siren before his brain acknowledged it was only an auditory mirage. He would kill to quell this constant onslaught of memories, except without them what would sustain him long enough for him to carry out his plan? Memory was a mystery. Why did he remember some moments—was even haunted by them—when others, desperate as he was to remember them—like the smell of his wife's hair—still eluded him?

"We're directly under Vienna's greatest concert hall now," Wassong explained as he took off his glasses and wiped them with a navy bandana. David had used the mannerism to characterize the man in the first article he'd written about him. After putting the glasses back on, Wassong pointed to the north wall, which had several fissures in it.

"This area abuts an ancient shaft that leads up to the building's sub-basement. The music is traveling through grates that were once part of an old heating system."

"And you're sure this area isn't mapped?"

A clash of cellos, horns, flutes and oboes struggled but was unable to settle into harmony. One instrument dominated, then another and then another, all together creating discordant aggregates the same way David's mind threw up distinct and separate memory snapshots. His wife's face a mass of bloody, unrecognizable horror. Then Lisle's face years before, laughing at one of his pathetic attempts to tell a joke on a lazy afternoon at the beach. His son, Isaac, at five, insisting on taking his bicycle to bed with him the first day he got it. Then the raw stump where Isaac's left foot used to be. And on and on. David counted each memory as if that proved something. But what? That he had once been a sane man living a purposeful life? Or that he had valid and palpable reasons for what he was planning?

Hans was still explaining: "From the middle ages on these caverns were mostly used as burial chambers until they became so unsanitary that in the 1700s Emperor Joseph the Second shut them down. Who would map tombs?"

"That doesn't look like an artifact from the 1700s." David pointed to a crushed olive-drab metal pail half buried in a corner of the grotto. He'd learned when he was a rookie reporter that details told the truth even when people lied.

"During World War II the government reopened a few sections as bomb shelters. When the buildings above them were hit, some of the caves collapsed. Hundreds of people were crushed to death, and our underground city was once again abandoned, considered unsafe. Except, for some of us, it's safer down here than up there, isn't it?"

David ignored the conspiratorial wink in Wassong's voice. "But there are people who know about this place?"

"There were, yes, but judging from the signs, no one has been here in decades. You can trust me on this, David. And you can also pay me. I believe that was our agreement. I deliver your site, you deliver my fee."

Ten years ago, while writing a story about the Eastern European illegal arms market, David had met Hans Wassong, who'd been on Interpol's watch list for decades, suspected of kidnapping, manslaughter and trafficking of both weapons and explosives. Over the years, the journalist had gained the criminal's trust and used him as a source. Now their positions were reversed. David wasn't reporting on a story this time; he was going to be the story and Wassong was the one who could expose him.

Unzipping his dark green knapsack, David pulled out the thick envelope and handed it to Wassong, who opened it, counted through the pile of two-hundred-euro notes, then wordlessly stuffed the envelope inside his jacket pocket and patted it down. "So tell me, when will you have everything arranged?"

"By Monday or Tuesday."

"You'll move down here then?" Wassong's question sounded like urging.

"What have you heard? Is there any new chatter?"

"Tangentially. Ahmed Abdul has been spotted in Serbia."

Serbia was slightly more than 500 kilometers away. Two thousand kilometers closer to Vienna than Palestine. Was it a coincidence? David had covered every International Security and Technology Association conference since 1995, and it would have been simple for the terrorist to confirm David was reporting on ISTA again this year and follow him to Vienna.

"You know you're still on their list, don't you?" Wassong asked when David didn't respond.

"Of course." The tone he used to acknowledge he was being hunted was the same as the one he would use to acknowledge his profession as a reporter.

The orchestra finished tuning up and launched into the stormy and heroic opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

"Fate is knocking at the door," Wassong said.

"What?"

"One day Beethoven pointed to the opening of the first movement of this symphony and said to his secretary—'Thus Fate knocks at the door.'"

"You surprise me, Hans. An arms dealer, cartographer, spelunker and now I find you're a Beethoven scholar too?"

"It's difficult to live in Vienna and not soak up the musical lore."

For a few minutes the cold stones turned into plush red chairs, gilt molding edged the rock walls and the crypt became a concert hall as two men listened to a symphony, lost in its sound. David's wife had especially loved the Fifth. Shutting his eyes, he allowed himself the indulgence of memory.

"Are you all right?" Wassong asked.

The music rose to a crescendo that filtered down to the bowels of the earth, reaching his core. David didn't hear Wassong's question. At least, he was thinking, next week, when they were all ushered out of this world it would be on the wings of music that belonged to the angels.

"How far down are we?" David asked, back to business.

"Twelve or fourteen meters," Wassong said. "Too deep for ground-penetrating radar to find you and the perfect place to plant your explosives. Right here, right where we are standing. Nothing—not the building, not the audience—will survive the attack. You have to admit, it's an excellent spot, no?"

New York City

Thursday, April 24th—11:00 a.m.

Meer ran down the steps of the Natural History Museum on Central Park West, scanning the street for a cab even before she reached the sidewalk. When she didn't spot one, she decided it would be just as fast to walk the six blocks to the Phoenix Foundation. She shouldn't have agreed to leave work in the middle of the morning but Malachai Samuels wasn't an easy man to say no to. Part shaman, part therapist, part confessor, even when he'd been unable to find answers he'd always been there to help her through the dark nights and lonely days, to soothe her fears and assuage her sadness. On the phone, Malachai had assured her the meeting wouldn't take more than an hour and that really was all she had to spare. Tonight's fund-raising event was critical for the success of the Memory Dome project: a permanent study and exhibition space devoted to the exploration of memory. As the project's associate curator she had too much to do to give up even an hour.

Eight minutes later she was listening to the ticking of the nineteenth century ormolu clock on the marble mantel that seemed to slow to creeping as if preparing to stop and then go backward. Impossible, except Meer knew that in Malachai Samuels' office time didn't always move in the same direction as it did everywhere else in the world.

"This is for you," the reincarnationist said, placing a badly weathered and over-stamped envelope on the table between them. She recognized her father's handwriting.

"So now you're playing messenger? Did my father tell you why he sent this to me care of you?"

"So you wouldn't be alone when you opened it."

"Like a child." Her smile was resigned.

"No matter what your age he'll always be your father." Malachai's refined British accent made the sentence seem like a pronouncement. He looked refined, too: his suits were always pressed, his nails always buffed. A hundred years ago he would have easily passed as a member of the aristocracy.

"Do you know what this is about?"

"He didn't enlighten me."

Picking it up, she ripped it open and pulled out the contents.

Unfolding the coarse yellowed paper she looked down on a little girl's drawing done in gold, orange, red and brown crayons. The lines didn't stay straight, didn't meet at the corners, but still managed to represent a box. Not just any box but the illusory treasure chest she'd been morbidly fascinated with as a child. When her parents asked her why she kept drawing it over and over she didn't know. When they asked where she'd seen it she could only tell them "before."

Then they asked what else she remembered from "before" and she told them. It was like a very bad dream, except she only had it when she was awake and it was always the same. She was in a forest, during a storm, being chased by a man trying to get the box away from her. In the background, mysterious music played like it did in movies. And sometimes when she came back to "now" as she called it, she was crying.

The colorful details on the page her father had sent were just scribbles but they illustrated what she'd so clearly seen in her memory—dark polished wood with elaborate silver fittings and a large silver medallion engraved with birds, leaves, horns, flutes, harps and flourishes. Once she'd told her father that the strange music she heard in the bad daydream lived inside the box but she couldn't ever keep it open long enough to hear the song all the way through.

Rejecting what her father and Malachai believed, that the storm and the music and the chase were her past life memories, Meer had spent years trying to understand what she perceived as an affliction. The search eventually led to her getting a master's in cognitive therapy along with a subspecialty in memory—and an acceptable explanation. Meer maintained she suffered false memories: as a young child either her unconscious had distorted actual events, or she'd confused her dreams with reality.

"It's just one of my old drawings," she said with relief as she offered it to Malachai.

His dark eyes widened slightly as he inspected it for a few seconds. Then he removed a paper clip in the upper right-hand corner, and examined a second sheet of paper. The clock ticked away the seconds as it had done for over a hundred and fifty years. "I think you missed this," he finally said as he handed it to her.

It was a tear sheet from an auction catalog.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Glad this is a series

    Having not read any of the previous series, I was pleased I could jump right in and not spend half of my time being reintroduced to the characters. Quirky, exciting and fun it is a great escape read and I found myself involved with most of the characters.
    The plot was original and a nice break from the usual mystery/thriller books available. I look forward to reading the entire series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Very well written

    Absolutely love this series

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well Paced and Interesting

    "The Mem­o­rist" by M.J. Rose is the sec­ond in fic­tional "The Rein­car­na­tion­ist" series. As in the first book, this one also deals with past lives and the mys­tery behind them.

    Meers Logan is haunted by night­mares which seem vivid and real. She can smell, see and hear faint music which she can't put her fin­ger on. When an enve­lope addressed to the Phoenix Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cated to recov­ery of past life mem­o­ries, Meers rec­og­nize the box which she spent years imagining.

    Meers is deter­mained to unlock the mys­tery and trav­els to Vienna to recover the lost mem­ory Flute linked to the great com­poser Lud­wig van Beethoven.

    I liked "The Rein­car­na­tion­ist" and "The Mem­o­rist" by M. J. Rose didn't dis­ap­point either. When I saw that the book starts out quot­ing the Zohar I imme­di­ately knew that the author has done her research.

    While "The Mem­o­rist" is a bit slower than the pre­vi­ous novel, I thought the story was more inter­est­ing, the char­ac­ters are more fleshed out and Vienna comes alive. Some of the char­ac­ters from the first novel make an appear­ance, and even have an impor­tant role, how­ever one need not read the first book to enjoy this one (even tough I would rec­om­mend it).

    Ms. Rose com­plied a bunch of beliefs about rein­car­na­tion from sev­eral reli­gions and reli­gious texts and did a great job com­bin­ing them and explain­ing some com­plex the­ol­ogy in sim­ple terms.

    On a side note: I loved that Ms. Rose incor­po­rated Beethoven's Immor­tal Beloved into this book. From some rea­son I just got a kick out of it when it "clicked".

    If you fol­low my blog you know that I enjoy a diverse range of books and am not afraid to tackle dif­fi­cult and long books. One of the main rea­sons I enjoy these books is because they intro­duce me to a con­cept that is con­tro­ver­sial and not part of the main­stream. While I don't know if I believe in rein­car­na­tion (though it sure would be nice) I still find it inter­est­ing to read about.

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyed it More Than the First Book

    This book is the second in a series partially about a society of researchers studying and exploring reincarnation. I enjoyed both, but liked this one more than the first. The historical sections seemed more real to me in this sequel. The stories in three time periods are woven together well and relate in a way that cleverly shows how souls might truly be bound to each other throughout time in order to learn life's lessons. Karma, justice, and love eventually (though often painfully) prevail in the end.
    Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel "To Be Chosen"

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    Excellent Read - Reminds Me of Dan Brown

    I enjoyed the complexity and suspense of this book and would recommend it to Dan Brown fans. M.J. Rose obviously did a tremendous amount of research to make this book so enjoyable. I look forward to reading the others in the series.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Enjoyable

    Read her first book and it makes this one much better. Fun read the two books make a great gift for readers who like the reincarnation.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great follow up

    This is the second in the sries and doesn't disappoint. I had never heard of M.J. Rose until a friend gave me The Reincarnationist. I had never been interested in reincarnation but the history aspect sounded good. I'm glad I gave it a shot and was thrilled when the new book came out. The story of both books is intriging and fast-paced. The characters are fully developed and real. Give this series a shot and you won't be disappointed.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:

    Makes you think

    The author did it again, another amazing book. The memorist follows another set of individuals who again are highly believable and make you care about what happens to them. The basis for the book, again, is reincarnation. Written in such an elegant manner that it leaves you wondering about the basis for the ideas and philosophy behind reincarnation. I picked the book up just 4 days ago and finished all 107 chapters of it. It was such a good book that I just couldn't put it down. I would recommend this and The Reincarnationist as a holiday gift.

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Haunting Tale

    The Memorist is Ms. Rose's second novel in her Reincarnationist series. It follows the Reincarnationist as secret societies search for the elusive memory tools. Meer Logan is a woman who has been haunted by broken memories since being a small child, while on a job in Vienna she is enfolded into a mystery that along with her father and renowned reincarnationist Malachai Samuels (The Reincarnationist) she will try to solve. Enter David an Israeli journalist with more on his agenda than writing a story. With the help of a multitude of characters this story comes to life as Meer risks her life to solve this mystery that could possibly end the memories that still haunt her.<BR/>In her unique style Ms. Rose gives us an unforgettable story with characters that will stay with you as she takes us through the twists and turns of this exciting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    superb thriller

    As a youngster, Meer Logan only drew pictures of what looked like a treasure chest. Her family obviously noticing the pattern asked her why she insisted on drawing only this object. Meer explained that she had seen it before although no one including her could figure out when her parents assumed it was youthful imagination though they were somewhat concerned with her seemingly compulsive behavior disorder. Now an adult, Meer¿s sixty-five year old dad Jeremy, known as the ¿Jewish Indiana Jones¿ and who works in a Vienna auction house found the box listed in an auction catalogue. Inside the box is a letter that leads Jeremy to conclude that the artifact once was owned by Beethoven's beloved. Meer heads to Austria where memories flood her mind starting with the same flute tune that makes her wonder if she was Beethoven¿s lover in a previous life. As father and daughter seek a mystical flute, a murder and the stealing of the box and its letter makers both of them fear someone has a different fate in store for them. --- THE MEMORIST is much more complex than the exhilarating THE REINCARNATIONIST, as M.J. Rose provides a superb thriller. There are several subplots that converge on Meer who like her dad begins to believe in her previous life. Meer, her dad and several other support players are fully developed so that the audience believes in all the seemingly paranormal nuances. Set aside plenty of time as this is not a fast read, but worth the time as THE MEMORIST is memorable. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 29, 2013

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    Posted April 10, 2010

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    Posted April 24, 2011

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    Posted August 21, 2014

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    Posted November 6, 2008

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