The 34th Degree

The 34th Degree

by Thomas Greanias

Hardcover(Atria Books)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451612394
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 06/28/2011
Edition description: Atria Books
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Thomas Greanias is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels. He is the founder and CEO of Thomas Greanias Entertainment, a Beverly Hills based media company. He is also a former journalist and screenwriter whose works have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and television. Greanias lives in Bel Air, California, with his family.

Read an Excerpt


It was on the Feast of the Ascension, forty days after Easter 1943, when an agent of the British Secret Service turned up at the doorstep of the Monastery of the Taborian Light and Philip knew his life as a monk was over.

Wrapped in his black cassock and hood, Philip had been on his knees with his brothers in the sanctuary, celebrating the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, praying in eager expectation at the blessed hope of His return. This was as he had done for over twenty years, ever since he renounced his former ways and retired to the Monastery of the Taborian Light.

The monastery was perched atop one of the many otherworldly peaks of Meteora, the most remote and mysterious region of Greece. A thousand feet below lay the village of Kastraki, nestled in the foothills. Clinging to its gray granite summit, undisturbed by war or petty human conflicts, the Taborian Light was an impregnable retreat where the Eastern Orthodox monks could witness the unfolding of earthly affairs below and reflect on the eternal.

Here Philip made it his ambition to lead a quiet and peaceful life, just as the apostle Paul had instructed the original church at Thessaloniki. Toward that end, he had allowed his gray hair and beard to grow long, making him seem older than his fifty years, and cloaked in the humility of a monk, he tried to make himself as small and wiry a figure as possible.

But his shapeless cassock could not hide his hard physique or the alert, confident movements of his limbs. Nor could his hood completely veil his eaglelike nose and sharp features. Locals who glimpsed his face during a rare trip to the village never missed his shining black ramlike eyes, set wide apart, gazing placidly from beneath his bushy eyebrows. Their faces would darken with fear, and they would scurry away. Whether they recognized him or not, they instinctively knew he was not one of them.

The sound of hurried footsteps broke Philip’s trance, and his quick black eyes darted up to see Brother Vangelis whisper into the Archimandrite’s ear. The old monk’s face, barely visible behind his great beard and the misty veil of burning incense, fell as he looked at Philip, and the peace that Philip had known for twenty years left him.

So the day has come, Philip thought, and with it the dread.

Philip crossed himself three times before he rose from the floor. With a silent nod, he acknowledged the Archimandrite, took a deep breath, and left the sanctuary.

The visitor was in the narthex, admiring a wall painting of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He was dressed like a Greek peasant, and with his high forehead, long aesthetic features, and beard, he bore an absurd resemblance to a saint out of some Byzantine icon. But his blue eyes and fair skin betrayed him. When he spoke, it was in perfect Oxford English.

“Commander Lloyd, British Intelligence,” said the Englishman, looking him over. “You must be Philip. You’re smaller than I thought.”

That was what most men thought. Philip lowered his hood and watched Lloyd drop back a couple of steps in fear.

“They were right after all,” said Lloyd, marveling. “The face of a hawk and the eyes of a ram.”

Philip narrowed his eyes. “What do you want, Commander Lloyd of British Intelligence?”

“Why, the same thing the Nazis want,” Lloyd replied. “The Templar Globe. More precisely, what’s inside the globe.”

An uneasiness Philip hadn’t felt since his early days now gripped his heart, and he blinked as though he failed to understand. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what—”

“The Maranatha text,” pressed Lloyd. “The one the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church in the first century. The one that dates the end of history and the return of Christ.”

© 2011 Thomas Greanias

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The 34th Degree 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1943 at the Monastery of the Taborian Light in Meteora, Greece, British and Nazi agents seek the Templar Globe, which contains the Maranatha text written by Paul, which predicts the return of Christ. The text apparently was used by the Byzantine Empire to develop the Greek Fire that ended the spread of Islam and centuries later when Constantinople fell, the Muslims looked everywhere for this scroll. In the present Sam Deker struggles with civilian life in Los Angeles after being dishonorably discharged from the military (see The Promised War). He suffers from such severe nightmares that a sleep disorder clinic tests him. He learns the light wave torture he underwent as a prisoner changed him. Applying the Patriot Act, the Pentagon finds out about the condition of the disgraced former Ranger. They decide he is the only viable candidate to undergo the experimental the 34th Degree Neurosimulation of having brain cells implanted in his brain. In 1943 Chris Andros and Nazi General Ludwig von Berg competed in a deadly forum to gain the Maranatha text and the hand of beautiful Greek Aphrodite Vasilis. Now Deker is injected with tissues from long deceased von Berg and recently dead Andros; his mission, if he survives, is to discover what happened to the Maranatha text. The Alignment seeks the same text using the identical methodology. This is an action-packed thriller that will remind readers of Trevor Hoyle's Professor Q novels (seek Seeking the Mythical Future). The cast is stereotyped, including the heroes of 1943 and 2011, between the good, the bad and the evil. Still faster than the speed of light and filled with lethal competition in both eras, fans will enjoy Thomas Greanias' exciting tale. Harriet Klausner
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"THE 34TH DEGREE" BY THOMAS GREANIAS Usually this is not my genre of choice but this book was well-written and fascinating. A book about terrorists, secret operations, and one man's struggle to keep catastrophic events from unfolding. This is a great read with a slight supernatural/sci-fi feel. I'd definitely recommend it! -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
RavenswoodPublishing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"THE 34TH DEGREE" BY THOMAS GREANIASUsually this is not my genre of choice but this book was well-written and fascinating. A book about terrorists, secret operations, and one man's struggle to keep catastrophic events from unfolding. This is a great read with a slight supernatural/sci-fi feel.I'd definitely recommend it!-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Selina_Kyle More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Action packed and kept you turning page after page late into the night way. If you like historical thrillers then this is definitely a book you need to check out!