The University of Pittsburgh campus is anything but quiet the summer Jamie, a hunky college sophomore, feeling brokenhearted after being dumped by his first boyfriend, decides to audit a summer class on Egyptology taught by the magnetic Dr. Danilo. Several of the university’s star athletes are then found murdered, their bodies completely desiccated, but Jamie has other things on his mind, as Danilo’s attention turns decidedly nonprofessorial. Soon, he is swept up in a passionate affair with his teacher. When Danilo invites Jamie to travel with him, first to Paris and then to Egypt, the young man leaps at the chance, but in Paris, events turn sinister. At the Louvre, an exhibit of Egyptian artifacts includes a relief of a pharaoh kissing his son and successor, who bears more than a slight resemblance to Danilo. Taken alone, this means little, but a murder identical to those in Pittsburgh occurs, and Jamie begins to have uneasy suspicions. In Egypt, Jamie questions Danilo and learns of an ancient cult of kings connected by a single bloodline extending through centuries. Danilo is on a quest to invigorate this line of kings by initiating them and training them to use their power. Those who had been denied their birthright died so that Danilo might live. Now Jamie must choose whether to return to the world he has known, or to join his lover and mentor in a life of passion, power and blood.
John Michael Curlovich has published Cities of the Dead, Owl Light, and The Colors of Hell under the pseudonym Michael Paine. He is the arts and entertainment editor at Planet Q in Pittsburgh.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I switched on the light and descended. On the first level I heard voices and paused. It was unlikely Danilo would be there, but… After a moment I was able to make out what I was hearing. It was Feld, talking to himself. In Latin.
I paused at the landing. The electric lights, as always, didn't provide much illumination. But at least I was used to the dim place by now. I stood and listened. Everything was perfectly silent. The doors to the various rooms were all closed.
After a moment I decided to call out. "Danilo?"
My voice echoed down the corridor.
A bit louder. "Danilo?"
He wasn't there, it seemed. I took a few steps down the passageway and knocked lightly on the doors, knowing it was useless.
And it was. There was no one.
I headed back to the stairs. No use lingering down there when there was work to be done. I switched off the lights in the corridor and put my foot on the first step.
There were voices.
It took me a moment to realize where they were coming from: below.
I called down the steps. "Danilo?"
There were whispers, just at the limit of my hearing, so faint I wasn't even quite certain I was hearing them. Not at all sure it was the right thing to do, I took a few steps down. "Danilo?"
The voices went silent. Then in a moment they began again. I shouted his name still again, and again they became quiet.
I had to see. Danilo had always been so emphatic that I wasn't to go below the second sub-basement. But there was someone there. If it was him, he'd be angry, but I had seen his anger before and I knew he wouldn't stay that way very long, not with me. And if it was someone else,someone who shouldn't be there… I had to see.
Carefully I descended, a few steps, pause, a few more, pause. Listening. Voices. I knew better than to call his name; there would be no answer. Among the murmurs I thought I heard my own name.
The lights strung along the stairs were farther apart the lower I went. Still I continued.
Sub-level Three. I found the switch for the lights along the corridor there; they were so dim and so far apart as to give practically no light at all. Something made me keep my voice low. "Danilo?"
Nothing. The voices were from lower down still.
I hesitated. I had never been so far down into the catacombs before. It was a bit frightening. I remembered how on edge I had been that first time. But I was being foolish. What could happen? Even if there were rats or a garter snake, they'd be more afraid of me than I would be of them.
Down I walked, slowly, gingerly, as quietly as I could manage. The voices whispered, murmured, seemed to call me. At the fourth, final sub-level there was another light switch. It was lower on the wall than the others and I had to grope to find it. A row of dim lamps came on along the corridor, faint lights, twenty feet or more apart.
"Danilo?" My voice was a whisper.
My presence seemed to disturb whoever was there. Everything became still. I took a few steps along the corridor. Finding my resolve, I raised my voice again. "Who's there?"
Nothing. I began to walk. Slowly, cautiously.
Doorways opened to my left and right as I moved along. There were no doors on them; the rooms were black as midnight. Anyone could have been hiding in them. Or anything.
The corridor made a turn. I looked back the way I had come. I was quite alone in that gloom, and I was beginning to find it oppressive. I should go back.
From ahead of me came a whisper. The words were almost inaudible. It seemed to me they whispered, "Come to us."
Another whisper, quite incomprehensible.
"I said who's there?"
There was a soft click. The lights went out.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a really good vampire story that teaches; you must be true to yourself and not hide who you are. This is the first of John Michael Curlovich's books that I've read, and I do want to read more of his work! The company responsible for printing this book did a very poor job of editing. There is a ton of spelling errors that makes the reader "translate". Jamie is a typical, out, young student who falls in love with his professor Danilo. Danilo teaches Jamie about Egyptology, love, and horror. Ultimately, Jamie is forced but not given the choice to choose to partake of the blood of kings. There is a score of murders involving the athletes and art students on campus. Jamie finds himself involved and threatened by these murders too. Still, this book is a very interesting read, and quite a very different twist on the romantic vampire lore.