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The Eighth Day

The Eighth Day

4.0 15
by John Case, Dick Hill (Read by)

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"And on the Seventh Day, He rested."
–Genesis, 2: 2-3
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genesis Code and The Syndrome, here is a spellbinding new thriller of international intrigue, religious prophecy, cutting-edge science, and unrelenting suspense.
For Danny Cray, a struggling artist


"And on the Seventh Day, He rested."
–Genesis, 2: 2-3
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genesis Code and The Syndrome, here is a spellbinding new thriller of international intrigue, religious prophecy, cutting-edge science, and unrelenting suspense.
For Danny Cray, a struggling artist and part-time private investigator, the offer is too good to be true. A wealthy, enigmatic lawyer, Jude Belzer, would like to retain Danny for a little damage control. His client, an elusive billionaire named Zerevan Zebet, is the target of a vicious campaign in the Italian press that threatens to destroy his reputation. Belzer wants Danny to find out who is responsible–and he will pay handsomely.
Danny’s only lead is the meager estate of a recently deceased professor of religious studies, a man so deeply terrified that he buried himself alive in the basement of an isolated farmhouse. Belzer swears that if Danny can get at the late professor’s files, the conspiracy against his own reclusive client will unravel. It’s the perfect assignment, in a way, and Danny can sure use the money. But the more he probes, the more apparent it becomes that nothing is what it seems. There is something he isn’t being told. Something that’s not quite right. Something dark, fast, and sinister that’s coming at him from behind.
From the powerful world of Washington, D.C., to the ancient grandeur of Rome, from the mysteries of Istanbul to the high-stakes drama of Silicon Valley, The Eighth Day is a briskly paced, globe-trotting thriller of electrifying suspense. Packed with unexpectedreversals and astonishing twists of plot, this is John Case’s most gripping novel to date.

From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography: John Case is the bestselling author of The Genesis Code, The First Horseman, and The Syndrome.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When starving but hopeful 26-year-old artist Danny Cray upgrades his part-time work as a private investigator to full-time, his blind acceptance of misinformation coupled with a readiness to plunge headfirst into situations unknown transform a charming na vet and spirit of spontaneity into fatal shortcomings that threaten to curtail a burgeoning career and endanger his life. In Case's new thriller (after The Syndrome), Cray embarks on escapades that are zesty and riveting, moving from the streets of Washington, D.C., to the Vatican Library to an entire city buried deep under eastern Turkey where a treasured religious object lies hidden. Ostensibly hired to protect the image of a famous businessman by discovering who is behind the smear campaign targeting his client, Cray quickly discovers that he has become involved in an imbroglio far more sinister than anything he expected; instead of the quick and simple high-profit, low-risk deal he envisioned, Danny is confronted with suspicious and terrifying deaths, dangerous technology and evil incarnate. Fast-paced and crammed with descriptions of experimental devices and potentially devastating scientific advances, the novel is unfortunately also saddled with repetitive language, some unrealistic stretches and improbable responses upon which the story line depends for further action. Still, the pieces fit nicely together and Case's fourth thriller is a satisfying and gripping read. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A quick, simple investigation for high profit lures Danny Cray, sculptor and freelance private investigator, into intrigue of international proportions. But lawyer Jude Becker turns out to be the billionaire client Zerevan Zebek, and Danny ends up running for his life-from the Vatican and Sienna, Italy, to Turkey, then Silicon Valley, Washington, DC, and Switzerland. Despite some improbable but not totally impossible plot twists, Danny's charm and innocence prove entertaining. Dick Hill's serviceable reading fills in the characters' personas in a believable way. Highly recommended for all audio collections.-Sandy Glover, West Linn P.L., OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Briskly paced thriller from Case (The Syndrome, 2001, etc.), with high-tech gadgetry, old-fashioned melodrama, and much ado about "gray goo." What's gray goo? It's the McGuffin, of course. Or, as one embattled scientist attempts to explain, "Well, it's the end of the world. At least." Flash back to young Danny Cray confronting a gift horse. Intuitively, he knows that this one should have its mouth inspected-thoroughly. And yet the money is so good. And so desperately needed. A part-time sculptor, part-time snooper who wants very much to be full-time the former, Danny has half a dozen wonderful uses for the fat fee he's being offered for a little elementary p.i. work. Mostly, it will require a few hours of computer jockeying, stuff he's a natural at. So he says yes to the insouciant Jude Belzer, who later turns out to be billionaire Zerevan Zebek, whom some-not without cause-believe to be the devil.. Still, at first, the guy and the gig truly did seem a no-sweat deal. Someone's been trashing a major client, lawyer Belzer informs Danny, and if the who and why of that could be nailed down, Belzer would take it from there. Danny does his part, is duly compensated, but is then asked to burrow a tiny bit deeper-for an add-on fee about which nothing at all is tiny. Charmed by his slick and elegant employer into further self delusion, Danny soon finds himself in Italy (Rome, Siena) on a heady whirl, first-class to his eyeteeth. Inevitably, though, there's an awakening, and, having discovered the dangerous nature of Belzer's megalomania, Danny has to run for his life, Belzer's ill-disposed "bulky boys" in hot pursuit. A standard come-to-realize, run-like-hell plot (consult your Collected AlfredHitchcock), but Case, who writes so very well, keeps it all at a merry boil.

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 6 Hours
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 7.32(h) x 1.44(d)

Read an Excerpt


It was the mailman who reported it, calling 911 half an hour before Delaney’s shift was supposed to end.

The missing man’s pickup was sitting in the driveway and there were lights on in the house, so the mailman thought someone must be home. But no one answered when he knocked, and the mailbox was filled to overflowing. So maybe, he figured, maybe Mr. Terio had suffered a heart attack.

Delaney shook his head and swore at the mailman’s timing. Brent had a play-off game at six, and it was five after five already. Helen would kill him. (You’ve got to be there for him, Jack! Show a little support! What’s more important—your own son or your buddies at the station?) Well, actually . . . the truth was, he liked to go to his son’s games. Brent was a good player—better than he had ever been—and it was fun to bask in the kid’s reflected glory. When things were going well, Brent didn’t really need him there. But when the kid screwed up—well, his son was one intense little guy. Took his own failure way too hard. And Helen didn’t have a clue how to help the kid handle it. (Will you stop that crying! It’s just a game.) So Delaney liked to be there—especially for a big game. But his chances of making it were fading. He and Poliakoff were all the way to hell and gone, way out by the county line where civilization turned to kudzu.

Sitting behind the wheel, Poliakoff gave Delaney a sidelongglance and chuckled. “Don’t sweat it. You want to use the siren?� Delaney shook his head.

“The guy’s probably on vacation,� Poliakoff insisted. “We’ll take a look around—I’ll write it up. No problem.�

Delaney gazed out the window. The air was heavy and still, thick with gloom, the way it gets before a thunderstorm. “Maybe it’ll rain,� he muttered.

Poliakoff nodded. “That’s the spirit,� he told him. “Think positive.�

The cruiser turned onto Barracks Road and, suddenly, though they were barely a mile past a subdivision of bright new town houses, there was nothing in sight but vine-strangled woods and farmland. The occasional rotting barn.

“You ever been out this way?� Poliakoff asked.

Delaney shrugged. “That’s it, over there,� he said, nodding at a metal sign stippled with bullet holes. preacherman lane. “You gotta turn.�

They found themselves on a narrow dirt road, flanked by weeds and at the edge of a dense wood. “Jesus,� Poliakoff muttered as the cruiser crested a rise, then bottomed out with a thud be- fore he could brake. “Since when does Fairfax County have dirt roads?�

“We still got a couple,� Delaney replied, thinking the roads wouldn’t be around much longer. The Washington suburbs were metastasizing in every direction and had been for twenty years. In a year or two, the farmhouse up ahead—a yellow farmhouse, suddenly visible on the left—would be gone, drowned by a rising tide of town houses, Wal-Marts, and Targets.

The mailbox was at the end of the driveway, a battered aluminum cylinder with a faded red flag nailed to the top of a four-by-four T set in concrete. A name was stenciled on the side: c. terio.

Next to the mailbox, three or four newspapers were jammed into a white plastic tube that bore the words the washington post. A dozen other editions lay on the ground in a neatish pile, some already turning yellow.

When the mailman had reached out to 911, he’d suggested, “You should go in, take a look around the house, see what you can see.�

But of course, they couldn’t exactly do that. Under the circumstances, the most they could do was knock on the door, walk around the property, talk to the neighbors—not that there were any, far as Delaney could tell.

Climbing out of the cruiser, the deputies stood for a moment, watching and listening. Thunder rumbled in the south, and they could hear the distant hum of the Beltway. With a grin, Poliakoff sang in his cracking baritone, “H-e-e-ere we come to save the da-a-yyyy—�

“Let’s get this over with,� Delaney grumbled, setting off toward the house.

They passed an aging Toyota Tacoma at the end of the driveway, its rear end backed toward the house as if its owner had been loading or unloading something. Together the two policemen crossed the overgrown lawn to the front door.

The knocker was a fancy one—hand-hammered iron in the shape of a dragonfly. Poliakoff put his fist around it, drew back, and rapped loudly. “Hullo?�


“Hel-lo?� Poliakoff cocked his head and listened hard. When no reply came, he tried the door and, finding it locked, gave a little shrug. “Let’s go around back.� Together the deputies made their way around the side of the house, pausing every so often to peer through the windows.

“He left enough lights on,� Delaney observed.

At the rear of the house, they passed a little garden—tomatoes and peppers, zucchini and pole beans—that might have been tidy once but was now abandoned to weeds. Nearby, a screen door led into the kitchen. Poliakoff rapped on its wooden frame four or five times. “Anyone home? Mr. Terio! You in there?�


Or almost nothing. The air trembled with the on-again, off-again rasp of cicadas and, in the distance, the insectoid murmur of traffic. And there was something else, something . . . Delaney cocked his head and listened hard. He could hear . . . laughter. Or not laughter, actually, but . . . a laugh track. After a moment, he said, “The television’s on.�

Poliakoff nodded.

Delaney sighed. No way he was going to get to Brent’s baseball game. He could feel it.

Even so, there was nothing they could do, really. The doors were locked and they didn’t have a warrant. There was no real evidence of a medical emergency, much less of foul play. But it was suspicious, and since they were already out here, they might as well take a look around. Be thorough about it.

Poliakoff walked back to where the newspapers were lying, squatted, and sorted through them. The oldest was dated July 19—more than two weeks ago.

A few feet away, Delaney checked out the truck in the driveway. On the front seat he found a faded and sun-curled receipt for a cash purchase at Home Depot. It, too, was dated July 19 and listed ten bags of Sakrete, 130 cinder blocks, a mortaring tool, and a plastic tub.

“A real do-it-yourselfer,� he remarked, showing the receipt to Poliakoff, then reaching into the cruiser to retrieve his notebook.

“I’ll check around the other side of the house,� Poliakoff told him.

Delaney nodded and leaned back against the cruiser, going through the motions of making notes. Not that there was much to put down.

August 3 C. Terio 2602 Preacherman Lane Oldest paper—July 19 Home Depot receipt, same date

He looked at his watch and noted the time: 5:29. The whole thing was a waste of time, no matter how you looked at it. Delaney had responded to a couple of hundred calls like this during his ten years with the department, and nine times out of ten the missing person was senile or off on a bender. Once in a while, they turned up dead, sprawled on the bathroom floor or sitting in the BarcaLounger. This kind of thing wasn’t really police work. It was more like a janitorial service.


Delaney looked up. Poliakoff was calling to him from the other side of the house. Tossing the notebook onto the front seat of the cruiser, he glanced at the sky—there was a curtain of rain off to the south, which gave him more hope that Brent’s game would be rained out—and headed off in the direction of his partner.

As it happened, there was an outside entrance to the basement—a set of angled metal doors that opened directly onto a short flight of concrete steps, leading down. Poliakoff was standing on the steps, the doors at attention on either side of him, like rusted wings. “Whaddya think? We take a look?�

Delaney frowned and inclined his head toward one of the doors. “That the way you found them?�

Poliakoff nodded. “Yeah. Wide open.�

Delaney shrugged. “Could be a burglary, I guess—but let’s make it quick.� He was thinking, Dear God, don’t let there be a stiff down there, or we’ll be here all night.

Poliakoff ducked his head, calling out Terio’s name as he descended the steps, Delaney right behind him.

The basement was utilitarian—a long rectangular room with a seven-foot ceiling, cinder-block walls, and a cement floor. A single fluorescent light buzzed and flickered over a dusty tool bench in a corner of the room. A moth beat its wings against the fixture.

Delaney glanced around. Nervously. He didn’t like basements. He’d been afraid of them ever since he’d been a kid, though nothing had ever really happened to him in one. They just creeped him out. And this place, with its cheap shelves crowded with cans of paint, boxes of nails and screws, and tools, it was like every basement he’d ever seen: ordinary and evil, all at once.

Poliakoff wrinkled his nose.

“You smell something?� Delaney asked, his eyes searching the cellar.

“Yeah, I think so,� his partner said. “Sort of.�

On a shelf beneath the tool bench Delaney noticed a red plastic container marked: mower fuel. “It’s probably gas,� he told his partner.

Poliakoff shook his head. “Unh-unh.�

Delaney shrugged. “Whatever,� he said, “there’s no one here.� Turning to leave, he started for the steps but stopped when he realized that Poliakoff wasn’t following him. “Whatcha got?� he asked, looking back to his partner, who was holding a Maglite at shoulder height, its powerful beam funneling into the farthest corner of the room.

“I’m not sure,� Poliakoff muttered, crossing the basement to where the flashlight’s beam splashed against the far wall. “It’s weird.�

Delaney looked at the wall and realized Poliakoff was right: it was weird. At the north end of the basement, a corner was partitioned off by what looked like a pair of hastily built cinder-block walls. At right angles to each other, the walls were each about four feet across and went floor-to-ceiling, creating a sort of concrete closet, a closet without a door. “What is that?� Delaney asked.

Poliakoff shook his head and moved closer.

The closet—or whatever it was—was amateurishly made. Blobs of mortar bulged between the cinder blocks, which were stacked in a half-assed way that wasn’t quite plumb. The deputies stared at the construction. Finally, Poliakoff said, “It’s like . . . it’s like a little jackleg room!�

Delaney nodded, then ran a hand through his thick brown hair. “It’s probably what he did with the Home Depot stuff. He must have—�

“You smell it now?� Poliakoff asked.

Delaney sniffed. Even though he’d been a smoker most of his life, there was no mistaking the stink in the air. He’d spent two years in a Graves Registration unit at Dover Air Force Base and, if nothing else, he knew what death smelled like.

“Could be a rat,� Poliakoff suggested. “They get in the walls. . . .�

Delaney shook his head. His heart was beating harder now, the adrenaline coursing through his chest. He took a deep breath and examined the construction more closely.

The sloppiest part was closest to the ceiling—where the top row of cinder blocks lay crookedly upon the lower course, mortar dripping from the joints. Delaney picked off a piece and crushed it between his thumb and forefinger.

“You don’t think this guy . . . ?� Poliakoff let the sentence trail away as Delaney crossed the basement to the workbench and came back with a hammer and a screwdriver. “Maybe we’d better call this in.�

From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 2002 by John Case

Meet the Author

John Case is the bestselling author of The Genesis Code, The First Horseman, The Syndrome, The Eighth Day, and The Murder Artist.

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Eighth Day 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutly seemless plot and action. Tied for first on my John Case list next to 'Genesis Code'. His ability to bind story, plot and thrill are incredible. One of the funnest reads I have had in a while. Well done! Hey John...When is your next due out???
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Felix_Hamic More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Dan Brown and Brad Meltzer and was told this book is like one of theirs. It maybe similar in ggenre, but that's about it. I struggled to get through it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the way the main charactor kept getting in deeper and deeper. Kept me turning the page to see how he would get out of each 'fix' he found himself in. That's why once I started reading the story, just could not put the book down.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Explosive and addictive, a taut, sharply penned thriller from page 1 to startling finish - that's John Case's fourth novel. While the author surely proved himself with "The Syndrome," "The First Horseman," and the New York Times bestseller "The Genesis Code," he exceeds all expectations with his latest, a hard-driving journey propelled by international intrigue and amazing technological advances. Danny Cray is a 28-year-old artist with hair enhanced by spiky blond highlights (thanks to girlfriend, Caliegh) and three piercings in his left ear (thanks to himself). He's a sculptor and video artist who has just been offered a showing at Neon, a prestigious gallery. To make ends meet he has been moonlighting as a private investigator for Fellner Associates; now he needs to come up with enough art to make a proper presentation - some expensive new equipment would help. It seems almost serendipitous when he receives a call from a wealthy attorney, Jude Belzer, asking him to do a little work for him. According to Belzer, a powerful, super-rich Italian businessman, Zerevan Zabek, is the target of unfounded slander. Belzer wants to keep this assignment separate from his other dealings with Fellner, and asks Danny to take it on solo, tracing the smears to their source. Naive is a good description of Danny when he first meets Belzer - what attorney has a phalanx of bodyguards? Nonetheless, the proposition is too tempting, too easy, and too lucrative. Danny grabs it. He's instructed to find out all that he can about a professor of religious studies who died recently, evidently by sealing himself alive in a concrete vault. Belzer insists that if Danny can get to the late professor's papers, his files, all will come to light. But, instead of light there's darkness, a sinister darkness as a man the professor called on the day he died also turns up dead. A FedEx receipt in the professor's trash indicates that he sent his computer to a priest in Rome stationed at the Vatican. End of assignment, or so Danny believes. Belzer is in Rome, and he can simply look up the priest, retrieve the computer, and solve the mystery. But, no, Belzer wants Danny to go to Rome and get the computer. Ten thousand dollars plus $800 per day is more than the young artist can turn down. But, what could this computer hold? He boards a plane for Rome, where he meets his interpreter, Paulina, "a dark beauty, thirty at the outside, with the kind of high-gloss glamour that costs real money." His suite at a luxe hotel has every imaginable accouterment, yet he has unknowingly placed himself in jeopardy, his fate to be determined by Zabek, a man who had a way of "killing people that gave dying a bad name." From Rome with all of its glories Danny's quest takes him to Istanbul, and a terrifying encounter in an underground cistern. From there he travels to a remote Turkish border town, still searching for answers, and only one step ahead of those who would kill him. John Case is a master at limning the scenes of Italy, especially Siena's Palio, a breathtaking bareback horse race held in Siena's seashell shaped piazza.. His characters are drawn incisively, whether they be arresting or menacing. Dialogue sparks as suspense builds to a thrilling denouement. Open "The Eighth Day" only if you're prepared to not put it down - Case's tale grabs you with the first page, shakes you up a good bit, and doesn't let go until the final word.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In his mid twenties, Danny Cray cringes at the image of the starving artist as he has chosen to supplement his meager earnings as a sculptor with sleuthing. His latest customer, charismatic and wealthy attorney Jude Belzer hires Danny to do some research into whom and why someone has been attacking the reputation of a client. Danny easily succeeds and in return receives a nice fee. Jude asks Danny to dig deeper so the part time detective flies to the Vatican to conduct more research as lure of the first class accommodations are too impossible to resist. However, Danny uncovers a lot more than he was supposed to and he now knows the deadly game his benefactor plays. His discovery leads to Belzer sending his thugs to dispose of Danny, who now flees for his life. When it comes to an action-packed thriller, the writing team of John Case is as sure a bet as fans will find out. The latest tale, THE EIGHTH DAY, never eases off the throttle as readers follow Danny walk deeper into trouble one step at a time. Though this theme of relative innocence deluded by glamour into a deadly scenario is as old as the bible, readers will root for Danny to defeat his much more powerful foe even if it takes unrealistic spins for him to have a slim chance. The case on this book and previous novels by this writing duo (see THE SYNDROME and THE GENESIS CODE) is that the story line always goes at hyperspeed driven by a likable hero in over their head against a clever villain. Harriet Klausner