The Memorist (Reincarnationist Series #2)

The Memorist (Reincarnationist Series #2)

by M. J. Rose

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778326632
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 03/30/2010
Series: Reincarnationist Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 790,204
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 10 novels; Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix, The Reincarnationist, and The Memorist. She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USA Today, Stern, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.

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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The Memorist (Reincarnationist Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
krystalsbooks on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This was good but not my normal reading style. I liked it okay.
etoiline on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The second entry in the Reincarnationist series, this book's hook focuses on music whereas the first centered on archeology. This book was a little tighter than the first and a little more thrilling, though I figured that it wouldn't end with (SPOILER) blowing up an historic music hall in Vienna. The "bad guy" is telegraphed a little bit, and most people will be able to figure out what's going to happen, but this isn't a bad read. I don't think I would have picked it up had I not read the first book in the series, but anyone would be able to. There's not much in this one that refers back to the first, and the main characters are not the same. A few supporting cast members return, and we'll see them again in the next book. It had been a while since I read the Reincarnationist, so I might have forgotten some of the motivations these supporting characters had; sometimes I felt that what the reader knows of their backgrounds doesn't necessarily provide for their actions. But if you can put that aside, this is a good fast-paced thriller with plenty of historical tidbits thrown in. I love that MJ Rose used Beethoven as a plot device, and the book just made me want to see Vienna more.
AuntJha on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I won a copy of this and look forward to reading it!A haunting tale of past lives with some mystery and intrigue thrown in, I think it would make a great movie.
lookingforpenguins on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The Memorist is author M.J. Rose¿s follow-up novel to The Reincarnationist and she has again taken themes of reincarnation, this time weaving 19th century Vienna and the musical world of Ludwig van Beethoven with modern-day terrorist plots. A fast paced historical thriller, The Memorist takes the best elements of The Reincarnationist and improves upon them.Although there is one carry-over character present, The Memorist is most assuredly a stand-alone novel.One of the pleasures of reading an M.J. Rose novel is her approach to historical fiction. While much of The Memorist takes place in present day Vienna, her forays into the 19th century are impeccably researched. She incorporates fascinating details into her story, many of which the reader might dismiss as part of the creative license a historical fiction writer so often invokes. It isn¿t until reaching the author¿s note at the end of the novel that the full extent of Rose¿s research becomes apparent.If the plot synopsis above sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the plot of The Memorist is almost identical to that of her earlier novel, The Reincarnationist. New characters, new memories of past lives, and new artifacts for the protagonist to chase, but the plot movment is the same.However, the improvements over The Reincarnationist are quickly apparent. Characters are more fleshed-out and their motivations better explored, giving the reader closer relationship with the characters.Rose¿s penchant for over-populating her novels with characters is still present, but the improved characterizations make it much easier to keep track of just who is who.But the very best quality of The Memorist is Rose¿s ability to meld time and place, even over the span of centuries, while still maintaining a tight, fast-paced thiller that keeps you guessing to the end.Recommended, of course, for anyone with interest in reincarnation, but also for those who have a love of classical music (Beethoven plays a pretty big role in this novel!) or for those who just want to see a good example of blending modern day with the past.
sagustocox on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The Memorist is the second in a series of books about reincarnation, lost memory tools, and the struggle of Meer Logan to find herself through her past. Her father struggled to help his daughter call her past-life memories to the surface, but Meer found her life bearable only when she avoided the triggers that called those memories to the surface.M.J. Rose's narrative technique easily transports readers to Vienna, the home of Ludwig von Beethoven, and to Vienna in the past when Beethoven lived and taught in the city. She carefuly weaves a suspenseful tale to find a lost memory tool once in the possession of Beethoven. Meer not only struggles with the surfacing memories, but with whom she should trust of her father's friends and how deeply she should not only confide in them, but lean on them when the memories flood her mind."Margaux's lovely home was filled with cleaver and important people, fine food and charming music. It was all a patina. The threads that held the partygoers' polite masks in place were fragile. Everyone in Vienna had an agenda and a plan for how the reapportionment of Europe would work best for them now that Napoleon was in exile. . . . So even here tonight, at what purported to be a totally social gathering, nothing was as it seemed." (Page 226)This paragraph illustrates the facades built up around her father, her long-time confidant Malachai, and her father's sorrowful, new friend Sebastian. The face they present to one another does not represent reality; her father hides many things from her, just as she prepares speeches she believes he wants to hear. While this story is a thriller reminescent of The Da Vinci Code, it is much more, illuminating the relationship between Meer and her father and the secrets that lie beneath."'Yes, behind the facades of these elegant buildings are ugly secrets and dirty shadows. . . .'" (Page 297)Readers will enjoy the shifting perspectives from chapter to chapter and the subplot that lurks beneath the surface and could change everything for the main characters and Vienna. Music, art, and mystery are the order of the day in The Memorist, and they are woven together beautifully."Lifting the plastic cover over the keys she put her fingers on the yellowed ivory and began. The piano had obviously been kept tuned and she was surprised at how differently this two-hundred-year-old instrument played from the ones she was used to. There was more power and feel to its sound, less control, less sustaining power and it seemed she could do more with its loudness and softness." (Page 252)Meer underestimates her abilities, and readers will love the evolution of her character. The only drawback in the novel for readers may be the repetition of several descriptive lines as Meer enters her past memories and "a metallic taste fills her mouth." Aside from this minor annoyance, this novel is action-packed, thrilling, and absorbing. M.J. Rose has done her research and created a believable world in which reincarnation is a viable theory with the potential to be uncovered through the use of various tools.
mckait on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I usually read a series one after another whenever possible. This is the sequel to The Reincarnationist, which was a very good read. This continues the story begun in The Reincarnationist. Seeking out the treasure that ill restore memory of past lives. The Phoenix Foundation is still part of the journey, helping children who remember the past to find their way in the present.The main character this time is Meer, a grown child of the Phoenix Foundation who has not quite come to terms with her memories. I confess to finding this reluctance a bit tedious, but that is only because of my own beliefs regarding reincarnation.Just as in the first book, we are taken to the point of finding the treasure, and being able to enlighten many on their own particular path. Sadly, the instrument of this enlightenment falls into the desperate hands of a man whose single goal is to save his own son, and cares little for the rest of mankind. I have to say that I understand this, and would have felt the same way. I too, have such singular priorities and I am not afraid to admit it.We are taken to Europe, To Vienna, to seek and to find. We find much more than the instrument sought. We find love, betrayal and promise. I like the way this author gives more than we have any right to expect.Just as The Reincarnationist had a stunning ending, so does The Memorist.
lrobe190 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Meer Logan has experienced a waking dream...the same one over and over...since she was a little girl. Her father, a collector of antiquities, believes it is a sign of a past life memories, but Meer has convinced herself after years of therapy that she suffers from "false memories". When her father sends her a photo from an auction catalog of a dark wooden box she is startled. She knows she has seen the box before...not only seen it, but often drew it as a child. Meer heads to Austria to visit her father and her arrival sets into motion a series of events that puts her life and her father's into jeopardy. It turns out that the wooden box once belonged to Beethoven. Before his death, he used the box to hide the secret of an ancient flute that has the power to elicit past life memories from anyone listening to its music. With this companion book to her bestseller, "Reincarnationist", Rose has once again written a compelling thriller combining multiple plot lines and locations. The intense action takes place in a little over a week, but takes us on a journey into Beethoven's Vienna in the 1800s and back further to India in 2120 B.C.E. Rose manages to connect all of the plot lines and seemingly random characters from all time periods by the time the book ends. The Memorist will leave you breathless, but entirely satisfied.
BookDivasReads on LibraryThing 25 days ago
An OK read simply not as good IMHO as THE REINCARTIONIST.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find these stories to be very entertaining. This is the second book I've read by the author. I like the bit of history woven into these fantastic stories. I don't believe in reincarnation so I don't believe you need to in order to enjoy the books. I'll definitely read more by this author.
otterly More than 1 year ago
This book has not one, but two sets of flashbacks, which I DON"T think add to the story. Meer Logan was once a confused young girl, who seems to still be confused. The book takes place in Vienna. Other characters are her father, and a number of their friends. There are many references to Beethoven, and a flute made of the bone of one of his friends is a large part of the plot. One friend is a musician who is to perform in a concert and also has a young son who is mentally confused--as Meer was. Another person wants to blow up the concert hall with Semtex. I would not read other books by this author, nor recommend it to a book group.
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Absolutely love this series
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Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
"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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MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
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"
NPRFAN_1 More than 1 year ago
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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