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When Hank Gild is given the opportunity to take up his dream job, he accepts the offer with excitement. As a tour guide at the historical imperial castle on Lake Starnberg, Hank delights his guests with stories of the late Bavarian emperor-his antics, his precious artifacts and the mystery shrouding his death in 1886. But it seems that not all the castle's visitors are of pure heart. Before long, Hank is forced down a path of greed, deception and danger with no way out. A once happy and simple life unexpectedly becomes a treacherous nightmare. Who can he trust? Can Hank save himself before learning the ultimate lesson?
Sliding behind the tapestry immortalizing the king’s coronation, then positioning my flashlight to take full advantage of its beam, I went to work. The old lock cracked within seconds. The click echoing around the room appeared loud to my already adrenaline-laden senses. With a heart pounding like a jackhammer, I reached for the handle, savoring the feeling of cold brass against my clammy palm. The little secret door was finally ajar.
Anyone familiar with old doors would know that they never open quietly, their hinges invariably will creak. This one was no different. A rush of cold musty air rushed past me. Shining the torch, I could see that behind this partition was a short narrow corridor leading to a set of steps. Glancing at my watch, I noted there was still time before a second security sweep would be needed.
Tentatively, I walked into the unknown, first tackling the corridor and steep set of winding stairs to another locked door. As I prepared to pick its lock, images of an archaeological expedition crossed my mind – Tutankhamen. The oppressive musty air, steep dark tunnels and unlawful intrusion were some similarities taunting with my moral compass. I hoped that there were no microorganisms in this space causing a mysterious and deadly affliction or, worse, a curse.
Sweat built on my brow, the tools slipped from between my moist fingers, but eventually I opened the second door, revealing yet another very long tunnel. The ceiling was arched and low, suitable for anyone of shorter stature than my six-foot frame. As I walked bent over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I calculated the approximate length of this tunnel to be eight hundred yards. Finally, reaching its end, another door beckoned to be unlocked. Putting my skill to good use, within seconds I found myself in a small underground room.
Shining the beam around the space, a sense of uncanny familiarity befell me. Then, at the far end of the antique wine cellar, I recognized a set of wooden steps. I was in the cellar of my cottage! Relieved at having completed this little adventure unscathed, I decided to retrace my steps back to the castle.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Hank!”
Startled, I spun around, my flashlight catching a dark hooded shape emerging from the shadows.
“Who are you? How do you know my name?” The harshness of my tone barely disguised my fear. The figure slowly stepped toward the middle of the room, his head bowed and face still concealed by the hood of what appeared to be a monk’s habit. He stood in silence.
“Who are you?” I demanded. Then, slowly lifting his head toward the light, revealing a sunken midface, sharply jutting jaw, a long beaked nose, and black penetrating eyes, the stranger answered, sending a chill down my spine.
“Call me the Handyman.”
3 out of 5 (good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Hank takes his dream job as tour guide at a castle in Germany. But things quickly spiral into a nightmare as hank gets tangled up in a plot to steal some precious stones. Can he get himself out of it, alive?
I found this a quick read, some 132 pages, but quite a GOOD read. Not a great one though, but good enough to keep me fully engaged.
Hank loves history and getting the job at the castle is a dream come true. But very quickly, he finds himself in danger, from a man and a woman who claim they are stealing their birth right back. He finds himself pulled under by these people, and then dragged halfway across the world, and back again.
It takes time to get the full picture, helped by the fact that not only Hank has a say, but someone else too. I wanted a clearer picture of who that was, though, and I don't get it.
Some other things are a little fuzzy, but that might just be me.
A well written, well delivered tale, of greed and how to redeem yourself.
3 good solid stars.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Born in Dublin, Dr Monique Gliozzi, a graduate from the University of Western Australia medical school, has a keen interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry. She works as a psychiatrist in Perth, with ties to the UWA School of Psychiatry, where she has had a role as a senior clinical lecturer. Her love for teaching granted her a nomination for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.
Monique also holds an interest in aviation. She trained at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, where she obtained a commercial pilot licence. Following this, Monique completed her instructor rating and is now working on a casual basis as a senior flight instructor.
Monique rekindled her passion for writing starting with the fictional thriller Foresight, followed by Hunted and ghostly encounters in Vestige. Her latest book, Diversity, is a compilation of entertaining short stories of different genres.
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