By Elizabeth Peters
It was once the beginning of a grand event in a land of antiquity, a unprecedented chance to go to biblical locations wealthy in culture. yet in a Jerusalem resort room an international clear of every little thing she is familiar with, Dinah van der Lyn hears offended voices in the course of the wall, through a crash and a quick cry in English . . . for support! The brutal shattering of an evening’s stillness turns into a prelude to terror. unexpectedly, Dinah has been unwittingly pulled into whatever unholy transpiring in a sacred urban, and he or she needs to locate solutions hidden within the shadows. and she or he needs to belief an enigmatic stranger as she races via historic, twisting streets teeming with secrets and techniques and peril: a guy who might be major her to security . . . or to her doom.
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I am not in the morning, you remember, I am in the night. ” She gave a little shriek, and caught at Dinah’s hand. ” The pitiful palm tree was poor protection. Peering through its leaves, Dinah saw the manager, M. Duprez, standing near the desk. He was half Lebanese, and his high-nosed, ac THE DEAD SEA CIPHER / 33 quiline face had the beautiful brown color that the fairskinned races spend all summer trying to acquire. At the moment there was a tinge of green under his copper skin, and he wrung his hands as he expostulated with a second man.
Damn them both, she thought, and did not even apologize mentally for the word. After the incredulity aroused by her tale of the first man, she had decided not to mention the second. Perhaps he had been a friend of the murdered man. ” But she was not ready to sympathize with the maniac. Layard and his companion were both unsavory characters, and their friends were probably just as bad. Any friend of Layard’s is no friend of mine, she told herself, and prepared to remove her weary frame from the bus as it drew to a stop in front of the Hotel Mediterranée.
She concentrated on her bare toes, dangling them childishly, while the gray man busied himself with his—what? Friend? Employee? Colleague? When he rose to his feet, his face had relaxed minutely. “Could be worse,” he muttered. “All right, now…” He opened the door a crack, and peered out; then he pulled it wide open. Two men came in. They were absurdly alike, small dark men dressed in nondescript European clothing, and they moved like a trained team, picking Cartwright up by knees and shoulders and car 54 / ELIZABETH PETERS rying him out while the gray man held the door.