Dear suspense thriller fans,
Recently I read a good book set during Hitler’s time and the making of the atomic bomb. The Einstein Prophecy by author, Robert Masello. Here’s my review of this cult thriller.
The book begins west of Strasbourg, Alsace- Lorraine. August 4, 1944. A twelve year old, blond haired boy, climbed over ruins. His clothing tattered. Boys are searching through the rubble for collectables.
The boys found foil dropped by German planes to confound Allied radio transmissions.
Athan and Toussaint are part of the clandestine advance guard. The Cultural Recovery Commission. In private life, CRC’s were museum curators, art dealers, and professors, like Lucas.
Germans were pilfering valuable artifacts from European countries without cease.
A fierce battle over a little town called Saint-Lô, in Northwestern France has 11,000 dead.
Lucas and Private Toussaint were traveling to a place far beyond the front. Alsace-Lorraine. They’re looking for the iron mines. A bomb shelter. At the shelter, Lucas wants the art.
“The art is for the Fṻhrer!” Emil said strongly.
The mayor leads Lucas and Toussaint into the bomb shelter past dozens of frightened people. Their looking for a stone box. Five or six feet long and a few feet high. Lucas finds paints. A lot of artwork. Statues, urns, clay, amphorae, paintings.
He finds crates marked for the Eagles Nest, Hitler’s private mountain retreat. Suddenly there’s an explosion. Land mine.
Later, Lieutenant Lucas Athan is a college professor again. PhD. Princeton University. Sept. 2, 1944. He spent two weeks in the hospital following the explosion and surgery. Lost an eye. Wears an eye patch. He knows Albert Einstein.
The USS Seward, a Red Cross ship was full of wounded American soldiers in the North Atlantic. Protected by the Geneva Convention and escorted by two navy destroyers. The seas are teeming with U-boats, the wolf pack.
Dr. Simone Rashid PhD, educated at Oxford is on board with her father. They share a cabin. She’s 27. Both Arabic. Her mother died when she was ten.
Dr. Abdul Rashid PhD is Chairman of National Affairs Dept. at the University of Cairo. Also educated at Oxford.
Their ship was hit by a torpedo. Simone finds a crate in the cargo hull marked “Priority A-1 Importance.”
Newspaper Headlines. “Navy Convoy Torpedoed in North Atlantic.”
“USS Van Buren Sunk by U-boat.”
“USS Seward the Red Cross Ship safely at the Dock.”
Einstein and Kurt Gödel are friends. A younger mathematician by thirty years. Gödel is married to a former Viennese cabaret dancer six years older than him. She likes gardening.
Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the top-secret project to develop an atomic bomb was there.
Simone and her father are at Princeton, in New Jersey. All the way from Cairo, Egypt.
Lucas is working, teaching a class at Princeton. Colonel Macmillan talks to him about the sarcophagus. The one he and Private Teddy Toussaint found in the iron mine outside Strasbourg.
The sarcophagus is at Princeton. Macmillan and President Dodds want Lucas to learn why Hitler wants it so badly. It was to be taken to Hitler’s private home. The Eagles Nest.
Lucas thinks it’s a two thousand year old casket. He will examine it tomorrow at Princeton.
Oppenheimer is trying to build the atomic bomb. He needs Einstein’s help to work on the equations. Quantum theory.
Wally is cleaning the conservation wing. Orders from President Dodd’s office. In the center of the room, a long box, coffin like, peak roof. Made of white stone. Images carved on the lid and sides.
There are bats in the conservation wing, lots of them. Wally is attacked. Bitten. Severely injured.
Professor Willard Libby worked at Princeton under a Geggenheim Grant. Recruited by Columbia for a top secret project. Delaney would carry the torch.
Delaney and Lucas are in the conservation room with the great white chest-calcita alabaster. Gabled roof with elaborate carvings worn away with time. It’s cold! Egyptian hieroglyphs. The sarcophagus of a King?
Simone Rashid talks to Lucas at the local pub. She tells him the sarcophagus belongs to the Egyptian people. She’s staying at the Nassau Inn. “If you open that sarcophagus without me, you will live to regret it.”
It’s the tomb of Saint Anthony of Egypt, the reputed father of Christian monasticism, and battler of the demonic hordes sent to torture him and test his faith.
Simone and her father discovered it in a cave in Egypt, in the desert along with countless Urns.
Lucas isn’t making any progress in identifying who is in the sarcophagus at Princeton.
Simone Rashid received a visiting appointment to the Middle Eastern Studies Department at Princeton, per Colonel Macmillan.
Lucas knows from his hydrochloric acid test, the ossuary is from Egypt and Syria. “Sahara el Beyda” or “White Desert” 1800 to 2000 years old.
He plans to open it tonight after the museum closes at 8:00pm. Andy Brandt is standing in the hall listening. He touched the coffin and ran away screaming! It’s freezing!
Simone was joining Geophysics Professor Delaney and Athan in the conservation wing for the great unveiling. But not her dad. Her dad is understandably upset. They had ventured into the White Desert together, descended into the cave, found the sarcophagus. Sailed it across the Atlantic. Now he is excluded from the opening.
Lucas, Delaney, and Simone are in the conservation wing with the sarcophagus. Lucas is filming the opening. Colonel Macmillan’s idea to film the event. A Bell & Howell Eyemo assembly is used to film.
They cut through the rusty chains. Open the lid. “Oh my God!” A jumble of bones. An iron crucifix. Only one was human, the other was, who knows? An ape? Deformed child? Hideously disfigured.
The camera starts acting up. A wind starts spinning around the room. Spinning faster. Lights flickering. They set something free. Something as old as time. Utterly bad.
Andy Brandt has a key to the conservation room. He secretly copied it off Delaney’s ring. He snunk into the room to see the white stone chest and felt sick every since. He’s a German spy. Now he’s sick. The chills. The flu.
Simone tells Lucas the ossuary contains the bones of Saint Anthony, they believe. Found in the White Desert of the Sahara.
Wally Gregg is dying from Saint Anthony’s fire. The Saint who wrestled with demons. The box contained an evil spirit that Anthony captured.
There’s an assignation attempt on Einstein’s life at a football game. Lucas rescued him and is injured. Wally Greg was the attacker. But Wally died from infection after bat bites. The morgue Doc, Farrell pronounced him dead. Afterward, according to Farrell, Wally Gregg came back to life. Knocked Farrell out with a metal block.
Lucas sent the film he made when they opened the stone casket to the army by courier.
Delaney ran three isotate tests. The human remains date from about fifteen or sixteen hundred years old.
The creature buried with the human remains was 10’s of 1000’s of years older. But it died at the same time, Delaney reports to Lucas. They drive to the army base to pick up a package. Colonel Macmillan’s orders. It’s a copy of the film. The original was sent to Washington.
Saint Anthony’s fire is a plague, a disease of the skin.
A passage is read from Ambrose in the fourth century. Warning monks about demons. How they lie. Change their shapes and forms, by Simone’s father. He believes the demon story. No one else does.
Lucas looks like a pirate with his black eye patch. He watches the film again. The projector starts burning. Parts of the film are blurred out by the military. Suddenly there’s mice everywhere.
Simone’s father died suddenly. He slipped getting out of the tub, cracked his head, and drowned. She felt completely lost. He was cremated. Simone dumps the ashes in Lake Carnegie.
Lucas sees Andy Brandt at the museum acting like an animal.
Police Chief Farrell and Lucas are at Andy Brandt’s apartment. There are paintings of Saint Anthony in the apartment.
Taylor is Einstein’s secret bodyguard.
Simone is at the main library. She thinks something is there. She’s terrified!
Einstein finds a dead body. The face was dehydrated, sucked dry. Lips were tight to the gums and showing. Eyes were open and empty. Staring into infinity. He could be 20 or 200. Smelled like a swamp.
Lucas has the ossuary back. The police returned it to him. Carved on the lid is the ancient sign, a diamond tilted to one side, with a diagonal line crossed over it—drawn in pencil, underlined three times. Represents the forces of containment! A seal! The seal was broken when the coffin was opened.
Legion is the demon that Simon’s father was studying. That killed him.
Brandt’s corpse was sucked dry like a piece of dried fruit.
Simone wants to hunt down the demon that killed her father and kill it. She needs Lucas’ help. “Ok,” Lucas says. The demon becomes a swarm of flies and attacks Lucas and Simone.
The demon takes the form of a panther and kills Taylor, Einstein’s friend.
Lucas and Macmillan are moving the sarcophagus. Simone is angry. The diamond sign is gone. The demon vandalized the ossuary to make sure it could never be used to imprison the demon again.
Lucas and Simone are in Delaney’s office. The office was destroyed. Delaney is badly injured.
Einstein is paddling his boat in the lake. A man appears in his boat. A hulking brute with a neurological disease looking appearance. “Call me Beelzebub.” Lord of the Flies. He had emerged from under the canvas. Smelled like a corpse. A storm began to blow in.
Lucas and Delaney battle the creature as it attacks Einstein in his boat. They use the ancient iron staff with the crooked handle. Delaney brought it from the museum.
The creature possessed Delaney. Lucas had to kill it now!
Lucas kills the creature the same way Saint Anthony killed demons. By raising the staff toward Heaven. A massive charge of blue flash, jagged lightning bolt through the iron handle like the finger of God into the creature. Scorching it. The creature quickly dies. Convulsing. Smoldering. Falls dead into the lake. Looks charred and lifeless. Floats, smoking away.
Lucas is alive. He saves Einstein.
Lucas and Simone marry. Einstein gives Simone away.
President Truman announces the dropping of the atomic bomb over the radio. Harnessing the basic power of the universe. Nagasaki. Hiroshima. The war is over! NYC is in celebration like Mardi Gras. Sailors are everywhere. “VJ!VJ!VJ! Victory over Japan.” The Japanese Government in Tokyo has accepted the Allied Surrender Terms. NYC is a party town.
April 18, 1955. Albert Einstein suffered a ruptured aneurysm abdominal aorta and died. He was 76. He was cremated after his brain was removed for study. His ashes were scattered at Princeton. The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
His final work, Russel-Einstein Manifesto Published on July 9, 1955 in London. A decoration against thermonuclear war.
A dire prophecy of what might occur if people of all nations did not find some way to live together in peace. Otherwise there lies before you the risk of universal death.
The Einstein Prophecy was an enjoyable book to read. It was a cross between The Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Many of the characters reminded me of the main characters in those two movies as well. Especially Lucas Athan. He reminded me strongly of Dr. Henry Jones PhD, Jr. (Indiana) with a black eye patch.
The Einstein Prophecy was a number one best seller in both the action adventure and scifi sections on Kindle at one time. I read it with my Kindle Unlimited subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my review.
My rating: 4.5 stars
Until we talk again.
May good fortune guide your path,