Fiction Steve Berry The Romanov Prophecy

ISBN 13: 9780340899311

The Romanov Prophecy

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9780340899311: The Romanov Prophecy

Ekaterinburg, Russia: July 16, 1918. Ten months have passed since Nicholas II’s reign was cut short by revolutionaries. Tonight, the White Army advances on the town where the Tsar and his family are being held captive by the Bolsheviks. Nicholas dares to hope for salvation. Instead, the Romanovs are coldly and methodically executed.

Moscow: Present Day. Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country’s history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles’ job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles’ concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza.

Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more–most important, what really happened to the family of Russia’s last tsar?

His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs’ story . . . and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy’s implications are earth-shattering–not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself.

Steve Berry, national bestselling author of the phenomenal thriller The Amber Room, once again delves into rich historical fact to produce an explosive page-turner. In The Romanov Prophecy, the authentic and the speculative meld into a fascinating and exceptionally suspenseful work of fiction.

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About the Author:

Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, The Amber Room, and the short story “The Balkan Escape.” His books have been translated into forty languages and sold in fifty-one countries. He lives in the historic city of St. Augustine, Florida, and is working on his next novel. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have founded History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our heritage. To learn more about Steve Berry and the foundation, visit www.steveberry.org.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ONE

moscow, the present

tuesday, october 12

1:24 pm

In fifteen seconds Miles Lord’s life changed forever.

He first saw the sedan. A dark blue Volvo station wagon, the tint so deep that it appeared black in the bright midday sun. He next noticed the front tires cutting right, weaving a path around traffic on busy Nikolskaya Prospekt. Then the rear window, reflective as a mirror, descended, and a distorted reflection of the surrounding buildings was replaced by a dark rectangle pierced by the barrel of a gun.

Bullets exploded from the gun.

He dived flat. Screams arose around him as he slammed onto the oily pavement. The sidewalk was packed with afternoon shoppers, tourists, and workers, all now lunging for cover as lead raked a trail across the weathered stone of Stalinist-era buildings.

He rolled over and looked up at Artemy Bely, his lunch companion. He’d met the Russian two days back and taken him to be an amicable young lawyer with the Justice Ministry. Lawyer to lawyer they’d eaten dinner last night and breakfast this morning, talking of the new Russia and the great changes coming, both marveling at being part of history. His mouth opened to shout a warning, but before he could utter a sound Bely’s chest erupted and blood and sinew splattered on the plate-glass window beyond.

The automatic fire came with a constant rat-tat-tat that reminded him of old gangster movies. The plate glass gave way and jagged shards crashed to the sidewalk. Bely’s body crumpled on top of him. A coppery stench rose from the gaping wounds. He shoved the lifeless Russian off, worried about the red tide soaking into his suit and dripping from his hands. He hardly knew Bely. Was he HIV-positive?

The Volvo screeched to a stop.

He looked to his left.

Car doors popped open and two men sprang out, both armed with automatic weapons. They wore the blue-and-gray uniforms with red lapels of the militsya—the police. Neither, though, sported the regulation gray caps with red brim. The man from the front seat had the sloped forehead, bushy hair, and bulbous nose of a Cro-Magnon. The man who slid from the rear was stocky with a pockmarked face and dark, slicked-back hair. The man’s right eye caught Lord’s attention. The space between the pupil and eyebrow was wide, creating a noticeable droop—as if one eye was closed, the other open—and provided the only indication of emotion on an otherwise expressionless face.

Droopy said to Cro-Magnon in Russian, “The damn chornye survived.”

Did he hear right?

Chornye.

The Russian equivalent for nigger.

His was the only black face he’d seen since arriving in Moscow eight weeks ago, so he knew he had a problem. He recalled something from a Russian travel book he’d read a few months back. Anyone dark-skinned can expect to arouse a certain amount of curiosity. What an understatement.

Cro-Magnon acknowledged the comment with a nod. The two men stood thirty yards away, and Lord wasn’t about to wait around to find out what they wanted. He sprang to his feet and raced in the opposite direction. With a quick glance over his shoulder he saw the two calmly crouch and ready themselves to shoot. An intersection loomed ahead, and he leaped the remaining distance just as gunfire blasted from behind.

Bullets strafed the stone, puffing cloud bursts into the chilly air.

More people dived for cover.

He sprang from the sidewalk and faced a tolkuchki—street market—lining the curb as far as he could see.

“Gunmen. Run,” he screamed in Russian.

A bobushka peddling dolls understood instantly and shuffled to a nearby doorway, jerking tight a scarf around her weathered face. Half a dozen children hawking newspapers and Pepsis darted into a grocery. Vendors abandoned their kiosks and scattered like roaches. The appearance of the mafiya was not uncommon. He knew that a hundred or more gangs operated throughout Moscow. People being shot, knifed, or blown up had become as common as traffic jams, simply the risk of doing business on the streets.

He bolted ahead into the crowded prospekt, traffic merely inching along and starting to congeal in the mayhem. A horn blared and a braking taxi stopped just short of him. His bloodied hands came down hard on the hood. The driver continued to lean on the horn. He looked back and saw the two men with guns round the corner. The crowd parted, which provided a clear shot. He dived behind the taxi as bullets obliterated the driver’s side.

The horn stopped blaring.

He raised himself up and stared into the driver’s bloodied face, smushed against the passenger’s-side window, one eye cocked open, the pane stained crimson. The men were now fifty yards away, on the other side of the congested prospekt. He studied the storefronts on both sides of the street and registered a men’s fashion salon, children’s clothing boutique, and several antiques galleries. He searched for someplace in which to disappear and chose McDonald’s. For some reason the golden arches harked of safety.

He raced down the sidewalk and shoved open its glass doors. Several hundred people packed the chest-high tables and booths. More stood in line. He recalled that this was at one point the busiest restaurant in the world.

He was gulping air fast and a scent of grilled burgers, fries, and cigarettes accompanied each breath. His hands and clothes were still bloody. Several women started to scream that he’d been shot. A panic overtook the young crowds and there was a mad push for the doors. He shouldered forward, deeper into the throng, and quickly realized this was a mistake. He pushed through the dining room toward stairs that led down to bathrooms. He slipped out of the panicked mob and skipped down the stairs three at a time, his bloodied right hand gliding across a slick iron rail.

“Back. Away. Back,” deep voices ordered in Russian from above.

Gunfire erupted.

More screams and rushed footsteps.

He found the bottom of the stairs and faced three closed doors. One led to the ladies’ room, the other to the men’s. He opened the third. A large storage room spanned before him, its walls shiny white tile like the rest of the restaurant. In one corner three people huddled around a table smoking. He noticed their T-shirts—Lenin’s face superimposed over McDonald’s golden arches. Their gazes met his.

“Gunmen. Hide,” he said in Russian.

Without a word, all three bolted from the table and shot toward the far end of the brightly lit room. The lead man flung open a door, and they disappeared outside. Lord stopped only an instant to slam shut the door from which he’d entered and lock it from the inside, then he followed.

He dashed out into the chilly afternoon and stood in an alley behind the multistory building that accommodated the restaurant. He half expected Gypsies or bemedaled war veterans to be in residence. Every nook and cranny of Moscow seemed to provide shelter to one or another dispossessed social group.

Dingy buildings surrounded him, the coarsely hewn stone blackened and scarred from decades of unregulated auto emissions. He’d often wondered what those same fumes did to lungs. He tried to get his bearings. He was about a hundred yards north of Red Square. Where was the nearest Metro station? That could be his best means of escape. There were always policemen in the stations. But policemen were chasing him. Or were they? He’d read how the mafiya many times donned police uniforms. Most times the streets were littered with police—too damn many—all sporting nightsticks and automatic weapons. Yet today he’d seen not one.

A thud came from inside the building.

His head whipped around.

The door at the far end of the storage room leading from the bathrooms was being forced. He started running in the direction of the main street, just as gunfire echoed from inside.

He found the sidewalk and turned right, running as fast as his suit would allow. He reached up, unbuttoned his collar, and yanked down his tie. Now at least he could breathe. It would only be a few moments before his pursuers rounded the corner from behind. He quickly swerved right and vaulted a waist-high, chain-link fence encircling one of the innumerable parking lots dotting Moscow’s inner ring.

He slowed to a trot and let his eyes shoot left and right. The lot was full of Ladas, Chaikas, and Volgas. Some Fords. A few German sedans. Most filthy with soot and dented from abuse. He looked back. The two men had cleared the corner a hundred yards back and were now racing in his direction.

He rushed forward down the center of the grassy lot. Bullets ricocheted off the cars to his right. He dived behind a dark Mitsubishi and peered around its rear bumper. The two men were positioned on the other side of the fence, Cro-Magnon standing, his gun aimed forward, Droopy still trotting toward the fence.

A car engine revved.

Smoke poured from the exhaust. Brake lights lit.

It was a cream-colored Lada that had been parked to the opposite side of the center lane. The car quickly backed out of its space. He saw fear on the driver’s face. He’d most likely heard the bullets and decided to leave fast.

Droopy jumped the fence.

Lord rushed from his hiding place and vaulted onto the Lada’s hood, his hands clasping the windshield wipers. Thank heaven the damn thing had wipers. He knew most drivers kept them locked in the glove compartment to thwart thieves. The Lada’s driver gave him a startled look but kept rolling forward toward the busy boulevard. Through the rear window Lord saw Droopy, fifty yards behind, crouching to fire and Cro-Magnon scaling the fence. He thought of the taxi driver and decided it wasn’t right to involve this man. ...

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Descripción Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. History is being made and Miles Lord has a ringside seat. The people of Russia have voted to bring back the tsar, a ruler to be selected from the distant relatives of Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1918. Miles has been asked to run a background check on one of the candidates. But excitement turns to terror when Miles is nearly killed by gunmen. Suddenly, he is racing across continents with only a cryptic utterance by Rasputin, made at the time of the Romanov massacre, as his guide. The implications of this prophecy are earth-shattering - not only for the future tsar and mother Russia, but for Miles himself. Nº de ref. de la librería AA69780340899311

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Descripción Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. History is being made and Miles Lord has a ringside seat. The people of Russia have voted to bring back the tsar, a ruler to be selected from the distant relatives of Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1918. Miles has been asked to run a background check on one of the candidates. But excitement turns to terror when Miles is nearly killed by gunmen. Suddenly, he is racing across continents with only a cryptic utterance by Rasputin, made at the time of the Romanov massacre, as his guide. The implications of this prophecy are earth-shattering - not only for the future tsar and mother Russia, but for Miles himself. Nº de ref. de la librería AA69780340899311

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Descripción Hodder/Hachette, 2007. Softcover. Estado de conservación: New. History is being made and Miles Lord has a ringside seat. The people of Russia have voted to bring back the tsar, a ruler to be selected from the distant relatives of Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1918.Miles has been asked to run a background check on one of the candidates. But excitement turns to terror when Miles is nearly killed by gunmen.Suddenly, he is racing across continents with only a cryptic utterance by Rasputin, made at the time of the Romanov massacre, as his guide. The implications of this prophecy are earth-shattering - not only for the future tsar and mother Russia, but for Miles himself. Printed Pages: 416. Nº de ref. de la librería 48354

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Descripción Hodder & Stoughton 2008-05-15, London, 2008. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780340899311

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Descripción Hodder/Hachette, 2007. Softcover. Estado de conservación: New. History is being made and Miles Lord has a ringside seat. The people of Russia have voted to bring back the tsar, a ruler to be selected from the distant relatives of Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1918.Miles has been asked to run a background check on one of the candidates. But excitement turns to terror when Miles is nearly killed by gunmen.Suddenly, he is racing across continents with only a cryptic utterance by Rasputin, made at the time of the Romanov massacre, as his guide. The implications of this prophecy are earth-shattering - not only for the future tsar and mother Russia, but for Miles himself. Printed Pages: 416. Nº de ref. de la librería 48354

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