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Authors: Eric Wilson

Dark to Mortal Eyes

BOOK: Dark to Mortal Eyes
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Praise for
Dark to Mortal Eyes

Dark to Mortal Eyes
, Eric Wilson coils suspense as tight as a snake prepared to strike.”

, best-selling author of
Life Support

“Eric Wilson peels back this story with razor sharp suspense, revealing a robust, multilayered plot; rich, descriptive color; and intelligently drawn characters. God willing, writers like Eric Wilson will be the future of Christian fiction.”

, author of The Christ Clone Trilogy

Dark to Mortal Eyes
is one of those excitingly fresh, thrilling tales that linger in the mind. The titanic clash between good and evil is memorable, and the characters unforgettable. The rush-to-the-next-page adventure will make you hunger to read it all again. Eric Wilson is a terrific writer.”

New York Times
best-selling author of
The Coil, Masquerade
, and others

“Eric Wilson’s
Dark to Mortal Eyes
is a wonderful discovery. Frightening in places, provocative in others, this deeply spiritual, powerful story moves with the intricacy of a chess game played at the master’s level combined with the speed of a runaway locomotive. Eric Wilson is a great new voice.”

New York Times
Notable Author of
Dirty Money

Dark to Mortal Eyes
is intelligent and ambitious. Eric Wilson takes the reader through a fast-paced thriller that is as thought provoking as it is riveting.”

, author of
Missing Justice

“Packed with intrigue and suspense,
Dark to Mortal Eyes
weaves a tale that awakens the mind toward eternal things. Don’t expect much sleep!”

, author of
The Salt Garden

“With bravado and compelling prose, Eric Wilson delivers a debut that will surely expand the minds and speed the hearts of readers.
Dark to Mortal Eyes
is a compelling tale that is surprisingly told. Wilson is set to leave his mark on the world of fiction.”

, best-selling author of

“From the first page, Eric Wilson takes us on a relentless and intriguing ride in his debut novel,
Dark to Mortal Eyes
. With unique characters and a thought-provoking plot, he transports us beyond the physical realm, illuminating the spiritual forces at work in our world. Put it on your must-read list—Eric Wilson’s novel is an eye-opening read.”

, Christy Award–winning author of
Directed Verdict
Dying Declaration

“From the opening scene, Wilson’s characters in
Dark to Mortal Eyes
hook us by the nose and pull us headlong into a suspense-filled, action-packed mystery that consistently rides the razor’s edge between life and death and blurs the lines between the natural and the spiritual realms. This book is a delight for the imagination and a challenge for the soul.”

D. W
, author of
Gideon’s Dawn

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Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920
A division of Random House, Inc

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from
The Holy Bible, New Living Translation
, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked
are taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version®
. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Quotes by J. R. R. Tolkien from
The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings
trilogy. Used by permission.

The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

eISBN: 978-0-307-55213-6

Copyright © 2004 by Eric P. Wilson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

and its deer design logo are trademarks of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Wilson, Eric (Eric P.)

Dark to mortal eyes / Eric Wilson.— 1st ed.

     p. cm.

1. Young women—Fiction. 2. Birthparents—Fiction. 3. Missing persons—Fiction. 4. Antiquities—Fiction. 5. Oregon—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3623.I583D37 2004




In fondest memory of
Robert Ludlum (
The Bourne Identity
and J. R. R. Tolkien (
The Lord of the Rings

To my grandparents, with love:
Dorene and Alan Wilson—
through many difficulties you’ve made our family stronger;
Barbara and Vincent Guise Jr.—
your years of cheers from the sidelines have meant more than you know.

Author’s Note

Through the ages, story and metaphor have been used to examine life’s mercurial nature. Jesus himself told parables to highlight spiritual truths. In
Dark to Mortal Eyes
, I try to put these same tools to work. To establish doctrine? No. To explore earth’s tension between heaven and hell? Absolutely. I see fiction as an adventure—enlightening, frightening, and inspiring. I’m thrilled to share this novel with you. Together, let’s uncover hidden things.

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things.


Devil’s Elbow

Oregon Coast, November 1945

“Eerie, isn’t she?” said Captain Bartlow. “But beautiful.”

“She’s all that and more, sir. Feisty as they come.”

Bartlow jabbed a thumb over his shoulder. “The lady in back? She’s a looker, all right. Should’ve known that’s where your mind was. No, I’m talking about the lighthouse.” With gloved hands, he drew himself to the windshield. “Now there’s a sight for sore eyes.”

His driver downshifted, and the truck groaned. Headlights poked at the mist, no match for Heceta Head Lighthouse as she rose from the shoulder of a cliff ahead.

“You think there’s any truth to the rumors, Captain?”

“That she’s got a ghost?” Bartlow’s scoffing breath fogged the glass. “It’s a lighthouse, goes with the territory. Now keep your eyes on the road.”

“Yes, sir.”

Bartlow fell silent. Ghosts? Things of this world were much more worrisome.

As Captain of the Port in the small town of Florence, he had been responsible for security throughout the war. He issued ID cards, controlled anchorage and inspection at the ocean’s mouth, and—as delegated by President Truman through the secretary of the navy—oversaw the stowage of military munitions. Two hours ago, with coastguardsmen pacing the pier, Bartlow had supervised a shipment’s transfer to the back of this vehicle—crates, canisters, shrouded machinery.

There beneath the dock lights, he had spied the twisted cross.

Though weathered by sea and brine, the swastika had refused to fade from the exterior of a wooden bin, and he’d hurried the item onto the truck.

Now, with the engine battling a steep grade, he threw a glance at the
cargo in the darkness. He was following orders, yes, but this was the first shipment he’d ever received without the president’s endorsement. As for the woman? Her beauty made her no less a part of this violation. Discerning her profile in the shadows, he winked before letting the canvas back down.

“Almost there,” the driver informed him. “Be glad to get this over with.”

“Don’t you let up now, guardsman. Or are you forgetting what’s on board? One good bump and our eyeballs’ll be turned to jelly. Is that what you want? You want them finding the lady in that condition?”

“Don’t like that kind of talk, sir.”

“Good. You just get us there in one piece.”

The driver turned left off Highway 101 and wrestled the vehicle over mud tracks toward the lightkeeper’s house. With the war over and decommissioning under way, the Coast Guard would soon vacate the house so that life could return to normal.

Normal? Bartlow cupped his gloves over cold lips. Not quite yet.

“Sir? Where to?”

“Round back. Yeah, there at the cellar doors. That’s good.”

The engine cleared its throat, fell silent. As Bartlow stepped down, the Pacific boomed against rocky ramparts more than a hundred feet below, and an icy gust whipped foam across his brow. Turning, he found a Doberman pinscher sniffing at his leg. Cutter was the lone remaining watchdog from the wartime kennel on the premises.

BOOK: Dark to Mortal Eyes
2.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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