Read The Julian Secret (Lang Reilly Thrillers) Online

Authors: Gregg Loomis

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The Julian Secret (Lang Reilly Thrillers)

BOOK: The Julian Secret (Lang Reilly Thrillers)
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“Gregg Loomis is a star in this genre . . . Loomis ups the ante in
The Coptic Secret
. . . I couldn’t put this book down. A highly recommended read.”

—Fresh Fiction


“An action-packed tale that hooks readers from the moment the Americans realize the Israelis have some secret weapon that they imply comes from God. Greg Loomis . . . provides breathtaking novels.”

—Midwest Book Review

“Another thrilling, action-packed adventure for Lang Reilly . . . Gregg Loomis is fail-proof.”

—Fresh Fiction


“This book is a jewel—riveting, dynamic and action-packed. The twists and turns make this an absolute page-turner to the very last. I highly
Gates of Hades.”

—Fresh Fiction

“Gates of Hades
is a suspense-filled novel.”

—Midwest Book Review


“I could not put this book down! Loomis has woven three time periods into a plot tapestry of twists and curves . . . Loomis kept me involved and surprised until the end. This sequel to
The Pegasus Secret
is a highly recommended read.”

—Fresh Fiction

“The Julian Secret
is thought provoking and Loomis lets his readers form their own conclusions. This is a lively and stimulating thriller you do not want to put down. The surprise ending is great—a light moment from the serious questions on life. Dan Brown’s fans will find
The Julian Secret
a delight.”

—I Love A Mystery


Pegasus Secret
has] more intrigue and suspense than
The Da Vinci Code

—Robert J. Randisi, Bestselling Author of
Cold Blooded

“The international setting and fast-paced action grip . . . [Readers] looking to repeat
The Da Vinci Code
experience will be satisfied.”

—Publishers Weekly

No Accident

Lang customarily parked and retrieved his own car. The temptation for the young carhops to test the acceler-ation of the Porsche was too great. Tonight, he’d take a chance.

He stood in front of the bank of elevators, shivering from the lobby’s aggressive air conditioning. There was a dull thud and the building shuddered, lights blinking off before the condominium’s generators cut on. For a second, Lang assumed lightning had struck. Then he heard screams from outside.

Instinctively, he ran for the doors. He was so intent on looking for Gurt that it took him a second and third step to realize he was running on a carpet of shattered glass. A woman was leaning against a dark car, a Mercedes, weeping uncontrollably, and there was the smell of some-thing other than the ozone odor of a close lightning strike.

Still not seeing Gurt, Lang’s eyes followed a number of people running toward the parking lot and under-ground parking entrance. A small crowd had gathered around flames that seemed to be fueled, rather than extinguished, by the sheets of rain. Another flash of lightning showed Gurt, a head above most of the others. There was a scent that had no rational reason to be here, a mixture of transmission fluid, plastic and rubber.

And burned nitrogen sulphate.

He stopped beside Gurt, at first unsure of what he was seeing . . .

Other books by Gregg Loomis:




The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Text copyright © 2006 by Gregg Loomis
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Published by Thomas & Mercer
P.O. Box 400818
Las Vegas, NV 89140

ISBN-13: 9781477831403

ISBN-10: 1477831401

This book is for Suzanne

This title was previously published by Dorchester Publishing; this version has been reproduced from the Dorchester book archive files.


Thank you to:

My agent, Mary Jack Wald, without whose persistence, patience and help I would never have had a book published.

Don D’Auria, Executive Editor, Dorchester Publishing Company, who is always willing to take time to discuss what does or doesn’t work, what is or is not believable and what may or may not be commercially viable. He can do all that with such tact I sometimes forget I didn’t write this book in a vacuum.

Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester’s former publicist, now editor, for getting the attention for my last book.

Connie Williams, publicist, who is relentless in seeking maximum exposure in bookstores and the press.

My wife and chief researcher, Suzanne, who loves digging in some of the more remote corners of history.

Any success I may enjoy would not have come my way without the above.



: M


Outside the City Wall, South of the Tiber
Month of Julius
A.D. 362

Demetrius did not like being among the dead at night. If the purpose of being here was to visit a tomb, perhaps to lower food to the spirit of someone departed, then it should be done in daylight when the gods could see and note the piety with which the ancestors were treated. The same would be true if this were a funeral procession. Night was the time of evil and the underworld, the time of Pluto or whatever name these Romans had for the master of Hades.

But Demetrius was a Greek, a mere slave, who did not get to choose the time and place of his labors.

Even in the poor light of stuttering torches, though, it was obvious that Sextinus, his master, was unhappy even if he was carrying out a command of the Emperor
himself. The other slave, a Gaul whose tongue had been cut out for some minor disrespect, was clearly as unhappy as Demetrius. Not only were the streets between the tombs dark, it was said that at night deadly serpents came out from the Tiber’s swamps at the foot of the hill below to devour whatever might remain of the recently deceased.

Demetrius was terrified of snakes, particularly those rumored to be large enough to swallow a man whole.

Ahead, a structure larger than the others blotted out the stars. With whispered curses, Sextinus urged them forward, to carry the burden the two slaves shared next to the foundations of the temple.

Or at least, Demetrius thought of it as a temple.

Actually, it was a palace, the residence of the high priest of that religion the Emperor Constantine had embraced nearly four decades ago, a belief that worshiped a god with no name and his son, a Judean who had been crucified and supposedly risen from the dead.

Rising from the dead was a fairly common trick for gods and goddesses, Demetrius thought. The Egyptians’ Isis did it every spring with the flooding of the Nile. There was Orpheus, who went to Hades to retrieve his wife, Mythrin, the subject of Mythrinism, a religion ever popular these days, and any number of Persian gods who jumped up out of their graves as though simply waking from a mortal’s sleep.

But there was something different about this religion. Christianity, that was its name. Whatever the difference, it had infuriated the Emperor enough to commence purges that had been unknown for years.

That religion, Demetrius was sure, was why he and the other two men were here tonight, to dig into the underpinning of the temple/palace and place two amphorae there and then replace a part of the foundation itself so
that anyone attempting to remove the amphorae would risk bringing the whole structure down on his head.

What was in those clay vessels? Not wine or olive oil. They were far too light for that. It made no sense. But then, emperors didn’t have to.


The Vatican
April 1939

Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII for less than two months, hurried along the dimly lit corridors of the grotto, the name only half-humorously given to the lowest parts of St. Peter’s Basilica. Ahead of him, Father Emilio Sargenti turned to wait impatiently for the older man to catch up.

“Slower, Emilio,” Pius puffed. “Even if what you think is true, it will not go away.”

The young priest stopped, making an unsuccessful effort to hide his impatience. “Of course, Your Holiness.”

At a slower pace, they threaded their way between effigies of past pontiffs reclining on marble sarcophagi. Although many might find the company of the dead macabre, Pius often retreated here to pray alone.

To pray and conduct a private, personal exorcism of the demons he was convinced inhabited the soul of Adolph
Hitler, demons he had had an opportunity to witness firsthand as the Papal State’s envoy to Berlin only a year or so ago. The man was capable of enormous evil. Swallowing sovereign nations, pogroms, and, if Father Sargenti had found what Pius suspected, doing irreparable damage to the Church itself.

The German dictator was temporarily forgotten as the younger man stooped and directed a flashlight beam at a dark corner. “There, just next to the wall!”

Pius tugged at his white cassock and knelt to see better. This was the niche his predecessor, Pius XI, had chosen for his tomb. In preparing space for it, the discovery had been made.

“Can you see it?” Impatience was creeping back into Father Sargenti’s voice. “See the bricks, the dome of the vault underneath this floor?”

Pius saw clearly. He sat back on his haunches. “It’s hardly surprising, Emilio. Before Constantine built the first papal palace here on the Vatican Hill, the area had been a cemetery for hundreds of years, first the pagan Romans, then the Christians. In fact, the area was a necropolis, streets running between mausoleums honoring the dead. You’ve hit the top of one of those, that’s all.”

Of course, that wasn’t all, and both men knew it.


Near Werfen, Austria
May 16, 1945

In the Tirol, spring comes slowly and with great caution. It was no surprise to the man riding in the railroad engine’s cab that patches of snow lingered along those parts of the track shaded by towering conifers. The breeze whipping through the glassless windows was raw and smelled of the forest rather than cordite, sulfur, and death, odors the man had lived with for so long.

The air was so cold, it burned the lungs.

He smiled. Even though he would not be here for long, it was good to be coming home, to return to his native land, a country he had seen but little in the turbulent last few years. He was delighted to watch the icy streams cascade down verdant hills and through grassy meadows. A doe, pregnant with a fawn to be born soon, stood wide-eyed, watching the train chug along before showing her white flag and disappearing into the shad
ows.Overhead, an eagle cut endless circles into the cloudless sky.

BOOK: The Julian Secret (Lang Reilly Thrillers)
12.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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