Give Mom an early Mother's Day present: Place of Skulls by Caleb Pirtle
May 10, 2012
My stablemate at Caleb and Linda Pirtle, renowned award-winning author Caleb Pirtle, has written a riveting book of suspense and intrigue called PLACE OF SKULLS. Through the magic of Kindle Direct Publishing, he is offering it free today (Thursday, May 10th), and it will be available in the paid Kindle Store Mother’s Day weekend. Please drop by and pick up a copy.
Here is the review of his fine novel that I posted on Amazon:
In his newest novel, PLACE OF SKULLS, consummate author Caleb Pirtle III has done what all good writers must. He has looked closely at the reality of those subjects that fascinate him the most – religion, rogue elements of a government out of control, the riddle of an ages old legend, and a man at odds with his own past – and has woven them into a taut thriller of epic proportions.
A man with no name and no past searches the drug infested desert of Arizona for a mysterious relic that could forever change the teachings of Christianity and the sermons from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.
Pirtle’s characters are finely drawn and posses the flaws that give them the ring of truth. His protagonist Andrews St. Aubin has no idea who he is or has been since the night he awoke in a deserted, snow-covered street in Kosovo with a bullet in his chest and a dead man lying beside him. He has no idea who the dead man might be and fears that he may have fired the fatal shot. But why? Any sense of memory has long fled his mind.
St. Aubin wonders if he is doomed to spend the rest of his days with a dark and fragmented mind, trailed at night by the ghost of the dead man. For whatever reason, he has been hired as a travel writer by a big city newspaper, and he suspects that powers much larger than he have conspired to ensure he never remembers who he was and to prevent him becoming the man he used to be. The newspaper is his sanctuary, and his prison.
However, fate takes a strange twist. The publisher’s brother, a DEA agent, writes that he possesses the unmistakable proof that Christ did indeed return to earth again and walk the land of the Aztecs almost fifteen hundred years after his crucifixion on the cross. Has the agent found a relic? An artifact? A long lost manuscript of the written Word? No one knows, and the agent dies before he can smuggle the secret out of an empty grave.
St. Aubin can’t dig past the charred fragments of his memory, but he must unravel the legend of Quetzalcoatl, the white-skinned, blue-eyed god figure whose sixteenth century ministry, death, resurrection, and mystical promise to return someday to gather up his people closely parallels the biblical story of the man called Christ. Is Quetzalcoatl merely a myth, or was he Christ himself?
In St. Aubin’s quest to find the answers, he finds himself trapped in a rogue CIA plot to invade Mexico and wage an unholy war on drugs. He is pursued by the same mysterious assassin who struck down the DEA agent.
PLACE OF SKULLS is filled with riddles and intriguing questions. Does the artifact or relic or manuscript actually exist? Who possesses it now?
Pirtle methodically unravels the plot and unlocks a series of intricate riddles as St. Aubin battles to uncover the evidence found and perhaps hidden by the agent before his execution.
St. Aubin, however, is a marked man. The CIA team fears he will get in the way and interfere with the invasion. The drug cartel believes he is only trying to revenge the agent’s death. Both have targeted St. Aubin for assassination. Even the woman he may love has blood on her hands. The graveyard, he knows, is filled with men who trusted the wrong person.
St. Aubin must battle an unseen and unknown enemy in an effort to survive long enough to discover the truth. His only fear is that his quest will end upon the desert sands with a simple gunshot to the head before he solves the ancient mystery or finds whether it’s all an elaborate hoax created by a demagogue of another era.
Pirtle’s strength is the mood he sets, the sharp dialogue, and the poetic descriptions he uses to lay bare the beauty and loneliness of the high desert, as well as the emotions of men both hunted and condemned. St. Aubin never quite knows if he is the hunter or the prey, and he is sure that the dead man only follows to escort him back to the land of the dead when his time on earth has come to an end.
As an added bonus to the enhanced eBook, the novel features full-color photographs of the key locations that become part of the scenes depicted within PLACE OF SKULLS.