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By Douglas Preston

A mystery chamber.
A mysterious shipwreck.
A homicide within the desolate salt marshes.
A possible ordinary deepest case seems to be even more complicated-and sinister-than certain Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever can have anticipated.

Pendergast, with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the old fashioned beach village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to enquire the robbery of a beneficial wine assortment. yet contained in the wine cellar, they locate anything significantly extra demanding: a bricked-up area of interest that when held a crumbling skeleton.

Pendergast and Constance quickly research that Exmouth is a city with a really darkish and bothered heritage, and this skeleton can be purely the 1st trace of an old transgression, stored mystery these kind of years. yet they are going to notice that the sins of the prior are nonetheless a great deal alive. neighborhood legend holds that in the 1692 witch trials in Salem, the true witches escaped, fleeing north to Exmouth and settling deep within the surrounding salt marshes, the place they persisted to perform their depraved arts.

Then, a murdered corpse turns up within the marshes. the one clue is a chain of mysterious carvings. might those demonic symbols undergo a few relation to the traditional witches' colony, lengthy believed to be abandoned?

A bad evil lurks underneath the skin of this sleepy beach town-one with deep roots in Exmouth's grim historical past. And it can be that Constance, along with her personal stricken earlier, is the single person who really comprehends the bleak possibility that she, Pendergast, and the citizens of Exmouth needs to face . . .

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May well I inquire as to the matter? ” The policeman became to him, rubbery lips distending right into a smile. “Slow learner? ” “What do you suggest? ” “Straddling the areas back. i suppose one quotation wasn’t sufficient. ” Pendergast pulled out the former price ticket. “You suggest this? ” “That’s correct. ” Pendergast well tore it in part and tucked the items again into his pocket. the manager frowned. “Cute. ” Constance winced on the man’s heavy South Boston accessory. used to be there an accessory in English extra grating? Pendergast was once being his provocative self, and he or she started to comprehend his glance of anticipation. this is able to turn out relaxing. on the correct second, he could pull his FBI safeguard and placed this verminous cop in his position. the fellow complete writing the price ticket, slid it up below the windshield wipers. “There you move. ” He grinned. “Another one that you can tear up. ” “Don’t brain if I do. ” Pendergast plucked it out, tore it in part, and driven the items into his pocket, giving it a bit pat together with his hand. “You can tear them up all day, yet that won’t cause them to depart. ” the manager leaned ahead. “Let me offer you a bit unfastened recommendation. We don’t get pleasure from a few wannabe inner most dick getting into our city and interfering with our research. So watch the doorstep. ” “I am appearing as a personal investigator, yes,” Pendergast acknowledged. “I do, even if, take exception to using the time period ‘dick. ’” “My honest apologies for utilizing the time period ‘dick. ’” “Several hundred thousand cash’ worthy of wine have been stolen,” Pendergast acknowledged, his voice taking over a pompous tone. “This is grand larceny on the maximum point. because the police appear not able, or unwilling, to make any development on fixing this situation, i've been known as in. ” the manager frowned. regardless of the autumnal heat, beads of sweat started to appear on his greasy forehead. “All correct. you recognize what? I’m going to be observing every thing you do. One step, one toe, over the road and I’ll run you out of this city so speedy your head will spin. Is that transparent? ” “Certainly. And whereas I examine grand larceny, you could proceed to guard the city from the scourge of straddled parking. ” “You’re rather the comic. ” “That was once an remark, now not a pleasantry. ” “Well, detect this: subsequent time you straddle a automobile parking space, I’ll tow your motor vehicle. ” He ran a couple of thick hands alongside the aspect of the automobile. “Now, please flow it right into a criminal parking position. ” “You suggest, right away? ” The cop’s breath used to be coming tougher. “Right now,” he acknowledged. Pendergast bought in, began the auto, and moved it again, yet he stopped in advance, leaving the rear bumper simply at the line. He received out. “There. ” The cop stared at him. “You’re nonetheless over the road. ” Pendergast checked out the Porsche in an exaggerated type, scrutinizing the bumper and the painted line and frowning. “It’s at the line—not over. in addition to, examine all of the parking areas in the street. Who’s going to care? ” The cop’s respiring had develop into a wheeze. “You little prick, you think that you’re humorous? ” “First you referred to as me a ‘dick. ’ Now you’ve known as me a ‘prick.

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