Friday, December 13, 2013

13 by Amy Lignor

Title:  13
Author:  Amy Lignor
Series:  Tallent & Lowery #1
Published:  December 1st 2012 by Suspense Publishing
Page Count:  295
Genre:  Suspense
Shelf:  Review
Rating:  ★★★★★


In 1902, in a dark room on the fifth floor of Carnegie Hall, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that had been set in stone thousands of years before.

In 2012, Leah Tallent is Head of Research at the New York Public Library. Stoic and stable, brilliant and cynical, she has forever enjoyed her existence among the book stacks. But even with her unparalleled intellect, there was no way to know that on the historic steps between America's famous lions, she would become involved with a crazy man on a fanatical quest.

Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact that he is certain exists. His life's pursuit has been to retrieve twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept. To find the keys he must enlist the help of an unwilling guide who, unfortunately, knows much more than he bargained for.

From the first page to the last word, this fantastic duo become immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the strange and eerie Winchester House to the blustery darkness of Loch Ness, Gareth and Leah will quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists...Hell.


Leah glanced at the staircase leading to the main floor of the library. She could see Gareth out of the corner of her eye. His head was bowed and his eyes were shut tight, as if he was contemplating the jail cell that awaited him.

Talk about complete confusion. Leah should run; she knew that. But the sixth sense she’d trusted all her life was telling her to stay. Reaching across the table she picked up the heavy book. Checking to make sure her “kidnapper” wasn’t making any new threats, Leah began thumbing through the pages; dark and light sat side by side, and she attempted to decipher clues from the past.

From Egyptian handwriting that reminded her of a book she’d once read about the lost Library of Alexandria, to a strange map with Latin text that looked like it came from the secret vaults of the Vatican Library, Leah found herself sucked into every amazing page. There were unbelievable signatures at the bottom of each sheet that she couldn’t wrap her mind around: Plato, Socrates and, oddly enough, one that she could’ve sworn read, Merlin. The librarian in her was exhilarated beyond belief.

Leah paused when the strangely familiar words met her gaze. On the ‘good’ side of the book, there was a hand drawing of Christ dying on the cross. But above it, instead of scripture, were the words to the song, Rock of Ages.

“Without the book,” she began. “Without these clues…how could you possibly have found the first six?”

“I thought I was going to jail,” came Gareth’s sarcastic reply.

Leah tried not to smile at the man who now sounded like a petulant teenager. Flipping through the ‘evil’ side of the book, she quickly passed over the strange scenes of slithering serpents, and victims with mouths open wide in silent screams. She’d rather not dwell on those; she feared knowing too much about the worst possible side of humanity.

But when she came across the familiar slanted handwriting, she stopped dead in her tracks. On the ‘dark’ page, opposite the sketch of what she’d assumed was ancient Alexandria, was a childlike drawing done in white chalk. The lines looked like rooftops; spires and steeples rose up into the blackness. Scrawled on each triangular eave was the number ‘13’ and, on the largest one, there as a chalk outline of a human being. A bullet-hole had been drawn dead center in the person’s chest.

Leah blocked out the sirens that erupted inside her brain, and read the words at the bottom of the page:

To me, a book is a message from the gods to mankind…A. Crowley

Closing the cover of the strange book that’d been buried for over a hundred years in the basement of her favorite place, Leah turned to the defeated man sitting quietly beside her. For the first time in her life Leah had no idea what she was doing. It was as if Crowley, himself, was daring her to solve his riddle; taunting her with the fact that she just wasn’t as smart as he had been.

She sighed heavily. Like her father, Leah had to go further than the rest. She had to excel. It wasn’t a choice—it was a necessity for her. Research, books, words…they were like a drug. She absolutely had to know.

If her father had been sitting beside her, Leah knew exactly what he’d say. He’d tell her that a gift had been dropped in her lap—a chance to literally step away from the books, go into the unknown, and solve a mystery that a true historical ‘devil’ had left behind.

Making a mental note to find a psychiatrist for herself as soon as possible, Leah reached over and touched Gareth’s arm, causing him to practically jump out of his skin. “You own a laptop?”

He grunted. “They have some at my hotel…why?” His eyes came alive with hope.

The computer clicked and beeped inside Leah’s brain, searching her own database for the answer to the first clue that she knew was designed to take her into the darkness.

Standing up, she stretched her back and grabbed her leather coat. Turning, Leah stared into the confused green eyes. “Let’s go.”

My Review:

Lignor has a very personable writing style. It’s very easy to follow and allows you to immerse yourself completely in the storyline itself. Mystery, intrigue and suspense fill this novel that is written for an adult audience to thoroughly enjoy. This novel is intrinsically though provoking. I absolutely love the mix of history, mythology, research, suspense, and reality that bring this tale together. Her short, to the point chapters make the story seem even more fast paced. Lignor writes with an intensity rarely seen in fiction. She combines blunt statements with eloquent descriptions to a shocking end. It’s the perfect combination. Not only that, but Lignor also does creepy and eerie well. There were times when she literally had my skin crawling.

Picture Indiana Jones meets Robert Langdon meets Ben Gates and you have the male lead from this tale. He was so intriguing and captivating that you couldn’t help but want to follow him, even if he was a bit naive at times. I also appreciated how strong and thoughtful the female lead was in this tale. She was someone that I intrinsically wanted to know more about. The supporting cast, although small, was also quite well developed. They rounded out the story quite nicely.

My final thoughts? THIS IS SOOOO COOL! I Love it. My mind was turning the whole time. I can’t wait to read the next adventure for these intriguing characters.

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About the author:

The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love has always been books. She began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of ‘The Write Companion’, an editorial house offering authors a range of services.

Appointed the Editor-in-Chief of a brand new traditional publisher–Hallowed Ink Press–Amy somehow finds the time to do it all while still putting out the most amazing series that has received every ‘Top Pick’ readers can think of!

Her popular YA Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege), introduced her to fans who now wait with bated breath for the next ‘Tallent & Lowery’ suspense/thriller to arrive.

Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, companies, and review organizations; Authorlink, The Feathered Quill, Suspense Magazine and more.

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