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A fire destroys a New York City rare bookstore--and reveals clues to a treasure worth killing for. . . . A disgraced scholar is found tortured to death. . . . And those pursuing the most valuable literary find in history are about to cross from the harmless mundane into inescapable nightmare. From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Tropic of Night comes a breathtaking thriller that twists, shocks, and surprises at every turn as it crisscrosses centuries, from the glaring violence of today into the dark shadows of truth and lies surrounding the greatest writer the world has ever known.
An artist born outside his time, Chaz Wilmot can paint like Leonardo, Goya, Gainsborough--and he refuses to shape his talent to fit the fashion of the day. His unique abilities attract the attention of Werner Krebs, an art dealer with a dark past and shadier present, and soon Wilmot is working with a fervor he hasn't felt in years. But his creative burst is accompanied by strange interludes--memories that are not memories . . . and he begins to wonder if he is really the person he believes he is. When a previously unknown masterpiece by the Spanish painter Velázquez is discovered, the artist suddenly finds himself lost in a mirrored house of illusions--and propelled into a secret world of greed, lies . . . and murder.
Science and mysticism, nature and greed collide in this mind-bending, compulsively readable thriller from the author of Tropic of Night and Valley of Bones, hailed by the Washington Post as "miracles of intelligent fiction . . . among the essential novels of recent years." Deep in the jungles of Colombia, an American priest is shot dead in his makeshift church. A few weeks later an Indian shaman called Moie arrives in south Florida, armed only with a bag of totems and the fearsome power of Jaguar, his god. In Miami, retired detective Jimmy Paz, his wife, and his seven-year-old daughter are plagued by dreams of giant jungle cats that haunt both their sleeping and waking hours. When affluent Miami businessmen begin to die in gruesome fashion, the local police are baffled by the lack of clues -- other than the massive, catlike footprints that appear at the scene of each murder. They turn to Paz, famous throughout the city for cracking open two previous, impossible-to-solve cases, and for reasons he doesn't dare share, he agrees to come out of his self-imposed retirement to track the killer. As Paz investigates, Moie finds refuge with a group of ecologically minded activists who treat the strange little man as a pet until they find out exactly what mission brought him to the United States and that it's somehow connected to the grisly murders that are occurring with frightening regularity. The deeper Paz digs into the case, the closer to home the danger gets: his investigation opens the door to his mysterious and shocking past and he slowly begins to realize that the dreams he and his family are having could mean the death of his beloved daughter. To save her life -- and his own -- he must reach into the deepest corners of his soul and find the strength to hold fast against the irresistible pull of the spirit world. Only Michael Gruber is capable of combining heart-stopping action with a ferociously intelligent examination of what makes us human, in novels that have been praised as "bold . . . provocative, and frightening" (USA Today) and "dazzling, literate and downright scary" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Night of the Jaguar is an unforgettable blend of imagination, suspense, and thought-provoking inquiry into the nature of good and evil.
Jane Doe was a promising anthropologist, an expert on shamanism. Now she's nothing, a shadow living under an assumed identity in Miami with a little girl to protect. Everyone thinks she's dead. Or so Jane hopes. Then the killings start, a series of ritualistic murders that terrifies all of Miami. The investigator is Jimmy Paz, a Cuban-American police detective. There are witnesses, but they can recall almost nothing of the events, as though their memory has been erased -- as if a spell has been cast on each of them. Equally bizarre is the string of clues Paz uncovers: a divination charm, exotic drugs found in the bodies of the victims, a century-old report telling of a secret place in the heart of Africa. These clues point Paz inexorably toward the fugitive, Jane Doe, and force Jane to realize that the darkness she has fled is hunting her down. By the time her path intersects with Jimmy Paz's, the two will be thrust into a cataclysmic battle with an evil unimaginable to the Western mind.
The startling reviews of Tropic of Night announced Michael Gruber as one of the most talented thriller writers to debut in many years. Now, with the much-anticipated publication of Valley of Bones, Gruber fulfills that genre-bending promise as perhaps no writer since Graham Greene, with a genuinely exhilarating thriller that simultaneously offers a profound, deeply provocative exploration of the nature of faith itself. The setting is Miami. Rookie cop Tito Morales arrives at the Trianon Hotel to investigate a routine disturbance call -- and, to his shock and horror, watches as a wealthy oilman plunges ten stories and impales himself on a nearby fence. Soon Morales is joined by detective Jimmy Paz, famous throughout the city for solving -- or at least providing a plausible solution to -- the so-called Voodoo Murders that left Miami burning months earlier. Together Paz and Morales enter the hotel and discover, in the dead man's room, a most unusual suspect, an otherworldly woman by the name of Emmylou Dideroff. She emerges from a rapturous, prayerlike state and admits that she had a motive for killing the oilman. Ultimately, she says she wants to confess, and asks for a pen and several notebooks in which to convey the details of her confession. What Emmylou writes is nothing like what Paz expects; he enlists psychologist Lorna Wise in an effort to make sense of things that go beyond Emmylou's explanation of the murder: details of childhood abuse, of other crimes committed, of regular communion with saints -- and with the devil. Is she mentally disturbed or playacting in hopes of getting declared unfit for trial? Or does she really believe herself to be an instrument of God? And why is it that so many people -- including Paz's biological father -- are suddenly interested in the contents of these notebooks and in preventing them from becoming public? As Valley of Bones moves toward its startling and dramatic finale, Emmylou's "confessions" lead Jimmy Paz, Lorna Wise, and Tito Morales down a series of unexpected and dangerous turns that puts them in the path of perhaps the most terrifying evil imaginable and forces each of them to confront questions about faith, love, and the possibility of the miraculous.
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