Catherine Coulter: J.T. Ellison: The Lost Key
Imagine losing your freedom is imprisoned. Imagine losing your freedom when something overtakes your every thought and mind. But, what would happen if someone implanted a small chip or implant behind your optic nerve and could see everything you do in real time. What is they installed another so that they could hear your every word, monitor your every thought and control your destiny and that of the world? What would happen if this came true? What about a group of people who formed an organization called The Order to save England and protect it from Madam Curie’s book and the information within it that would change the world. Go back to the year 1917 and a submarine ship named the Victoria and a scientist named Marie Curie, book, a key and the Kaiser’s gold. Just what happened to these things is the basis for murder, sabotage, kidnapping and concern as Josef Rothschild and a group of men are about to meet when the wrong signal is given to enter their secret place, five men die, Joseph is tortured and his young son Leo is left an orphan.
Within the span of two days Mike and Nicholas are beaten, stabbed, trapped, taken hostage and need to investigate who killed Jonathan Pierce the man known at the Messenger for the Order. Thought to the publics as an antiquities book dealer hiding behind the volumes that he sold were secrets that when unveiled would change the security of the world and more. The author takes William Pearce, 7th Viscount chambers, who was late for a meeting because his new car had given out and us back to 1917. Lucky for him because when he does arrive at the designated place what he finds will change things forever and the carnage and deaths, the sight he sees will never leave him. Josef Rothschild would never betray the Order and he did the only thing he could do was bury the men in the field behind the cottage where they were killed and take Leopold as his own. Legally adopting him and making sure he was safe, Leo did not speak for a long time remembering what happened. When the right time came Leo handed William a sheet of paper with the names of the men that killed his father and the matter was no longer in his hands but would be dealt with. As his mother Ansonia risked her life to get the key, the books and the Kaiser’s gold Leo learns of her sacrifice sailing on the Victoria and getting trapped there as it now became not her home but her tomb or grave.
Jonathan was smart but no match for Manfred Havelock who wanted it all and would make sure that many suffered until he succeeded in not only taking over the Order but also ridding the world of Pearce and another man. Hoping to find the one person who could lead him to the sub, the books and the gold, Adam Pearce, he demanded that Edmond Weston, now in charge, find him as he claimed “Today is the day the Order goes down and a new one arises in its place.”
With the flash drive from Pearce’s computer, Nicholas who can hack into anything managed to access his files, sort out his emails and get the information he needed to go stop what Havelock had in mind. The SD card he found has the exact location of the sub and only he would store that information in him mind telling no one including Mike. The key is a powerful weapon and the world cannot have it.
Alfie Stanford is the head of the order and has been killed. Thought to have had a heart attack, the autopsy shows murder. With the help of their superior Zachary, another computer tech savvy man named Gray, they are able to uncover information that would terrify most and hopefully be able to stop what has already been put into place: Manfred Havelock is crazy, demented and thinks he can rule the world and the mind’s of everyone with a single implant. Placing implants in humans having the capability to see and hear what the person is thinking and doing, these implants could explode, detonate small nuclear bomb.
Marie Curie was interested in radium but discovered polonium and it is to develop his weapon. With Jonathan’s records, and learning that he devoted his life to finding this WWI U-boat or sub, the gold and much more Nicholas and Mike find themselves on a roller coaster that is so fast and furious they won’t see some of the curves, bends, highs and lows coming. Learning what the statement the Key is in the Lock means is crucial and they did, as this was the location of where the sub is which I will not reveal.
Sophie Pearce is a translator for the U.N. and does not play it straight with Drummond and Caine leaving herself wide open for what happens to her as she thinks Alex Grossman/Shepherd, is a friend and the double cross is huge and the end result could be deadly when she trusts the wrong people. Calling his father in England, Nicholas learns more about the Order, who might be behind what is happening, the weapon and what he has to do in order to stop Havelock from succeeding but can they before it’s too late? When the authors describe his plan, his weapons and how he plans to destroy the world in his own way and take over as ruler, you just won’t believe it. But first the authors did research and reveal how Marie Curie discovered a variant of the radiological element polonium 210. Curie was a member of the Highest Order and did not reveal to them what she found instead she kept it hidden. She locked away her notes and the weapon and how to manufacture it. But, someone betrayed her and others found out so why did they bury it in the sub? Holding Sophie hostage hoping that it would bring him Adam and then getting him too, Havelock leads her into his lab, wants his girlfriend Elise to torture her and the end result is something you won’t want to miss when reading it.
The first micro-nuclear weapon was ready to be deployed. With the technology he created he would be able with these tiny implants, see things that happen even as they are being communicated. What he did was single-handedly change how intelligence is gathered and he will be able to target what he calls or whom he calls the real villains or enemies and destroy them.
When you read how this works as he plays a special cap on his head and the sounds transmit what a person sees and hears you will be horrified and mystified and hope that it never comes to pass in real life today. As Havelock decided to buy up polonium, and using his father’s implants he gets direct communication with what Adam Pearce knows, the sub, the key, dear old dad is expendable.
An ending so powerful and explosive you won’t believe the lengths to which Mike and Nicholas go in order to save Sophie from a killer, find Adam and hopefully save the world from this madman. Havelock had Pearce killed. Then he made sure Alfie Stanford was next in order to run the order and set off mini-nuclear weapons, which he tied to the intelligence-gathering implants.
Authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison bring to light what would happen if someone could hear your every thought and see everything you do controlling your destiny, taking down those they feel are dangerous and playing God with your life! Can Homeland, Downing Street and the FBI take this man down? With the help of his father, Nicholas learns more as he and Mike go after a deranged killer. Going down into the tunnels, guided by a British officer not everyone will come out alive.
Fast paced, terrifying, intriguing and definitely a series you want more of and characters that are well developed and blend well together. With the help of Savich, Sherlock and a computer named Max, let’s hope they can bring down what Havelock is about to unleash.
As Havelock is about to take out Mike, will Sophie and Nicholas be able to stop what he has in mind. Once again Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison deliver a Five Star novel that far surpasses any mystery thriller by two authors. Just when they think they are safe and can go home: Read the ending. Better yet read the End Game as the series continues as the Lost Key comes to surprising end.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine