Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the violin. Can you feel the music and the beauty of the selection being played as the strings of a Stradivarius violin come to life bringing tears to the listener’s eyes? Michael Knight is at a dinner party and is approached by the host to deliver a Stradivarius to a specific buyer. But he and his wife would be the guests at a beautiful hotel and a free vacation and all he had to do was get the violin and deliver it to the purchaser. This violin turned up in Romania and it is rare but there is a secret behind it and this one is more than special. Imagine a violin holding the code and having within it somewhere the location of a hidden treasure that leads back to the reign of Dracula. Haunting and mystifying some believe that it has been hidden by Vlad Dracula, whose reign led to the fabrication of the myth of vampirism. Why is it being sought after and why are Chinese, Russian and Romanian gangs after it. They are centered in Boston and each one wants the code. Violence is in the air and Michael Knight is hired to find out where these treasures are and makes sure it winds up in the right place. Enter Lex Devlin his senior law partner, Billy Coyne who is Boston’s deputy district attorney and the three are on a quest for answers. But Michael learns that things are not what they seem, and he is attacked, followed and sought after by all three gang leaders and keeping them at arm’s length is not an easy task. They won’t take him out, but they will try to strong arm him in order to get the violin and find out where the treasure is. Michael follows the historic clues to a violin shop in the Carpathian Mountains only to return there and find the owner harmed and the shop ransacked.
Things get tense when Michael must face the fact that he is now the object of three gangs who want the violin and each one will do anything to get it. What exactly is hidden beneath the wood and inside or somewhere on this instrument that will lead them to the treasure of Dracula? But Mr. Liu who started this off and is now gone asked the bank President Mr. Change for a loan that must be repaid but how? Who is responsible and the violin was supposed to be turned over to Mr. Chang to give to the philharmonic for Mr. Tan to play it during a concert?
Things spiral out of control when Knight decides to learn more about Mr. Liu, his death and then we uncover the secrets about Dracula, his hidden treasure and the real reason why so many are after it and why.
Knight has another problem and that is the safety of his wife who is in hiding and when things and events cause her to be in danger, he must set some security in motion and hope that they will get there in time. The Chinese, Russians and Romanian gangs are all after the same prize and every step of the way he finds himself in their crosshairs hoping that he’s not taken hostage but not everything goes according to plan. Knight is a lawyer and has connections with the aid of his law partner Lex Devlin and the Boston deputy district attorney, Billy Coyne, they work in tandem to try and uncover who is the mastermind behind the gangs, why he is now the target of the Russian, Chinese and Romanian gangs and where will the violin finally wind up. As we meet Mickey Chan again and the fat that the DA wants him in custody might take down the entire operation. Danny Liu is Michael’s client and he learns that because of the prize involved the parent triad in Hong Kong has taken over the hunt for the violin.
Meet George is that is his real name who becomes an integral part of the investigation and who works with Knight to find out where the treasure might be, who is behind the murders and how to employ the code that is within this instrument that was created in order to uncover where the treasure is which explains why everyone wants it but it was promised to some orchestra and the maestro to use in his concert.
Mr. Lasovitch becomes another cog in the wheel that Knight hopes will bring him closer to the conclusion. He wants Dracula’s treasure and Michael has the violin with the code to where it is hidden. He is ready to go after it and has every reason to believe he will succeed. Promising him the treasure, where it is in return for the safety of his wife, but will this man agree, or will he be in more danger? Will this man call off his goons or will he lie and pretend to endanger Michael even more to get what he wants?
Abbas Ataman created the code that was placed within the violin and it is a significant code. There are more people involved as we get to know Elena who is working with Knight and we meet Mr. Taman who wants to understand Michael’s motives, who he represents and the information and promises to convey whatever information he has to the two gangster leaders. Elena might be the key to unraveling the code and understanding that it is ancient Turkish. Claiming and stating that it was written by Mr. Ataman’s ancestor the only man to discover Vlad Dracula’s treasure.
With Harry the locksmith, George, Devlin and Coyle hopefully monitoring his whereabouts, Michael faces off with Mr. Chang and accusations are made, truths come out and the person to whom he entrusted the million dollars is revealed as it all started with a million dollar bank loan and the violin as collateral. What will the outcome be? What about Mickey Chan will the charges be dropped? What about the fate of the Stradivarius violin and what would happen if they find the treasure? Will they take it? Will they leave it where it is?
An ending so filled with tension, explosive only author John Dobbyn can deliver as Michael Knight, Harry, George and the gangsters to after the one bounty everyone will kill for but who will succeed? The ending is original, and the final scene will keep you in suspense as the treasure is at hand, a precious violin is main quarry at Michael Knight fights for his life along with Harry and George. Close your eyes and stay in your seat as the strings of the Stradivarius brings the music to your ears and the sounds will make you forget wherever you are. When there are lives at bay and the quarry is valuable and we understand the meaning of HIGH STAKES.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
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