The Sacred Vault: A Novel (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase)
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A DARING HEIST.
A PRICELESS ARTIFACT.
A SECRET LOCKED SAFELY AWAY—UNTIL NOW.
When Michelangelo’s David is stolen from its museum in Florence, it’s only the latest in a series of audacious raids on the world’s greatest treasures. But American archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, ex-mercenary Eddie Chase, discover the raiders’ ultimate target when the Talonor Codex—a cryptic travel journal that Nina found in Atlantis—is snatched from a well-guarded exhibition right in front of their eyes.
The codex holds clues to the location of the Vault of Shiva and its mythical contents: the chronicles of the ancient Hindu god of destruction himself. From a deadly shootout in San Francisco to a hidden valley in the snowbound Himalayas, Nina and Eddie must run a labyrinthine gauntlet of ruthless killers, corrupted faiths, and twisted ambitions to reach the sacred vault ahead of a cunning billionaire with a plot to remake the world—after he brings this one crashing down.
'They're coming,' Eddie told Shankarpa. The ropes wavered, snake-like, as the mercenaries began their descent. With his Wildey, he could have picked them off before they reached the ledge, but the only weapons to hand were knives and swords. Unless-- He looked at the giant stone roller shielding them. 'Nina, you said these things were ready to go - how do you set them off?' 'How should I know? You're the death machine expert!' They hurriedly examined the machine. Once a lever was pulled to
fabric rippling and flapping. But it seemed to be working - the vimana's nose began to tip upwards-- 'Eddie, look out!' cried Kit. The MD 500 came into view directly ahead, descending towards them. 'Whoa, shit!' Not having a clue how to steer, he jammed the controls sideways in the hope it would bank the glider. It worked - the vimana veered left. But now it was heading for the valley wall, the carvings on the tiers reaching out to snatch at its fragile wingtip-- He yanked the controls back
sharp breath of fear. 'But . . . Mr Khoil wants to see you first.' 'Lucky us,' said Eddie as the gun withdrew. 'How'd he know we were here?' Zec nodded towards the laptop. 'It has a webcam connected to the security office. As soon as I saw the guard was not at his station, I rewound the stream. And there you were.' 'Move,' Tandon ordered. 'Into the lift.' The elevator was a wide square platform, surrounded by railings but otherwise worryingly open. Nina and Eddie unwillingly stepped aboard.
Ahead, Taylor Street dropped away sharply, a steep hill leading down to the intersection with Green Street - where a roadblock was waiting. For a two-block stretch, there were no other exits. For cars, at least. But running eastwards was a small park. Named for California's first poet laureate, the tiered slope was a little oasis of greenery amidst the surrounding condominiums, carefully tended flowers and bushes adding to the idyll . . . Which was shattered as the bikes roared off the road,
work in shifts.' 'Don't make me add clipping my wife round the ear to my list.' Girilal resumed his humming, leading the way. The trees became sparser as they ascended, the unobstructed wind picking up. Along the way they passed a few tiny settlements, handfuls of huts huddled together - all without roofs. Nina at first thought they were derelict, until Girilal explained that the merchants inhabiting the little hamlets moved down the mountain during the winter; when Kedarnath was closed to