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Authors: Carolyn McCray

Tags: #Thriller, #Action & Adventure

30 Pieces of Silver

BOOK: 30 Pieces of Silver
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30 Pieces of Silver

by

Carolyn McCray


 

Praise for
30 Pieces of Silver

 


Carolyn McCray’s
30 PIECES OF SILVER
proves that Dan Brown’s crown is up for grabs. Part minefield and all roller-coaster ride, here is a story as controversial as it is thrilling. Hunker down for a long night, because once you start reading this book, you won’t be putting it down.”

NYT Top Ten Best Seller

James Rollins

Devil Colony

 


Even as I write this, I find I can’t do justice to the scope and breadth of
30 PIECES OF SILVER...
The last three pages of the story rank as one of the most shocking and unexpected conclusions I have ever experienced. I just didn’t see the ending coming. I was speechless—and I can’t think of any better praise to give than that.”

Book Reviewer

The Word Zombie

 


30 PIECES OF SILVER
blends action, science, romance, history, and geography all into a fascinating thriller reminiscent of James Rollins, Steve Berry, or Dan Brown. It has everything any reader would want and, perhaps the best thing is, there is already a follow-up on the way continuing the exploits of Monroe, Brandt, Lopez, and the rest.”

Book Reviewer

MrNeil98

Thrillers Rock Twitter

 

 

 

Begin Reading

Table of Contents

Other Books Available

About the Author

Acknowledgments

Copyright Information

Contact Information

 

 

 

 

 

Where It Began

 

 

Jerusalem, dusk…

Beneath the scant shade of a cypress tree, the man held silent vigil.

He had forsaken all, even his name. But he knew that others would call out “Betrayer” or “Slayer of the Innocent.” How could they not? His heavy heart had nearly kept him from witnessing the crucifixion, but shame forced his feet to climb to this sheltered knoll.

This was his doing. All his.

Death, and not just any death, but the death of his closest friend bloodied his hands, but he was certain that as ages passed the story of this day would be kneaded like a soft dough. The events would be wrung and twisted over until not even the baker could discern the original ingredients. But the lambskin purse tied to his belt, heavy with silver coin, would not allow him to forget.

Angered again, the man looked up at the clear skies—where heaven in all its glory lay. Why was the sky not gray and brooding? In His absolute fury, a recriminating thunder should shake the ground, trembling so greatly that it knocked down those who would persecute a true believer. Lightning should pierce the Roman dogs that led the prisoners up to Golgotha. Or, more fittingly, the bolts should strike the man to the marrow for his duplicity.

Instead, only a light breeze played at the edge of his rough-spun robe, as goats lazily grazed along the hillsides past the Second Wall. The scent of jasmine and unleavened bread floated on the wind, as all those in Jerusalem prepared for the Sabbath. How could life drift along for all those inside the city walls? Why were there so few from the Temple City following the doomed procession? Where were the grieving throngs?

But the man knew the answer. Any who would have revolted against the verdict were blissfully unaware of the fatal turn of events. Since the midnight arrest, the trial and judgment had unfolded too quickly for word to spread. Partly by design, and partly by misfortune. Prophecy and pragmatism had conspired to bring low one who should have been held in the highest regard.

A sharp wail turned the man back to Golgotha. Squinting, as the distance was great, he knew it was Mary’s cry as the spikes were driven into the sufferer’s heels. Her pain equaled his. This was why he forced himself up this remote hillside. There were too few to witness his agony. Only Mary, Jude, and the Beloved Disciple were at the foot of the cross. The rest of the women were at the base of the hill, weeping in a great heap of scarves and tears. The other Twelve had scattered to the wind. Now outlawed.

So it was that he, he who had brought all this tragedy to fruition, was to be the one to bear witness until the end.

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Paris, France


I
told
you the Louvre wasn’t open late on Tuesdays!”

Corey ignored Kika’s outburst as the bus rattled along, following its route along the Seine. This was not how he imagined their great European adventure. Sex, scenery, and some more sex. That was the plan. When did the hysterical nagging figure in?


And all for a bunch of old cars! We missed the
Mona Lisa
for a fucking Peugeot!”

He didn’t bother to correct her. First of all, there was nothing “fucking” about a classic 1950s Peugeot. Secondly, the
Centre International de L’Automobile
was a world-renowned car museum that was a must-see on any autophile’s trip. Thirdly, was the
Mona Lisa
any less boring in person?

Kika struggled to control her tears, or at least wanted to leave the impression that she was struggling, as she slumped deeper into her bus seat. “I can’t believe this is happening!”

Corey couldn’t believe that this was only the second stop on their supposed five-country tour. Three more countries of arguing, bitching, and the cold shoulder? He didn’t think so. Backpacks and visas got stolen all the time, right? It wasn’t like he’d leave her stranded. He’d make sure she had enough cash to get to the consulate and let her ATM of parents figure out the rest.

That didn’t make him a complete asshole, did it?

Brakes squealed as they neared Le Champ De Mars. As the engine rumbled to idle, everyone was thrown forward. Kika’s breast brushed past his elbow as she settled back.

Maybe there was another way. Grabbing her wrist, Corey leapt from his seat, tugging her down the bus’ narrow steps. “Come on.”


Are you crazy?” She cried as the bus pulled away from the curb. “It’s going to be another hour before we can catch another bus to the hostel.”


Jesus, Kika, mellow out.”

That was clearly the wrong thing to say, as her face turned crimson. “I
would
mellow the fuck out if I were the one getting my way all the time. It was the
Louvre
, Corey. The Louvre! The entire reason I came on this crappy trip.”

Anger melted into tears. Real tears. They brimmed at the edge of her expertly applied eyeliner. Damn, but she was pretty. Unthinking, he reached to wipe the tears away but she pulled away, angered again.


Not this time.” Kika turned her back on him.

Throwing his head back in frustration, he breathed out through his teeth. Chicks. You can’t live with them and you sure as hell got a thick callus on your palm without them. But when he opened his eyes he saw the most amazing sight. The Eiffel Tower’s lights bloomed to life. The entire height of the tower was a glittering glow of gold.

Screw the pamphlets. This was the real thing.


Kika,” he said quietly, but she was busy blowing her nose. “Look up.”

Predictably she scoffed, rolling her eyes, but, equally predictably, curiosity got the best of her. A slight gasp escaped her whatever-was-the-most-fashionable-shade-this-season lips. That was the response he wanted. Tenderly he turned her toward him.


Kika, we’re in France. Hell, we’re in Paris, standing under the most romantic landmark in the world.” He pointed to the Tower. “I’m sorry. I really thought tonight was the Louvre’s evening hours. I totally would have skipped the car museum if I’d known.”

Her dark eyes rose to meet his. “Really?”

Corey was surprised to find that his next words weren’t a lie. “Really.”

Kika’s eyelashes fluttered in that way only she could pull off. Taken by the moment, Corey kissed her. Not hard, like the-smelly-Austrians-have-finally-left-so-we-can-have-a-quickie kind of kiss. Instead, it was a soft kiss. Just like the one he gave her when they decided to screw saving for grad school and use the money for two weeks in Europe.

He held her cheeks between his hands. “Is there anything we can do—do tonight—to make up for the Louvre?”


Well…” She blushed and batted her eyes toward the bejeweled Tower. “The Le Jules Verne is supposed to be the most romantic restaurant in the whole world.”

Okay, he was hoping she might suggest a threesome, but if an expensive dinner inside the Eiffel Tower was what it took to have an unforgettable lay, then that’s what he would do.

Corey took her hand in his. “All right, let’s get some directions.”


It’s on the second floor,” she stated promptly.


I wonder if we have to take the stairs up, or—”


It’s got its own elevator in the south pillar.”

He glanced at her, but she just swung their hands up and down in a playful, girlish way. She certainly seemed to know a lot about this restaurant. Which made him wonder exactly how long she had been angling for this dinner. Could the plot have reached all the way back to the car museum? She had complained, but she certainly hadn’t put up a Kika-level fuss about staying late to look at the Lamborghini collection.

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