The Forgotten Holocaust (Ben Hope, Book 10)

BOOK: The Forgotten Holocaust (Ben Hope, Book 10)
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SCOTT MARIANI
The Forgotten Holocaust

Copyright

Published by Avon an imprint of

HarperCollins
Publishers
Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins
Publishers
2015

Copyright © Scott Mariani 2015

Cover design © Head Design 2015

Scott Mariani asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780007486175

Ebook Edition © Jan 2015 ISBN: 9780007486243

Version: 2015-01-13

Praise

Join the army of fans who LOVE Scott Mariani’s Ben Hope series …

1.1
million copies sold in the UK alone – and counting!

‘For those who are yet to meet Ben Hope, beware – he is
highly addictive
!’

‘Another
gripping
tale’

‘Just when you think Ben Hope has settled into some kind of normality his life spins apart.
Amazing twists and turns
… plenty of action.
Never a dull moment!

‘Once again Scott Mariani has
hit the bullseye
!’

‘Yet again Ben Hope –
the man we’d all secretly like to be
– triumphs in the end!’

‘Scott Mariani is a storyteller of the
highest quality

‘Thank you, Scott, for keeping me so well
entertained
and
enthralled

‘Isn’t it about time Mr Mariani lets Ben Hope settle down?… I hope not! I am enjoying the series too much!’


Heart-stopping!

‘Ben Hope is
the hero we all need

‘Just keeps getting
better and better
!’

‘Only one word to describe it –
AWESOME
!’

‘Loved every single page: the
style
of writing, the
detail
of plot, history, geography, technical
knowledge
and romantic
tension
. Thank you, Scott!’

‘Constant
twists and turns
urging you to read the next page to reach the final
thrilling
conclusion’

‘Ben Hope
at his best


Five stars are not enough

‘Full of
action and fast-paced thrills
, these books are just fantastic’

‘Makes you regret that you
read it too fast

‘Thrills, spills,
terror
and
excitement

‘Another
cracker
from Scott Mariani’

‘Once again, Scott Mariani has delivered a
superb, action-packed, edge-of-the-seat adventure
that leaves you just wanting more. Bring it on!’

‘Probably
the best Ben Hope yet
!’

‘I read it in
one day

‘Anyone who has not read this series of books should
do so straight away
!’

‘My heart is still
beating furiously

‘Ben Hope is
a thinking Jack Reacher


Fast and furious
as ever’


Action-packed
and forward-thinking
suspense
and
thrills
throughout … great for technology, history and action fans and those looking for a comfortable and
intelligent
read’

‘They are going! They are going! The Irish are going with a vengeance! Soon a Celt will be as rare on the banks of the Liffey as a red man on the banks of the Hudson.’

The London Times
, 1847

‘Could not anyone blow up that horrible island with dynamite and carry it off in pieces – a long way off?’

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Table of Contents

Prologue
County Cork, Ireland
May 29th, 1846

It had been raining all morning, but now the sun shone brightly over the fields. Other than the gentle breeze that rustled the crops, all was still and silent. Beyond the rickety wooden fence, the country road was empty, except for two men approaching on horseback.

Any local observing the pair of riders would have been able to tell at a glance that they weren’t simple peasants. They made an odd couple. The younger of the two was a tall, broad, self-assured man with a certain air, whose high-bred chestnut hunter was worth far more than any Irish farmer could have afforded – the Penal Laws had made it illegal for many years for an Irish Catholic to own a horse worth over £5. His older companion, a smaller, much slighter bespectacled fellow jolting uncomfortably along beside him astride a bay mare, had the look of a parson or a schoolmaster, and certainly not one from these parts.

What no observer could have guessed, though, was the deadly secret nature and equally deadly purpose of their mission. A mission that had taken many months to engineer, and was now about to become complete.

Although they knew each other very well, few words had passed between them during the ride. The older man seemed ill at ease in the saddle and kept nervously checking his silver pocket watch and twisting round to glance over his shoulder, as if he expected to spot someone following. All he saw was the deserted road snaking away for miles behind them until it disappeared into the green hills.

He wanted to say something. The words were right on the tip of his tongue: ‘Edgar, this plan … I have terrible misgivings. I’m just no longer sure that we’re doing the right thing.’

But he swallowed his words, kept silent. He knew what the reply would be. He couldn’t afford for his commitment to come into doubt. Things had advanced much too far for that.

The younger man halted his hunter by a rickety gate and glanced around him. ‘Here,’ was all he said to his companion. They dismounted, led their horses to the gate and tethered them up where they could munch at the long roadside grass.

The younger man reached into his saddlebag and took out a box-shaped object wrapped in cloth. Handling it with care, he passed it to the older man, who clutched it anxiously as he waited for his companion to vault over the gate into the field beyond and then handed it back to him.

The time to express any last-minute doubts was definitely past.

The older man awkwardly clambered over the gate and scurried to join the other, who was already striding purposefully towards the middle of the field with the cloth-wrapped box under his arm.

All around them the leafy plants were springing up in the regularly spaced furrows the Irish called ‘lazy beds’, full of the same vitality and vigour that could be seen across the whole countryside. Even in the miserable patches of land sown by the poorest tenant farmers, the dark green leaves and purple blossoms were healthy and erect. The men walked in silence to the middle of the field, the older one having to trot to keep up. He was out of breath by the time they halted.

The younger one gazed back at the road. There was still not a soul in sight. Silence, except for the soft breeze. The horses were grazing contentedly in the distance.

‘Let’s get it done,’ he said.

The two of them crouched among the plants, so that nobody could have watched them from the road even if the landscape hadn’t been deserted as far as the eye could see. The younger man unwrapped his package to reveal a small casket made of varnished oak with brass fittings. He set it carefully on the ground and opened its lid. Inside, protected by the red velvet lining, was a row of small glass phials containing the precious substance.

Each phial held just a few fluid drachms. That was all that was needed.

He picked one out of the velvet folds, holding it gingerly so as not to crush the thin glass. For such a large, powerful man, his movements were surprisingly delicate and exact. He carefully removed the cork stopper from the phial, keeping it well away from his nose.

The thick, glutinous substance inside looked faecal, and smelled worse. The older man looked on with a frown as his companion emptied the contents of the phial into the ground, scattering it among the bases of the crop stalks where it quickly soaked into the moist earth. He restoppered the empty phial, replaced it in the box with the others.

That done, he closed the lid, wrapped the box back up in its cloth and stood up with the package under his arm and a look of grim satisfaction.

The older man’s expression was quite different as he got stiffly to his feet. He couldn’t take his eyes off the ground where they’d poured out the substance. He’d broken out into a sweat that wasn’t caused by the warm sun. He felt a sudden chill and nervously thrust his trembling hands into his waistcoat pockets.

‘And so it begins,’ he muttered solemnly. ‘May God forgive us, Edgar.’

‘You talk too much, Fitzwilliam. Let’s go. We have a lot more work to do.’

They walked in silence back towards the gate.

BOOK: The Forgotten Holocaust (Ben Hope, Book 10)
4.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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