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Authors: A. J. Hartley

What Time Devours

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Table of Contents
 
 
 
 
 
 
PRAISE FOR ON THE FIFTH DAY
“Terrific plotting, first-rate suspense.
On the Fifth Day
is a ripping good read.”
—Kathy Reichs,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Cross Bones
 
“Not only is Hartley’s novel well paced, with enough twists and turns to keep most thriller fans satisfied, he avoids the missteps of most attempts to cash in on
The Da Vinci Code
zeitgeist by focusing on the faithful rather than freewheeling conspiracies . . . this slam-bang title is a very fun, surprisingly satisfying read.”—
Publishers Weekly
 
“Full of historical mystery, rife with intrigue and suspense . . . a tour de force sure to keep pages turning deep into the night . . . A. J. Hartley is a rare discovery: a writer capable of challenging a reader as much as he thrills.”
—James Rollins,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Black Order
PRAISE FOR THE MASK OF ATREUS

The Mask of Atreus
is the perfect debut—a high-octane thriller crammed full of long-buried secrets, treacherous betrayals, jaw-dropping twists, and a healthy dash of romance. Deborah Miller is an engaging, sympathetic heroine, who you can’t help but root for. Move over Michael Crichton—A. J. Hartley is right at your heels.”
—J. A. Konrath, author of
Fuzzy Navel
 
“Rich with historical and archaeological detail, this well-constructed debut . . . celebrates the power of legend while delivering an engrossing mystery that skips nimbly between continents and cultures . . . This intricate and absorbing thriller augurs well for Hartley’s career.”—
Publishers Weekly
 
“An exhilarating thriller rooted in the dark side of history and myth. Enormously entertaining. Reading
The Mask of Atreus
is like looking down a very dark and very scary tunnel—you have no idea what’s looking back, waiting to pounce. Hartley is one terrific writer.”
—Jeff Long,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Wall
 
“This is exactly the kind of archaeological thriller I love—from its gripping opening on a battlefield in the waning days of World War II to its roaring finish.
The Mask of Atreus
is rich and dramatic—a compelling novel that will grip you in its swift, dark currents and sweep you over the falls . . . outstanding.”
—Douglas Preston, author of
The Codex
and
Tyrannosaur Canyon
 
“Absolutely spellbinding . . . Compulsively readable . . . the terrible beauty of ancient Greece collides with the merciless obsessions of the twentieth century.”
—Eloisa James,
New York Times
bestselling author
 
“Intriguing. A labyrinth of history and mystery.”
—Steve Berry,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Templar Legacy
 
“I find
The Mask of Atreus
engaging because it’s a rare accomplishment: a genuinely thrilling thriller that’s also intelligent and brilliantly written. They said it couldn’t be done.”
—Phillip DePoy, author of The Fever Devilin Mysteries
 
“Terrific . . . A. J. Hartley provides a fabulous whodunit made fresh by its deep historical and archaeological base and an endearing heroine.”—
Midwest Book Review
Titles by A. J. Hartley
THE MASK OF ATREUS
ON THE fiFTH DAY
WHAT TIME DEVOURS
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
WHAT TIME DEVOURS
 
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley edition / January 2009
 
Copyright © 2009 by A. J. Hartley.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-440-66043-6
 
BERKLEY
®
Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

To Bill, Jim, and all the teachers, colleagues, and students
who have shaped my love of Shakespeare.
 
To my wife and son,
and to the memory of Ira Yarmolenko (1988-2008):
 
“I hope that when you are reborn,
you are born as a snowflake . . .”
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
 
—SHAKESPEARE,
TWELFTH NIGHT
PART I
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
—Shakespeare, “Sonnet 65”
CHAPTER 1
Thomas Knight froze, one hand on the coffeepot, the other extended to the faucet over the sink. It was still dark outside and the kitchen light should show only a fringe of green from the yew in the yard, but there was something else. Something at the window. He wasn’t sure if he’d gotten a flash of it in the reflection from the percolator, or caught a glimpse with the corner of his eye, but he knew something was there, something strange. Something
wrong
.
He stood there motionless for three or four seconds, as if waiting for it to move, but he knew it wouldn’t and that he would have to turn and look directly at it. Right now it was just an impression of colors that shouldn’t be there—a pale oval touched with yellow and red—sharp against the blackness of the yard beyond, but when he looked at it, it would take shape and meaning. He didn’t want to look.
He turned to it slowly, and even though he wasn’t surprised, the fact of the thing almost made him cry out. A woman’s face was pressed up to the glass.
Her eyes were wide, like she was staring at him, but Thomas didn’t wave her away, or threaten to call the police. There was something too fixed and vacant about the eyes. They were unaware of him.

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