Magic Lantern (Rogue Angel, Book 36)
Alex Archer, Mel Odom
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In late 1700s Paris, a young but promising illusionist dabbles in the arcane art of phantasmagoria. But at his moment of greatest triumph—unveiling a magical lantern said to open a door to the Chinese spirit world—he is violently struck down by a vengeful phantom….
On assignment in London, archaeologist Annja Creed is hunting down a man who claims to have discovered the Jekyll and Hyde potion. On the trail of one curiosity, Annja finds herself pulled toward another mystery…the origin of a strange, old-fashioned projector once used by eighteenth-century illusionists. As Annja delves into its rich history, a dark past begins to emerge. And someone wants to harness the power of this cursed artifact…risking everything for the treasures it promises.
But Annja has a little magic trick of her own. One that she wields with deadly accuracy….
“The church takes care to work at night. It wouldn’t be seemly for people to see them trundling around wheelbarrows filled with skeletons, would it?” “Dutilleaux is telling the truth,” an older man said. “I’ve talked to some of the priests. They’re emptying the graveyards so Paris can grow.” The flames in the room continued to burn. Upon closer inspection, Michel noted that gutters had been cut into the wall for oil. Dutilleaux had simply—through some sort of sleight of hand—lit the oil. “Did
grabbed the lantern and wheeled around. He wasn’t any bigger than Annja and he had his hands full. The only problem was making sure the lantern wasn’t harmed. Slowly, Annja spread her arms out to her sides, the walking stick still in her right hand. She spoke in French in a calm voice. “François, I don’t want to hurt you.” He sneered and produced a knife. “You will not hurt me.” Annja smiled. She let go of the walking stick. François got the wrong idea. He started forward with the knife held
hundred feet tall and cast a long shadow over the area. Anyone looking at it would think the whole region was affluent, but Annja knew that wasn’t true. The Canary Wharf office complex tilted the odds on the per capita breakdown. Slums and poor neighborhoods stood shoulder to shoulder with the wharf area. They were in one of them now, parked in Blackwall not far from the condemned warehouse where Laframboise was supposed to be holding Edmund Beswick. Fiona slipped off her jacket and left it
“I didn’t know there was a diary until you told me. I was hoping there might at least be papers or letters.” “I don’t know if there were any papers or letters. I should probably ask.” “Tell me about the diary.” “What? Don’t you already know?” “It’s written in Chinese.” Edmund shook his head in disbelief. “Perhaps I should venture up to the rooftop, as well.” “And so…?” Annja prodded him. “The sellers were going to list the lantern and the diary together. Those items, after all, were
was an illusionist, Annja,” Edmund said quietly. “Whatever Dutilleaux hid, it wouldn’t be in plain sight.” The warrior guarding Edmund chopped him in the throat with the edge of his hand. Gasping and coughing, Edmund dropped to his knees. Annja started toward him, but two warriors intercepted her. Puyi-Jin glared at her. “Find the treasure. You are running out of time.” Annja turned back to the column. Edmund was right. Dutilleaux wouldn’t have hidden the treasure in such an obvious spot. She