Thriller & Suspense

The Scarlet Crown

By

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The Scarlet Crown is a weapon like no other, but it is left to a small group to protect it from those who would arm themselves ruthlessly!

Synopsis

A weapon of mass destruction that's thousands of years old, is no larger than a shoe-box and can be re-used... but it's not what you think it is...

.....

Tales of all-powerful gods which once ruled over heaven and earth have long faded to legend. When they disappeared, they left behind a weapon so powerful that it could unbalance world order forever.

Mild-mannered John Grey finds himself at the center of a modern-day conspiracy. His attempt to save an elderly lady from attack unexpectedly confronts him with his past, and the unlikely hero finds himself trying to keep the world's most powerful weapon, a simple scarlet crown, out of the hands of man.

When his only lead to the crown's location is shot, John, aided by an ancient order called The Golden Dawn, is forced to follow a series of markers in a bid to retrieve it. But he's not alone and quickly discovers that MI6 and a seven-hundred-year old terrorist faction, hell-bent on world domination, are on his tail. The race to save the world from total destruction is on. Because if one nation or group ever had access to magic, they would destroy us all.

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Frederic Dalton for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.


Always a fan of thrillers that mix action with some historical secrets, this book by Frederic Dalton caught my eye with its synopsis. John Bassinth may be the Earl of Melton, but he does not let the aristocratic nature of his title rule his life. Always one who enjoys the simpler things in life, he seeks to be friendly to those around him. When he comes to the aid of a neighbour, he is pulled into the middle of something from his past about which he’s been sworn to secrecy. A simple email to his brother brings John into the middle of a massive intelligence operation the world over. The message is flagged within MI6 and other organizations as referring to a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’, which causes panic. Could there be such a weapon in the hands of a simple earl? Bassinth reminded of the existence of a ‘Scarlet Crown’, something his father controlled and many before him for over two millennia. The crown’s origin can be traced back to the Romans not long after the start of the Common Era and its powers derived from their gods. With powers unlike any weapon throughout history, the crown can both heal and destroy most anyone. Surfacing at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the crown went into hiding again until Henry VIII discovered it, only to stash it away with the House of Bassinth. Since then, those in the earldom have been part of a secret society, The Hermitic Order of the Golden Dawn (Golden Dawn), whose members have a strong affinity to protect the crown and hold beliefs in mysticism. The Order is spread across Europe and has had some fairly notable people among its ranks. With news of the crown resurfacing, there are a number of groups who are vying to locate it, including an equally tenacious collective called the Order of the Lions. John and a handful of others seek to remain one step ahead while trying to secure the crown and protect its powers from the outside world. Following clues and symbols, along with the help of a history professor who studied the story of the crown, they must ensure its safety or risk catastrophic repercussions. This may be the most important thing John’s ever done in his life and could be one way to keep the Order strong, a group he’s recently learned is his to control. The stakes are high and the rewards even greater in this thriller that takes the reader on an adventure through time, history, and personal beliefs. Recommended to those who enjoy a little mystic intervention with their thrillers, as well as the reader who finds pleasure in a game of lethal cat and mouse.


While it was the cover that first caught my eye, the premise for this book is like no other. There is a little of everything for the reader to enjoy: history, mystic beliefs, clashes, and a chase to locate a secret relic. Dalton pulls this off while keeping his characters in constant motion and the action riveting on many fronts. The story, like the history of the Scarlet Crown, is multi-faceted and pulls the reader in many directions at once, leaping throughout the narrative and forcing those who are adventurous enough to keep track of it all. With a number of key characters, Dalton creates backstories and development throughout, which can be taxing on the reader who sought a relaxing piece of entertainment, but the vested interest is well worth the chore. With a little code breaking and historical reference throughout, the author takes the reader on an adventure rather than spoon feeding some cookie cutter action plot that is easily surmised from the preface. Dalton mixes things up with some highly detailed chapters (leaping from setting to setting) and others that are brief and keep the story moving along. If I had a critique, it would be that some of the history does not match up, particularly in the discussions of the Tudor era. While it is minor, it does leave me wondering if there were other missteps that dealt with historical facts about which I am less familiar. Overall, a wonderful book and great reading experience for those who enjoy historical thrillers!


Kudos, Mr. Dalton, for a wonderful piece that kept me enthralled. I will have to wait and see what else you pen, but admit this was a splendid debut.


Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.

Synopsis

A weapon of mass destruction that's thousands of years old, is no larger than a shoe-box and can be re-used... but it's not what you think it is...

.....

Tales of all-powerful gods which once ruled over heaven and earth have long faded to legend. When they disappeared, they left behind a weapon so powerful that it could unbalance world order forever.

Mild-mannered John Grey finds himself at the center of a modern-day conspiracy. His attempt to save an elderly lady from attack unexpectedly confronts him with his past, and the unlikely hero finds himself trying to keep the world's most powerful weapon, a simple scarlet crown, out of the hands of man.

When his only lead to the crown's location is shot, John, aided by an ancient order called The Golden Dawn, is forced to follow a series of markers in a bid to retrieve it. But he's not alone and quickly discovers that MI6 and a seven-hundred-year old terrorist faction, hell-bent on world domination, are on his tail. The race to save the world from total destruction is on. Because if one nation or group ever had access to magic, they would destroy us all.

Prologue

Britannia, 43 A.D.

Winter had come early this year. Aulus Plautius, Rome’s lead general in Britain surveyed the land, standing on a small hill overlooking the snow encrusted landscape. His generals stood by his side as they evaluated their situation and discussed strategy.

Nearly half a kilometer away, hugging the frozen Medway River, a large force was gathering. They would be a formidable foe, made up of four different local tribes, and they were not planning on letting him or his army pass.

The wind suddenly picked up.

Above the area where the tribes had gathered, dark clouds appeared. Day turned to night. Bolts of blue lightning flashed across the sky. Stunned by the awesome spectacle, the tribesmen stood their ground, staring upward.

It was all over in under a minute as multiple bolts of lightning slammed into the ground from the dark clouds above them, smashing gaping holes into the landscape and taking out nearly the entire force. Those that were not dead or injured ran for their lives, and what remained of the once formidable force lay in ruins.

Plautius observed the scene and turned to his generals. “Well, another victory for our Emperor. That was easy,“ he said.

A little too easy.


Twenty-one years ago

Little Melton, England

It was a drab and rainy day in Little Melton, a neat little village set into the side of rolling green hills on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk counties in England. The village itself was fairly typical for the region and would not have received any attention were it not for the Tudor heritage bestowed upon it by Henry VIII many centuries ago.

Bassinth Hall, a manor house that stands less than a kilometer away from the village, reflects everything Britain is proud of: heritage, history, grandeur, and power.

On the grounds surrounding the Tudor Hall, fourteen-year-old John Bassinth, future Earl of Melton, ignored the splashing rain as he made his way to a new hiding spot in the gardens. With nearly eighteen hectares of land around the buildings, there were plenty of spaces to play hide-and-seek, but John had decided on a new favorite spot today.

He looked back at the imposing building, making sure no one could see him. The Hall had been built in 1540, near the end of Henry VIII's reign. Constructed in the classic style of the period, featuring a hand-made red brick produced in the region, it counted three floors and an impressive thirty bedrooms. Connecting the indoor spaces to the fabulous English garden outside were countless glass doors that allowed the house to flow seamlessly into the open space outside.

As with any other manor house of that period, the gardens were considered to be an extension of the house—and Bassinth Hall had it all: near perfect rose gardens, a large lake surrounded by a controlled, but wild-looking forest on one side, and an endless lawn leading up to the house from the four corners of the estate. On the far side of the property stood quite a few hectares devoted to the noblest of animals—horses. 

All these luxuries had become part of daily life for John Bassinth, eldest son and future earl. But this was furthest from his mind as he ran down the lawn toward the lake. He knew his younger brother Andrew would be after him. If he wanted to win this game of hide-and-seek, he would have to find a really good spot. 

His brother, two years younger, was the only other child in the family. A sister Ann had died many years ago after falling ill at the age of six. He had never really known her, too young to remember, but it had devastated his parents, and since that time, they had often lived separate lives in the great house.

He ran faster to ensure he could reach the tree line before being seen. His brother always had a knack for finding him. Although he was younger, he had spent a large part of his free time out hunting with their dad, unlike John who preferred to spend time in the vast family library, reading or building scale models of cars. With nearly ten years of hunting experience, Andrew's tracking skills were some of the best anyone had ever seen, and John knew that even a crushed twig would be like a signpost.

Pushing past the first trees, he spurted along the two hundred-meter long pathway that led into the forest, treading as lightly as he could at that speed, careful not to leave too much of a trail. His feet splashed on the wet ground, small waves of muddy water pushing outward before the hole quickly filled back up in his absence. Damn, John thought, another clear marker for his brother to find.

A minute into the trail, he saw his destination—the family's mausoleum where over ten generations of his ancestors lay. One day, he too would be laid to rest there. 

He knew this would be the only place where Andrew would never think to look. This would be the day—the first day ever—that his brother would not be able to find him! The fact that he was ignoring his father's rules played no part in his decision—the mausoleum was strictly off-limits—but that also meant he would not be found. 




About the author

Frederic Dalton (46) is a Belgian citizen who grew up in Europe, Asia and Africa. Dalton lives in a small village around 30 kilometers from Brussels with his three children and is an avid collector of industrial antiques, a World War 2 buff and a keen traveler. view profile

Published on July 01, 2020

100000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by

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