A series of child abductions near the Andes Mountains lands a Peruvian archaeologist and an American FBI agent deep in an ancient Incan mystery.
At the foot of a crumbling sacrificial altar on an Andes mountaintop, Nina Ramirez, an archaeology professor at Cuzco University in Peru, makes two stunning discoveries. One is the mummified body of an Inca girl buried five centuries ago. The other is the corpse of a young boy, recently reported missing, now unearthed in a freshly dug grave—and dressed in the same distinctive ritual shawl as the ancient victim. It’s a clue Nina’s ex-lover, FBI agent Adam Palma, never wanted to find.
A hostage retrieval specialist, Adam has been enlisted to find the son of a State Department official kidnapped in Lima—just one in a series of child abductions reported throughout the South American country. But as his path converges with Nina’s, he must contend with a new fear: Someone is reviving the ancient Inca tradition of human sacrifice. With the help of a mysterious young boy, Nina and Adam’s investigation will lead them into the endless unknown of the Amazon jungle to follow the shadow of a legendary conquistador. But to solve a twenty-first-century mystery, they will first have to face one in Adam’s own savage and distant past: his link to the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
Praise for the last conquistador
“A chilling, thrilling experience. Elias takes us on an exciting journey to a spine-chilling place where the past and present come together in an ancient, but very modern, tale of kidnapped children and Latin American intrigue. Archeologist Nina Ramirez and FBI Agent Adam Palma’s trek to the other world where the dead come alive is a breathtaking whodunit. Put aside your National Geographic and shut off the Discovery Channel; The Last Conquistador is a great visual trip into the unknown.” —CLANCY SIGAL, author of Hemingway Lives! and Going Away
“Hats off! For those who think there is nothing new under the sun, I suggest they consider Michael Elias’s wonderfully original novel, The Last Conquistador, in which an FBI agent improbably crosses paths with Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru. Elias has done his homework and he writes evocatively of other times and places, spinning an enthralling tale you haven’t heard before.” —NICHOLAS MEYER, author of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols
“The Last Conquistador is a rare thing: a gripping thriller married to a mystery that has perplexed archaeologists for centuries—the existence of an Inca city that disappeared some 400 years ago. Elias has written a fast-moving novel about a modern day Peru that can’t escape its past.” —DAVID FREEMAN, author of A Hollywood Education and It’s All True
“In The Last Conquistador, Michael Elias weaves history, mythology, and romance into an exotic thriller
with heart-stopping suspense. It’s an unforgettable journey.” —AIMEE LIU, author of Flash House and
“To the great ‘Lost World’ tradition of history-fantasy literature created by H. Rider Haggard, continuing through Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jules Verne, and flourishing with Michael Crichton and Douglas Preston, comes Michael Elias’s rollickingly entertaining The Last Conquistador. To his gritty portrayal of contemporary Peru, brilliantly researched recreations of Incan Peru in its royal heyday, with all its ancient pomp and human sacrifice, plus a hot-blooded romance between a Hispanic FBI agent and his long-lost archaeologist lover, Elias brings a veteran screenwriter’s gift for cinematic immediacy to this stunningly imaginative high adventure. The confidence behind its riveting blend of fast-paced modern thriller and time-traveling Lost City setting updates the genre and leaves us panting for a sequel.” —PETER NABOKOV, author of Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places