The venerable philosopher Pythagoras, one of the most powerful political figures of his time, is preparing to name a successor from among his grand masters when a string of murders rocks the Pythagorean community. The killings, each more baffling and unpredictable than the last, gradually unveil the workings of a dark and powerful mind, more formidable than that of Pythagoras himself.
Egyptian investigator Akenon and the enigmatic Ariadne work to identify the murderer while at the same time coming to terms with their own tumultuous relationship. The challenge they face is one in which the ghosts of the past are interwoven with the sinister threats of the present: a challenge from which it seems impossible they will escape alive.
April 16th, 510 B.C.
” A few hours away from Sybaris, Ariadne dined in silence with her two companions. They were in a corner of the dining room at a small inn. She always tried to sit in such a way that there would be no one behind her.
Upon entering, she had taken a quick look around. All the patrons seemed harmless enough, apart from the two men who were now sitting in front of her, six or seven yards away. Their loud, drunken voices soared above the other conversations. Now and again, they cast defiant looks around the room, and the outlines of their daggers were visible through their clothing. Ariadne ate calmly, without looking at them, though she was mindful of their behavior.
They, too, had noticed Ariadne, especially the smaller of the two, Periandro, who was unable to keep his eyes from wandering constantly in the direction of the young woman dining in front of him. Her fair hair was striking and he could see that beneath her white tunic her breasts were large and firm. He drank some more wine. He was celebrating a successful deal with his friend. They were on their way home after having transferred stolen goods, their usual line of work. On this latest job they had made enough to allow them to splurge for a couple of weeks. Or maybe only one, depending on how much they spent. The previous day, for example, they had forked out a considerable sum at a brothel in Sybaris. Periandro licked his lips remembering the Egyptian slave girl he had taken violently on all fours. He’d love to go at it again with the fair-haired woman.
Without looking up from her meal, Ariadne became aware that one of the men was looking at her lasciviously. She shuddered in disgust, clenching her jaw. Then she closed her eyes and a moment later was completely relaxed. Although her silent companions were peaceful men, they weren’t the only thing protecting her.
Periandro leaned toward his friend without taking his eyes off Ariadne.
“Antiochus, look at that woman.” He nodded in her direction. “She’s driving me crazy. You’d swear she was Aphrodite herself.”
“She is a vision of beauty,” Antiochus whispered in agreement.
“Look at the losers she’s with.” He looked at them with aggressive disdain. “We could knock them out with one hand tied behind our backs. If we plan the ambush properly they won’t even have time to shout. What do you say?” He saw Ariadne licking her fingers with her full lips and felt his arousal grow. “Tell me you’ll do it, because I’m going to have that bitch even if I have to figure out a way of doing it on my own.”
Antiochus gave a start and grabbed Periandro’s tunic.
“Shut up, you fool!” he muttered. “Don’t you know who she is?”
Periandro looked at his hefty companion in surprise. Antiochus leaned closer and whispered in his ear the identity of the voluptuous young woman.
Periandro’s face suddenly grew pale. He glanced at Ariadne, lowered his head, and rested his forehead on his hand, hiding his face.
“Let’s get out of here,” he whispered.
Before Antiochus could reply, he stood up, careful not to make noise, and exited the dining room as fast as he could.
Ariadne continued eating without even bothering to look up.”
About the Author & Links:
Marcos Chicot was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1971. He has a BA in clinical and occupational psychology as well as in economics. He wrote his first novel, Oscar, in 1997. In 1998, he wrote Gordon’s Diary, which won the Francisco Umbral Award. Two years later, he wrote a novel for young readers that won the Rotary Club International Literary Award. He has been a finalist in short story and novel contests such as the Max Aub Award, the City of Badajoz Prize, the Juan Pablo Forner Award, and the Planeta Prize.
His most recent novels are historical thrillers which combine fiction with real characters and events.
He donates ten percent of the profits from his books to NGOs for people with intellectual disabilities, and he is profoundly grateful to his readers for making this possible.
He has been married since 2007 and has two children: Lucía (2009) and Daniel (2012).