Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5
Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5
Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5
Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5
Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5
Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5

Eyes of Death: Mortlake Series Book 5

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Ancient mythical evil haunts the modern world…

Marcus Mortlake has dedicated his life to battling evil. And in doing so, the paranormal investigator has ignored his professional responsibilities for far too long. When his college brings him to task, the weary professor finds himself facing an enemy he had no chance at defeating… The college bursar.

Before he can face the music, both the troublesome administrator and one of Mortlake’s disgruntled students disappear, leaving only a pile of crumbling dust behind. Mortlake suspects supernatural forces are to blame. But even he is shocked to discover that the culprit may be a mythological terror, whose very name is synonymous with fear…

Mortlake struggles to track down the malevolent entity while dodging inquisitive college officials and law enforcement out for his hide. And upon realization that someone close to him has become possessed by the ancient spirit, he must call upon every ounce of his supernatural knowledge to bring an end to their reign of terror, before more blood is spilled.

But a shadowy figure is manipulating events behind the scenes. And they’re determined to make sure their existence stays hidden.…

Until it’s time to reveal their cause.



Chapter 10

The morning passed with routine lectures and tutorials, then Mortlake and Carroll met up for lunch at a pub near the college. He’d messaged Tara a few times but gotten only a single terse reply. She was busy all day, it seemed. He didn’t want to pester her. After all, what could she do, in practical terms, that he could not?

That left Carroll. He felt slightly odd discussing his concerns with a near stranger. But, when he mentioned this, she pointed out that they were her concerns too. She had, albeit unwittingly, helped stir up the same menace that Glazebrook had fallen prey to.

Mortlake asked about her student, Kirsten Opie. Carroll shrugged.

“I can’t get permission to visit Kirsten,” she said. “And I can’t get through to her on the phone—busy hospital, I guess. I know her family is with her, though. My superiors at Oxford let me know she seems to be making a good recovery. But there’s still no word on what wiped her memory and left her unconscious in a back alley.”

“One point is clear,” Mortlake commented. “The timing isn’t right. She was found and taken to the hospital two whole days before Nigel Yaxley was attacked. So if Euryale is at large, she’s lurking in some other human victim.”

They deliberated this and agreed that it could be almost any woman. Mortlake assumed that Euryale would want a reasonably healthy, able-bodied female host. Given that there were thousands of female students in Oxford, that wouldn’t be too challenging. And any one of them might have gone AWOL to Cambridge for a few days.

“Might there be a way of detecting the—well, I guess you’d call her the ‘victim’?” Carroll asked.

Mortlake made a helpless gesture.

“Clearly, the Gorgon had concealed itself from you all the way from Greece,” he pointed out. “That suggests a talent for mimicking human behavior. Or perhaps—and I think this is more likely—Euryale can remain essentially invisible, buried deep in the psyche of the victim until she chooses to emerge. Which means she could be right here, in this pub.”

They both glanced around. There were several groups of students, the majority of them female.

“We’ll simply get paranoid if we treat every young woman as suspect,” he went on. “Perhaps some kind of test would work. But frankly, I doubt it. We’re dealing with primal powers—Euryale may be a higher order of being than any I’ve faced so far.”

Carroll looked quizzically at him.

“Really?” she asked. “I heard—well, I’ve heard a lot of weird stuff, inevitably. But you seem to be implying that Euryale is out of your league?”

Mortlake shrugged and took a sip of mineral water. He wished he was less susceptible to alcohol. A stiff whiskey at this moment might let him ease up. But he knew it would be a bad move.

“I generally have some idea how to tackle a problem,” he said. “But this one is baffling. Her motives are obscure, she can’t be seen until she strikes, and she has no obvious weaknesses.”

There was a moment’s silence, then the American changed the subject.

“How do you think the police will treat Kirsten?” Carroll asked, sounding a little anxious. “I don’t want her to get into trouble. She just made a mistake.”

“In my experience,” Mortlake said, taking a sip of his orange juice this time, “they’ll use some catchall term and move on. It’s only when victims don’t recover that they need to fill out the really important forms. The police, and the medical profession, are equally creative when it comes to not saying We Don’t Know What Killed Them.”

Carroll laughed briefly.

“I can’t imagine anyone wants to put ‘Gorgon’ on an official form. Thinking about it myself…” She paused to look around the pub. “It seems like a dream at moments like this. The banality of everyday life, juxtaposed with the idea of actual monsters from classical myth.”

She turned back to look at Mortlake, and he was startled by the fiery enthusiasm in her eyes.

“Imagine that we could talk to a creature like that! The things it would know about those times. They could answer so many questions about the origins of civilization—hell, why not the origin of the world?”

Mortlake smiled uncertainly.

“I’d never thought of it that way,” he admitted. “Using a paranormal being purely for research? I mean, there are some practical problems…”

While they waited for their food to arrive, Carroll teased out some details of his previous encounters. He told her more about Crowe and the One True Game. Carroll asked more questions, eager to learn, and he took a little pride in educating her. In discussing Haslam House, he blurted out the fact of Tara’s psychokinetic power without meaning to. He hesitated, then, and she leaned closer, lowering her voice.

“It’s okay,” she said. “I can keep a secret. But it’s good to know that one of us has something like a superpower.”

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