When robotics engineer and ex-Navy SEAL Matinicus “Matt” Hawkins gets a call asking him to survey a shipwreck off the coast of Spain, he jumps at the chance to dive on what may be an intact Minoan vessel, a discovery long considered the Holy Grail of underwater archeology. The find could rip the covers off the mysterious civilization that flourished thousands of years ago on the island of Crete.
But as he descends in his submersible to the ocean bottom with Greek archeologist Kalliste Katechis, Hawkins soon learns that an invisible No Trespassing sign has been posted on the wreck and violators will be killed. Sinister forces quickly make it clear they will do anything to retrieve the ancient translating device he brings up from the deep.
Realizing he is in over his head in more ways than one, Hawkins pulls together the team that backed him up in Afghanistan on the search for an emerald scepter: ex-wife Abby, who heads a global logistics corporation; Navy SEAL comrade and security expert Calvin Hayes, and Molly Sutherland, a computer whiz with a chip on her shoulder.
Hawkins will need all the help he can get as he finds himself in the sights of the Way of the Axe, a bloody cult that will do anything to keep its existence secret. Complicating his investigation are the machinations of a bizarre cast of characters: Viktor Salazar, the CEO of a rapacious mineral corporation who’s conspiring to destroy a promising new technology that could wean the world off of fossil fuels. Leonidas, the shape-shifting killer who can change his identity, and allegiances, with the swiftness of a chameleon. Lily Porter, the glamorous producer of an oddball reality show, who is not what she seems.
Even with back-up from his friends, Hawkins will have to use every mental and physical resource at his command to escape from the clone-like men in black with the blue-painted scalps, figure out how to get into a castle to rescue Kalliste from her long-fated death in the labyrinth, and outwit the monster guardian of the maze known as the Minotaur.
Available on Amazon
“As always I have enjoyed all of Paul’s novels”
Five Star Review on Amazon by david cook
As always I have enjoyed all of Paul’s novels. The “Aristotle” series was a favorite of mine.I only hope he writes more of the ” Matt Hawkins” series. The Minoan Cipher is well written and full of surprises with little twists of the plot to keep you focused. I eagerly sort time to pick it up and read. A book I would definitely reread later. Thank you Paul.
About the Author
My fiction-writing career owes its start to the bad navigation of an 18th-century pirate. For it was in 1717 that a ship, the Whydah went aground, reportedly carrying a fabulous treasure. In the 1980s, three salvage groups went head-to-head, competing to find the wreck. I was working for a newspaper covering the treasure hunt. The controversy over the salvage got hot at times and I thought there might be a book based on the story. I developed my own detective, an ex-cop, diver, fisherman, and PI named Aristotle “Soc” Socarides. He was more philosophical than hard-boiled. Making his first appearance in “Cool Blue Tomb,” the book won the Shamus Award for Best Paperback novel. After many years in the newspaper business, I turned to write fiction and churned out five more books in the series. Clive Cussler blurbed: “There can be no better mystery writer in America than Paul Kemprecos.” Despite the accolades, the Soc series lingered in mid-list hell. By the time I finished my last book, I was thinking about another career that might make me more money, like working in a 7-11. Several months after the release of “Bluefin Blues,” Clive called and said a spin-off from the Dirk Pitt series was in the works. It would be called the NUMA Files and he wondered if I would be interested in tackling the job. I took on the writing of “Serpent” which brought into being Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Assignments Team. Austin had some carry-over from Soc, and another team member, Paul Trout, had been born on Cape Cod. The book made The New York Times bestseller list, as did every one of seven NUMA Files that followed, including “Polar Shift,” which bumped “The DaVinci Code” for first place. After eight NUMA Files, I went back to writing solo. I wrote an adventure book entitled, “The Emerald Scepter,” which introduced a new hero, Matinicus “Matt” Hawkins. I have been working on the re-release of my Soc series in digital and print, and in 2013, responding to numerous requests, I brought Soc back again in a seventh Socarides book entitled, “Grey Lady.” After that book I wrote a sequel to the first Matt Hawkins book, entitled “The Minoan Cipher,” and I’m working on an eighth Soc book which I’m calling “Shark Bait.” My wife Christi and I live on Cape Cod where she works as a financial advisor. We live in a circa 1865 farmhouse with two cats. We have three children and seven granddaughters. To learn more about Paul, check out his website at www.paulkemprecos.com.
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