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"The Riddler" - Riddle Of The Diamond Dove (Arkana Mysteries) by N.S. Wikarski #Historical #Fiction

The Riddler
Daniel sighed and looked at the large clock suspended above the librarian’s desk. It was only noon. This day wasn’t going at all as he had hoped. When he arrived that morning at the main branch of the Chicago Public Library, he had been looking forward to his daily visit with David, a reference librarian in the ancient history section. It was the only thing he looked forward to these days. Instead of the handsome young man he had hoped to see, he was met by a scowling grey-haired woman who informed him that David had called in sick. No, it wasn’t serious, just a case of food poisoning and no, she didn’t know when he would be back at work. Probably in a few days.
After receiving that news, Daniel sloped off to a back table and occupied the rest of the morning in brooding. He had spent nearly every day for the past three months in the library—not because he expected to further his research but because he couldn’t bear the oppressive atmosphere of the compound any more than he had to. Three months. He was shocked at how much time he’d managed to waste. He had idled away the entire winter pretending to research the clue that would lead him to the next relic.
He pulled a photo of the object out of his briefcase to study it. A dove with outstretched wings carved entirely out of lapis lazuli. Instead of the row upon row of glyphs which had covered the golden bee, this artifact bore a very simple message: “One dove flies to wake the helmsman. The course he sets reveals his fate.” The bird’s back was encrusted with diamonds in a circular pattern. The middle of the circle consisted of seven emeralds scattered at random. The diamonds at either end of the circle were interrupted by two rubies, one larger than the other.
Daniel looked at the picture of the relic for the thousandth time and still had no idea what any of it meant. Of course, he felt far less urgency in solving this riddle than he had about the earlier ones. His time in Spain had convinced him beyond all doubt that the trio of relic hunters whom he believed dead were still very much alive and after the same treasure that he was. However, since he was the one holding the lapis dove and the clue it contained, the trio had no choice but to wait for him to make a move. They would have to follow his lead. He didn’t particularly care if they anticipated his route and stole away with the next relic before he arrived. Daniel had no sympathy for his father’s ambition to collect these artifacts or the ultimate prize—the Sage Stone. Even though he didn’t know the Diviner’s plan for these strange objects, Daniel imagined it didn’t bode well for the rest of the world. Why should he eagerly assist in that?
Daniel felt his loyalties fracture a bit more after each field mission. The more he saw of the Fallen world, the less comfort he found in returning to the ways of the Blessed Nephilim. Of course, his father’s marriage to Hannah had done even more to alienate him than the relic hunt itself. Daniel was glad he had helped her escape. He just wished he knew where she had gone after he brought her to the city. A note, a phone call, anything to tell him she was alright. He gave a bitter inward laugh. That small gesture of reassurance might very well cost her her freedom if Leroy Hunt was stalking her again. No, it was better as it was. He prayed she had found a better life than as the fourteen-year-old bride of a seventy-year-old man. She could scarcely exchange that fate for anything worse.
Daniel glanced toward the librarian’s desk. The woman behind it was staring at him disapprovingly. He ducked his head down and pretended to concentrate on his paperwork. He couldn’t keep this up much longer. He didn’t simply mean the pretext of visiting this section of the library just to be near David—his only real friend in the world. He also meant the pretext of telling his father that he was on the verge of solving the latest riddle. He was nowhere near a solution to the problem. At best, he could only continue the charade for another month before he would have to get on a plane and go somewhere in search of the next relic.
An idea was nagging at the back of his consciousness. He felt he had missed something. Thinking back to the riddle that had preceded this one, there were lines in that clue which he had never understood. Perhaps it all fit together. Perhaps he needed to solve the earlier puzzle in order to understand the current one. At the very least, he might legitimately burn up some additional time in doing so.
He buried his face in his hands and rubbed his eyes. He hated living this way. His mind drifted back to his last conversation with Hannah. He remembered her final words to him before she disappeared. “How bad does it have to get before you finally walk away?” Perhaps that was the greatest riddle of all.

THE ARKANA SERIES: Where Alternative History Meets Archaeology Adventure
Volume Four – Riddle Of The Diamond Dove
From Kindle Nation fave N. S. Wikarski comes the long-awaited fourth book in her fascinating seven-part Arkana archaeology thriller series — with more of the wonderful characters, sly humor, intrigue and mayhem that come together to create the absorbing world of her intricate, fast-paced mysteries.” (Kindle Nation Daily)
Global Treasure Hunt
Where do you hide an ancient relic that has the power to change the course of history? As Cassie Forsythe and her Arkana team discover, you scatter clues to its whereabouts across the entire planet. Five artifacts buried among the rubble of lost civilizations point to the hiding place of a mythical object known as the Sage Stone. Thus far psychic Cassie, bodyguard Erik, and librarian Griffin have succeeded in recovering two of those artifacts.
Opposing Forces
Cassie and Company find their lives threatened at every turn by agents of a religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. The cult’s leader, Abraham Metcalf, wants to exploit the power of the Sage Stone to unleash a catastrophic plague on the world. The quest for the next piece of the puzzle has led both sides to Africa. They must comb an entire continent–their only lead a riddle carved onto a mysterious dove sculpture. Even as the Arkana team struggles to decipher the clue, new dangers hover over their colleagues at home.
Other Dangers
Metcalf’s child-bride Hannah has taken refuge at the home of the Arkana’s leader Faye while mercenary Leroy Hunt creeps ever nearer to her hiding place. His search for the girl brings him dangerously close to the secret location of the Arkana’s troves–a collection of pre-patriarchal artifacts which confirm an alternative history of the origins of civilization itself. While Hunt closes in on Hannah, Metcalf’s son Daniel dogs the footsteps of the Arkana field team in order to claim the next artifact before they do. Daniel recruits a clever ally along the way who might be more than a match for the opposing side.
Collision Course
When the forces of the Arkana and the Nephilim converge on a ruined city in a forgotten corner of the dark continent, the shocking outcome is beyond even Cassie’s powers to foresee. The quest for the Sage Stone will veer in an unexpected direction once both sides solve the Riddle Of The Diamond Dove.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Alternative History Fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
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