By M. J. Rose
Rose (www.mjrose.com) has been featured in Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, The Boston Globe, the Today Show, and NPR radio. She has published eleven novels, and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors: Authorbuzz.com. She is the Keynote speaker for the upcoming South Carolina Writers Conference in the fall, and a founding board member of International Thriller Writers. She lives in CT.
As a classical music enthusiast, I was excited to read the "past life" of a character that included a relationship with Beethoven. It was intriguing to read about the lifestyle that was portrayed for him. Others may have read biographical material for him, but for me it was new and very realistic as part of Rose' story...
In the 1800s Margaux had met Beethoven when she became his student. To learn from him was not the main reason she had come. It was said he had the flute and she was there to get it back. The flute had been found by Margaux's husband and, while his partner had come back from the trip where it had been discovered, he had not. Margaux had learned that he was still ill but alive and she needed the flute to sell so that she could have the money to arrange his return home. The flute was said to have magical properties, which, when played correctly, would allow the listener to know all of his past lives. Beethoven had been asked to try to interpret the many engravings on the flute and possibly figure out what music must be played to allow the magic to work. Beethoven had then asked Margaux to help him hide the flute once he had figured out and listened to the music. He knew that it could be very dangerous in the wrong hands.
The flute had been carved out of human bone thousands of years ago. The bone had been stolen by the man's lover after his cremation and was then carved by his lover's brother to try to help his grieving sister.
Both of these past lives had been lived by Meer, who had finally accepted that what she was experiencing was not just stories she made up in her imagination. In the present time, she had once again learned of news about the flute. Meer's father had, since her childhood, tried to help her understand his belief in reincarnation. Often he was asked to investigate and find relics that had been lost or stolen from his Jewish clients. When he had visited a home to inspect a document, he happened to see a gaming box openly displayed in the home. The box cover was very similar to what his daughter had dreamed about for so many years.
In it a secret compartment was found which revealed a personal letter from Beethoven to a woman who had been very close to him. The box had been a gift to her, but it also contained instructions and information on how to find the flute.
But right at the time Meer was to see it for the first time, it was stolen!
Much of the novel follows the search for the lost box, the letter, and the flute, taking evertbody involved to Vienna. However, an interesting parallel plot carried the story of arrangements for a large symposium of companies involved in security. Part of that event was to have a major concert for the participants as well as outside individuals. The security agencies attending had also had the opportunity to bid on providing security for the group's events. And the major security risk was where the concert was to be held.
Although there was a reason that a major security problem was planned for that building, Rose integrated a fantastic past-life experience for the terrorist! The switch from the explosion that could have culminated at the concert was instead so amazingly ingenuous that readers must just...experience it!
Only two characters are brought forward from the first book and then carried into the final book, The Hypnotist. Malachai Samuels, known as The Reincarnationist who works at The Phoenix Foundation, has helped thousands of children through their past-life experiences. Because of his constant obsession about finding tangible proof of reincarnation, he always travels to wherever there is a potential that a "tool" has been found. And that's why FBI agent Lucien Glass who is convinced he is behind everything that happens...has become just as obsessive as Malachai and is now involved with the present investigation, insofar as the local police are willing to allow him...
M. J. Rose creates complex life stories for a variety of characters and easily maintains ongoing stories at various time periods to ultimately move the story forward while one life story may have been completed while others are left hanging...waiting... I loved the way, for instance, that Meer, the main character, was able to finally resolve the problem for a small boy even though his father had put many lives in danger when he assumed he could handle the problem.
Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, the fascination of how each life could potentially move from one life to another is intriguing and mysteriously magical in its potential. The complexity and intertwined story-lines are brilliantly created and presented by M. J. Rose. For myself, I enjoyed this one even more than the first in the series; however, lovers of suspense, mystery and intrigue will find everything they could want to enjoy...and more!
Review coming next!