Andy McDermott

The Hunt For Atlantis

The first book in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series, 2007

The soldiers paused for an instant, caught between trained instinct and the orders of their superior officer.

The instant was all Chase needed.

He grabbed the barrel of the nearest soldier’s rifle, jerking it out of the startled man’s grip and twisting his wrist to flip the gun over onto its back as his other hand stabbed at the trigger.

He felt the heat of the bullet through the metal barrel as the gun fired, scorching his palm. The soldier lurched backwards, the bullet ripping right through him and showering the Land Rover with blood and mashed lung tissue.

Before any of the other soldiers could react, Chase flipped the gun over again, jamming the selector switch to full auto and unleashing bursts of fire at the soldiers with the Dragunovs. They fell. If the remaining soldiers fired at him, they ran the risk of hitting their own comrades, which would deter them for a moment.

“Nina!” he shouted. She stared uncomprehendingly at him, totally unprepared for his lethal flurry of action. He reached out to grab her arm, but one of the soldiers reacted more quickly than his companions and tackled Nina to the ground. Chase couldn’t shoot him without hitting her-

For my family and friends


The sun had not yet risen above the Himalayan peaks, but Henry Wilde was already awake. He had been awake, waiting for the moment when the dawn light cleared the mountains, for over two hours.

More than two hours, he mused. More like years, most of his life. What began as a boyhood curiosity had grown into an… he hesitated to use the word obsession, but there it was. An obsession that had brought him mockery and derision from the academic world; an obsession that had eaten up most of the money he had earned in his lifetime.

But, he reminded himself, it was also an obsession that had brought him together with one of the two most remarkable women he had ever known.

“How long to sunrise?” asked Laura Wilde, Henry’s wife of almost twenty years, huddled next to him in her thick parka. The two had first met as undergraduates at New York ’s Columbia University. While they had already noticed each other-Henry was a six-foot-four ice blond and Laura had hair of such a deep shade of red it seemed almost unnatural-it wasn’t until after Henry had an essay on the subject of his obsession mockingly excoriated by their professor that they spoke. Laura’s first three words caused Henry to fall in love on the spot.

They were: “I believe you.”

“Any minute now,” Henry said, checking his watch before putting a loving arm around her. “I just wish Nina were here to see it with us.” Nina, their daughter, was the second of the two most remarkable women he had ever known.

“That’s what you get when you schedule an expedition during her exams,” Laura chided.

“Don’t blame me, blame the Chinese government! I wanted to come next month, but they wouldn’t budge, said it was this or nothing-”



“I’m kidding. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity either. But yes, I wish Nina were here too.”

“Getting a postcard from Xulaodang doesn’t really seem fair compensation, does it?” sighed Henry. “We drag her all over the world to dead end after dead end, and when we finally find a real lead, she can’t come!”

“We think we’ve found a real lead,” Laura corrected him.

“We’ll know in a minute, won’t we?” He indicated the vista before them. Three snowcapped peaks of roughly equal size rose beyond the rugged plateau on which they had made camp. At the moment they were held in shadow by the larger range to the east, but when the sun climbed above the obstruction, that would change. And if the stories they had gathered were true, it would change in spectacular style…

Henry stood, offering a hand to pull Laura to her feet. She blew out a cloud of steaming breath as she rose; the plateau was over ten thousand feet above sea level, and the air was both thin and cold in a way that neither of them had ever before experienced. But it also had a purity, a clarity.

Somehow, Henry knew they would find what they were searching for.

The first light of dawn reached the three peaks.

Rather, it reached one of them, a brilliant golden light exploding from the perfect white snow atop the central peak. Almost like a liquid, the sunlight slowly flowed down from the summit. The two mountains on either side remained in shadow, the dawn still blocked by the larger range.

“It’s true…” Henry said quietly, awe in his voice.

Laura was somewhat less reverent. “That pretty much looks like a golden peak to me.”

He gave her a smile before looking back at the spectacle before them. The mountain was almost aglow in the dawn light. “They were right. Goddamn it, they were right.”

“That’s almost depressing, in a way,” said Laura. “That a bunch of Nazis over fifty years ago knew about it first, and were so close to finding it.”

“But they didn’t find it.” Henry set his jaw. “We will.”

The Golden Peak -until today nothing more than a legend, a piece of ancient folklore-was the final piece in the puzzle Henry had been assembling his whole life. Exactly what he would find there, he wasn’t sure. But what he was sure of was that it would provide him with everything he needed to reach his final goal.

The ultimate legend.


The dazzling display of light on the Golden Peak lasted for barely a minute before the sun rose high enough to strike the two neighboring summits. By the time the expedition began to ascend the eastern slope of the peak, the sun was high overhead. Its companions now out of shadow, the mountain was indistinguishable from

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