4 out of 5 Stars on GoodReads:
The Christ Box
In this international mystery thriller by M. Rutledge McCall, rumors fuel to a violent frenzy that an ancient wooden box owned by a woman in Jerusalem was made by Jesus. When powerful men try to take the box from her, her former NYPD cop son flies to the Middle East to get her and the old box to safety (no screen adaptation available at this time)…
“…a well-written and suspenseful thriller. …fast-paced and engaging… characters are well-developed and believable. …full of twists and turns, and the ending is satisfying. …raises some interesting questions about the nature of faith and the role of religion in our lives. …thought-provoking… A page-turner that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.”
– “Gemini”, Google’s A.I.
“Intriguing, provocative, unpredictable. …‘Da Vinci Code’-meets-‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ … unique layering of richly-conceived characters … unforeseeable plot twists and turns, this riveting journey progresses from mystery and drama to thriller and adventure. …a tough, iconic protagonist … a world filled with dark and powerful, deadly and even fun antagonists. McCall has written one big, surprising splash of a debut novel…”
– Kenneth Ulmer, Ph.D.; Author; past-President, King’s University, Los Angeles; Adjunct, Magdalene College, Oxford University, UK
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A SAMPLE CHAPTER
He appears in her line of sight so suddenly that at first it doesn’t register to Trinity that it’s Max Leonidis standing in front of her at her table.
Her heart quickens a beat. A wariness flares in her.
Trinity’s observation of Max Leonidis over the past month presented a picture of an intense and methodical man who wears only black and who watches much and speaks little. He isn’t exactly scary, but something about him tells her he’s not one to cross. He attends every meeting Blaze attends, and for every person Blaze summons who has never met him before, Max is behind the wheel of the limousine used to convey that person to the meeting.
Max has a nose for troublemakers. Max has a history of dealing with troublemakers. Scuttlebutt around the Blaze Corporation executive offices even holds that Max Leonidis is ex-CIA.
“Trinity,” he repeats in his calm, gravelly voice.
“What, Max?” she replies flatly. “Did you follow me here or did you just happen to be in the neighborhood after lunch thirty minutes ago?”
“The assignment is not open-ended.”
He takes the chair opposite her, flips it around backwards and sits down. He rests his elbows on the back of the chair, clasps his thick, leathery hands, and looks her dead in the eyes.
“Mr. Blaze wants that box.”
“I know that, Max. My ears work just fine. And I’m a lawyer, not an errand girl.”
“You’re an employee. An extremely well compensated one, for your age.” He pauses, then adds, “And five million dollars richer if you do what you’re told.”
“If he’s so rich and powerful and you’re such a badass, Max, then why don’t you two just go to Israel and take it yourselves? I know you tried.”
“Temper, temper, Trinity Parker. You know nothing.”
“What was he doing in Jerusalem, where my grandmother lives, Max?”
His eyes bore into her. He says nothing.
She continues. “Is he planning to do something to her?”
Her voice is rising. People begin to glance their way. Max shakes his head and looks down at his clasped hands.
In one of those moments of raw bluntness for which Trinity Parker has become noted around the Blaze headquarters, she leans across the table, presses her face inches from Max’s and says, “Max, touch my father or my grandmother, and I will put every bit of my IQ into the task of killing you. It might take time. It might take years. But if anything happens to them, one day I will be there to watch you die.”
He says nothing. His emotionless, pale eyes continue to bore into her. She deliberately holds his gaze.
Whenever Trinity feels forced into a corner, a simmering, cold calculation comes over her. Normally, when she wants to bend men to her plan, she uses her Lauren Bacall-like guile and beauty on them. It always works. But something tells her it would work on Max Leonidis like a porcelain knife on granite.
She stands. She shoves her chair behind her with her legs, strides past him, and steps out into the wind.
He watches her walk away, admiring the fleeting glimpse of her legs as much as her fiery temper and boldness at threatening a man like him.