Ryder (Ayesha Ryder, Book 1)
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LIBRARY JOURNAL
Ayesha Ryder bears the scars of strife in the Middle East. Now her past is catching up to her as she races to unravel a mystery that spans centuries—and threatens to change the course of history.
As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to make a joint announcement at the Tower of London, an influential scholar is tortured and murdered in his well-appointed home in St. John’s Wood. Academic researcher Ayesha Ryder believes the killing is no coincidence. Sir Evelyn Montagu had unearthed shocking revelations about T. E. Lawrence—the famed Lawrence of Arabia. Could Montagu have been targeted because of his discoveries?
Ryder’s search for answers takes her back to her old life in the Middle East and into a lion’s den of killers and traitors. As she draws the attention of agents from both sides of the conflict, including detectives from Scotland Yard and MI5, Ryder stumbles deeper into Lawrence’s secrets, an astounding case of royal blackmail, even the search for the Bible’s lost Ark of the Covenant.
Every step of the way, the endgame grows more terrifying. But when an attack rocks London, the real players show their hand—and Ayesha Ryder is left holding the final piece of the puzzle.
Praise for Ryder
“[Nick] Pengelley sets an unconventional story loose on and below the streets of London. With his unusual heroine, the author rejects the clichés of action-adventure thrillers and delivers a surprisingly entertaining read.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“An exciting thriller with characters that you can’t help but like . . . a thrill-a-minute story . . . well worth reading . . . Pengelley has a hit with the character of Ayesha Ryder.”—Fresh Fiction
“This fast-paced crime/political thriller not only is timely for today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflicts but it delves into historical events that helped shape the way the region’s political climate has evolved. . . . Get ready for an edge-of-your-seat ride featuring a kick-butt heroine bent on justice . . . I had a blast reading Ryder.”—Popcorn Reads
“L’chaim.” “To life,” Diana Longshore replied, and knocked back her drink. She gestured to the map. “It was Palestine back then.” “Yes, Palestine.” He refilled her glass. “The Holy Land. No Israel. No occupied territories. No division of the land many Jews regard as ours by right from God.” “That’s been the problem since the beginning. The trouble is the other people who live there. We want to know what you plan to do about them.” She tossed back her vodka. “We don’t really care how you go
Guy’s Hospital. She wasn’t working the hours he was, but she was on her feet for hours. And she was still breast-feeding. Janine saw to it that she got little sleep. He looked past the TV at the mantel over the long-ago blocked-up fireplace. In addition to a trio of Christmas stockings, a few greeting cards, and a layer of tinsel, the mantel held a collection of mementos and framed photographs. A history in miniature of his and Reem’s families. His gaze went to the old brass key, mounted and
red-lit by the glow of the exit signs. When the armed man broke through the kitchen door she knew there was only one way out. It was one she didn’t want to take, but she was certain their pursuers, whoever they were, would have no knowledge of it. Hurtling through a doorway on the far side of the reading room, she braked her momentum against a large table. Holden collapsed beside her, panting for breath. Out of shape. One part of her brain recorded the fact, while noting that Bryan was in superb
Lady Madrigal interrupted. “You don’t want to go around looking like a tramp.” The Russian came back into the room. She had a white robe over one arm, and was using both of her hands to carry an obviously heavy metal box. Bryan stepped forward to help. He took the box from a grateful Tatiana, then looked around for somewhere to put it down. “There.” Lady Madrigal pointed to a leather ottoman. “Push that in front of me and put the box on top.” While Bryan was carrying out these maneuvers,
The hairs rose on the back of her neck as another thought occurred. “Imagine a treaty signed by the British government and representatives of the Palestinians, approved by the League of Nations, granting independence to Palestine!” “So what?” Holden objected. “That was 1935. Before Israel was even created.” “Exactly. And that’s why Evelyn was murdered.” Ayesha’s heart hammered with excitement. She was sure she was right. “Huh?” Holden had finished his drink, but he didn’t seem to have noticed.