Read The Thieves of Heaven Online

Authors: Richard Doetsch

Tags: #Fiction, #Suspense, #小说

The Thieves of Heaven

The Thieves of Heaven
Michael St. Pierre [1]
Richard Doetsch
Dell (2001)
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, 小说
Fictionttt Suspensettt 小说ttt

The most closely Guarded treasure on Earth.

 

An explosive ancient secret.

 

A breakneck journey into the heart of the Vatican.

 

In a small, heavily fortified room just north of the Sistine Chapel, a master thief is about to strike. All he needs is an instant–to steal the most important treasure in the Vatican museum: two antique keys–one gold, one silver–that protect the secret of salvation….

 

But a surprise awaits Michael St. Pierre deep inside the Vatican, an ancient secret so explosive, it sends him running for his life—from the streets of Rome to a small stone church in Israel—with two stolen keys and a terrible realization: the consequences of his desperate, brazen act are far greater than he could ever have imagined.

 

For the treasure he has uncovered—the gleaming prize buried within the most clandestine structure on earth—is about to bring him face-to-face with an enemy more shocking, frightening, and insidious than anyone can guess....

### From Publishers Weekly

Michael St. Pierre is a retired master thief taking on one last score—knocking over the Vatican—in Doetsch's first novel, an effective papal thriller. When his beloved wife, Mary, is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Michael reluctantly agrees to a burglary for a mysterious German businessman, August Finster. Finster will pay all of Mary's medical expenses if Michael steals a set of keys, one gold and one silver, from the Vatican. Michael pulls off the job, but naturally there's more to it than a simple robbery: Finster has sinister plans for the keys, which hold the power to keep humanity out of heaven forever. With the help of Michael's cop buddy and a Vatican priest, Michael must steal the keys back from Finster and return them to Rome. Doetsch wisely keeps the supernatural elements to a minimum, putting the focus on his characters and fusing horror and international thriller while avoiding the usual suspects (no Knights of the Templar here). Though some plot elements don't hold to close scrutiny (one paranormal character is omnipotent only when it's convenient to the plot), Doetsch's debut is an enjoyable and suspenseful read. *(May)*
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

### Review

"Devilishly fun and enjoyable—more than that, a thriller rich with inspiration, passion, cleverness, and intelligence told by a superbly gifted writer. A highly ambitious novel, and one that delivers on every count."—Brian Haig *The President's Assasin
*
"An effective papal thriller.... an enjoyable and suspenseful read."—*Publishers Weekly
*
"At the heart of this spectacular thriller is a classic love story. Michael St. Pierre will literally move heaven and earth to save the woman he loves."—Stephen Frey, author of *The Chairman*

 

 

Contents

 

Cover Page

Title Page

Dedication

Acknowledgments

 

Nighttime NYC

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

 

About the Author

Copyright Page

 

 

For Virginia,
My best friend
I love you with all my heart.

 

There is a comfort to love that only those that truly know it feel. It is warm and secure, free of anger and jealousy. It is euphoric and renders one immune to life’s cruelty. It is filled with never-ending hope, undying appreciation, and true selflessness. It is the rarest of gifts.

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

It is my distinct pleasure to thank the following people:

 

Gene and Wanda Sgarlata, without whose friendship and assistance you wouldn’t be reading these words; Irwyn Applebaum, for opening the door and giving me this opportunity; Nita Taublib, for closing the deal and making my dream a reality; Kate Miciak, for your unending patience, guidance, and confidence; Joel Gotler, for doing the impossible; Maria Faillace and everyone at Fox 2000, for creating the initial excitement.

 

And above all, Cynthia Manson. Thank you for your innovative thinking, unending faith in the face of adversity, and true friendship.

 

Thank you to my family: Richard for your curiosity, wit, and strength; Marguerite for your humor, your heart, and your beauty; Isabelle for your smile, your laugh, and your innocence. Most important, thank you, Virginia, for putting up with my 3:00 a.m. workaholic ways. You are my inspiration, my laughter, my joy; you are the reason for everything good in my life.

 

Finally, to you, the reader, thank you for taking the time to read
The Thieves of Heaven.
In this day and age where people choose their entertainment in two-hour movies, half-hour sitcoms, and three-minute videos it is nice to know there are still individuals who choose to read and let the story play out in their imagination.

 

Richard

 

 

 

Nighttime NYC

 

M
ichael St. Pierre flipped the Steiner night
vision monocular down over his left eye, loosened his grip on the rope, and continued his descent from the fifteenth floor. The darkened alley, now rendered green, was his landing site. He was careful not to look toward the big city lights in the distance; he couldn’t afford blindness at this moment in his life. The alley below was clear except for a few bags of garbage and a couple of rats on their nocturnal prowl. A thirty-yard jog across the street would put him over the ten-foot granite wall into the nighttime safety of Central Park. He stayed in the shadows of the buildings around him. He wasn’t worried about getting caught: the hard part was over and this particular corner of the world was deserted.

He was sixty feet from touchdown when out of his left eye—the enhanced one—he caught a glimpse of flesh. Soft, naked flesh. It was in the adjacent building, a town house, fifth floor. The dark, nobody-home, adjacent building sitting just off Fifth Avenue. He swore he could make out a breast. He averted his eye; he wasn’t a Peeping Tom. But it was a nice sight. A stone’s throw away. He never would have known, but for the night vision. He wasn’t worried, though: she couldn’t see him, of this, Michael was sure.

He continued his descent through the hot sticky night.

But, like a siren, the vision pulled him back, if only for a second. Yes, it was a breast. Two, in fact. Well proportioned above a trim waist, the whole scene bathed in green. God, he did love the view up here. The woman lay on her back. He couldn’t really make out her face but it was an exceptional body. He watched as it writhed in passion.
Think of the job,
he reminded himself, fighting the momentary lust.

He released his guideline, continuing his descent. He had invested too many hours to risk it all now over stolen glances at unsuspecting lovers. He would be home in no time flat if he stuck to the plan, safe in the embrace of his bride, who was far more alluring than this woman before him.
Though she did possess a body like none he had ever laid eyes upon.

Without warning, as if reading his thoughts, the woman’s head snapped left toward the window. Michael froze, holding fast to the line, not a sound, not a breath. Had she seen him? Impossible. He was dressed for concealment; the area around him couldn’t be darker.

And then his insides turned to water.

She wasn’t looking at him. She couldn’t. Her eyes were covered with a dark cloth; in her mouth was a ball gag. The twisting of her body was not passion but terror. He looked harder. She was bound spread-eagled to a table and she was in pain. A sudden rage filled him as he saw a figure poised at her side; the man’s face was obscured but the gun in his hand was not. This wasn’t a game: the woman was being taken against her will. And it was all happening less than twenty feet away from him.

He looked down. Only fifty feet to go. Freedom. He felt the small pouch on his back shift its weight. Six months of planning for that pouch; it was his future. He wasn’t going to let it slip through his fingers. This was no time to be a hero.