Jack Beilis once lived the American dream: custom suits, new cars, and the best clubs. But by 1931, he has sunk so low he cannot feed himself or his ailing father. Now he barely has time to wipe the blood from his hands before he finds himself on a ship from New York to Moscow, running from a crime he never intended. Desperate for an escape route, Jack wants to believe stories of a worker's paradise in the Soviet Union. Maybe the distance between Ellis Island and Red Square will let him leave poverty - and his pursuers - far behind.
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns. He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone's been acting very strangely.
In eighth-century Austrasia, a spirited girl in the town of Würzburg brashly defies convention by pursuing the time-honored art of parchment-making. But Theresa's dreams are shattered when unimaginable tragedy strikes, forcing her to flee and tearing her family apart. Set adrift as a fugitive, Theresa relies on her uncommon education and the sympathy of strangers to survive. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a shrewd and influential monk with close ties to King Charlemagne, she hopes her luck might have finally changed. Yet all is not what it seems.
"Couldn't stop listening."
Spanish journalist and art historian Jaime Azcárate has always been a magnet for trouble. So when the authorities call on him to help investigate a museum heist while he's enjoying a rare vacation, he is more annoyed than surprised. Jaime brushes off the detectives' pleas to find a missing and reportedly cursed Medusa sculpture, until an attempt on his life pulls him into the investigation.