The Escape from Paradise

by Michael Mortimer

In November 1932, Nadezhda Alliluyeva takes her own life, broken by the unhappy marriage with Joseph Stalin. In a fit of grief and rage Stalin takes her gun and farewell letter, along with a stone he got her as a present, and orders them to be kept secret until the end of times.

Ida, Alma and Lasse take to Moscow to search for old Soviet files at a governmental archive inside the Kremlin, and there they find the so called “Stalin Stone” – a stone that fit together with the Maidenstone.

After leaving Moscow, Alma, Lasse and Ida cross the border to Ukraine and enter the forbidden zone surrounding Pripyat, by the Chernobyl nuclear plant. This is where Ida’s mother Eva has been living since disappearing when Ida was a small child; a place she calls “Paradise”, surrounded by the richest fauna in all of Europe – where predators and other animals have flourished in the absence of man.

But Eva’s house is deserted, and instead they are caught by a network of scientists who are also after the stones. But the trio manages to escape and take a third stone with them from the network.

Now only the fourth piece remains; a stone that once belonged to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet and mineralogist, and clues to its whereabouts are found in a curious text about a place where “the wrath of God never subsides”. The hunt continues to Rome and to Vatican City. Will our heroes
manage to get hold of the last stone – and piece the four together in order to create the Queen Fossil?

The scientific adventure continues.

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