Grendel's Curse (Rogue Angel, Book 48)
Alex Archer, Steven Savile
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A sword of legend in the hands of an extremist…
Skalunda Barrow, Sweden, has long been rumored to be the final resting place of the legendary Nordic hero Beowulf. And there's something of Beowulf's that charismatic and zealous right-wing politician Karl Thorssen wants very badly. Intent on getting his hands on the mythical sword Nægling, Sweden's golden-boy politico puts together a team to excavate the barrow. A team that American archaeologist Annja Creed manages to finagle her way onto. She wouldn't miss this possible discovery for anything.
With Nægling at his side, Thorssen could be invincible…a Nordic King Arthur. What his followers don't know—and Annja is beginning to suspect—is just how far Thorssen will go to achieve his rabid amibitions. When Thorssen marks Annja for death, she quickly realizes that this is much more than a political game. And the only way to survive is to match Thorssen's sword with her own.
an iron sword with ill-boding patterns wrought into its blade. It had been with him in the mere when he faced the monster and her vile kin. And beside it lay Nægling, the nailer, old and gray but for the jewels studding its hilt. It lay in two pieces now from where it had failed him at the last, broken on the scales of the dragon even as its tip slipped through to end her life. The last man to enter the barrow carried the dragon’s poisonous horn that had delivered the fatal blow. He lay it at
was a fallback. He would rather not pollute the man’s system with anything that might turn up in an autopsy. The assassin had also replaced the fuel in the gas can and put it in the trunk. He liked to keep things simple. Every day household objects readily available from any hardware store were his murder weapons of choice. They tended not to rouse suspicion in the same way as rare drug cocktails would these days. They were flashy and obnoxious and would only ever lead to hot trails and big
Steeling herself, Annja went back into the fire, covering her face. Everywhere was aflame, every surface rippled with it. The heat was beyond anything she’d experienced in her life. She felt her hair beginning to shrivel into her scalp and the skin across her face and hands tighten painfully. She couldn’t see the camera and had no idea how long she could stand the smoke and flames. The door to the vestry hung open. She’d seen the camera in there, hadn’t she? Annja started to run. Above her, a
“But why are you here?” “Because you said you needed my help. Okay, not in so many words, but it was obvious. I dropped everything and came running. It’s what I do. Haven’t we established that yet?” The sarcasm in his voice could not have been more obvious if he had tried. “Right. You traveled all this distance because of the laptop?” “Well, let’s just say I wasn’t having a lot of luck with the ponies, and the little minxes I’d invited along for a ride were of the pretty, but vacuous,
end, he slung the jacket over his shoulder as though he didn’t have a care in the world. He heard a sudden burst of some too-cheerful ring tone he didn’t recognize. He slipped a hand inside his jacket pocket to retrieve the nurse’s phone. He swore at himself, resisting the temptation to end the call, then to turn it off. He knew that phones could be traced, that their location could be pinpointed using cell tower triangulation if they were still live—that didn’t mean switched on, just that