The conspiracy of the "Da Vinci Code" transmitted in the confessional style of "Interview with a Vampire" and powered by a touch of "Bourne Identity" thriller
Lurking behind the savant and the ordinary, lay the predatory beast that haunted Gwen’s dreams. I could feel it deep within me, lodged in the back of my mind gnawing and stinging, entrenched and protected by my other drives. The ever patient monster hid in the shadows, waiting for its chance to emerge from the darkness to satiate the compulsive thirst that truly guided it’s motivations as sure as a dying salmon swimming against the currents is driven to reach its primordial spawning grounds.
I lifted Gwen completely off her feet and cradled her in my arms. As I moved us step by step out of Marco's room, with all but no abatement to the frenzied groping and introductory intimacies of the illicit tryst we irrevocably and uncontrollably careened toward with willing enthusiasm in that moment.
"The Albigensian Seed”, details the immersion of Michael Davidson; a fledgling Philadelphia based author, and his fiancée; Elizabeth Schrader, into a complex web of secrets that border near mythical proportions. Set contemporarily, (in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Iceland), the novel is interlaced with innumerable pop culture references, a wry sensibility, and the verbose observations of a conflicted protagonist.
Harkening back to the dawn of mankind, and coalescing in the southern French city of Albi, the conspiracy revolves around the carriers of a hemorrhagic virus and a hierarchy dedicated to the continuation of their secret order. Contrasting that group is a dissident group that has long since disaffected from the main body...their actions just as questionable as a last player on the stage...a covert governmental task force.
With Elizabeth the apparent victim of a kidnapping, Michael finds aid in the form of a young woman; named Delphine, and her associate Andy, who rescue him from imminent danger, but go on to introduce the virus into his bloodstream against his will. In the long run, the disease not only alters him physically, but influences his morality - introducing a “Dostoyevskian” element to the storyline.
The carriers of are collectively known as Barstukai, and they are driven by their condition to enact compulsions and possess certain abilities that have mistakenly been confused with folkloric accounts of vampirism that have emerged throughout human history across the globe.
Stalked by his struggle to manage these overwhelming drives, Michael recruits the aid of his best friend, Marco, and stumbles into an upwardly mobile thirty-something actuary named Gwen Ridgeway and her brother Steven; who attempt to be good Samaritans, only to become labeled as targets themselves.
Hidden away at a safe house in the Chestnut Hill suburb of Philadelphia. The plot thickens with the introduction of Claude; a three-hundred year old homosexual French Catholic Bourbonite, and Nate; a three-thousand some-odd year old Philistine martial arts expert dedicated to training fellow Barstukai in their seemingly endless faction fighting.
With his mentors falling in conflict, one after the other, and with the prospect of success daunting, the stage is set for a decisive watershed that may dictate the future of the loyalist order, though ironically, the ultimate course resides in the evolution and philosophic character arc of the main character, whose wavering allegiance to the group that he has found himself bonded to is intimately conflicted.
Will Michael be able to learn to control the impulses that threaten to overwhelm him? Or will he switch sides and seek out a medical solution? Will he attempt to free his imprisoned fiancée...only to hand her over to the hierarchy? Where does the involvement of the murky counter intelligence agency he suspects of interfering in the conflict between the factions end? What impact, if any, can Michael’s NSA employed cousin Jonathan Cutler, and his partner Valerie Nichols, have on such an insidious conspiracy? And what of the innocent actuary and her young brother caught in the proverbial crossfire?
Interoffice memos, newspaper clippings, obituaries, text messages, and e-mails shift character perspective, and give full objective form to the descent, or rather, the transformation of an intellectual “everyman” into something…much more complex. Numerous references to the minutia of Philadelphia landmarks and cultural motifs aid the overall suspension of disbelief, and the biographies of many members of the ensemble include elaborate details culled from true history.
All Asharucorp content; Rosenblum / Cavanna 2007-2009 / All literary content; Ira Aron Rosenblum 2009-2016 unless otherwise specified