Mystery/Thrillers with ancient secrets

Looking at the novels by James Rollins, Dan Brown, and Katherine Neville, one finds a common thread that includes ancient secrets, modern-day conspiracies, hypothetical explanations for gaps in recorded history, and experts with a lot of knowledge to explain to the reader and many of the characters the significance of what is being found and how dangerous it is for the world if the secrets turn out to be worse than we thought.

The Last Odyssey: A Thriller (Sigma Force Novels Book 15) by [James Rollins]James Rollins The Last Odyssey focuses on Homer’s stories and suggests that the events really happened and, worse yet, that the powers of the gods were actual and, if found, would tip the balance of power today.

While I enjoy reading these novels and playing “what if” on a huge, global scale, the research involved just to nail down the known facts is more than I want to tackle.

Consider the research you woul have to do if your “what if” is “What if Leonardo Da Vinci drew a preliminary version of today’s F-150 pickup truck and that ‘the bad guys’ stole these plans and made a protetype that used Greek Fire as for fuel”?

Typically, the story might begin when a mechanical genius who is researching old records of the Ford Motor Company and uncovers “something odd about” the F-150’s predecessor truck, the 1950 model F-3. Let’s say that its revelopment moved along faster than it should, based on the scienceof the times. This leads the researcher to the personal libraries of the truck’s designers and one of them had a passion for Da Vinci.

As you’ll see after reading many of these novels, thbe minute somebody finds about about the designer’s passion for Da Vinci, massive forces and organizations will appear to steal the records, destroy the records, or use them as the basis for negative technology that might alter the universe. There are gun fights, people are captured, reseachers travel to Rome and gain entrance to the Vatican library, etc. Needless to say, finding the true nature of the Ford F-150 and its predecessor  Bonus Built trucks is a race against time.

Feel free to take this idea and run with it. If you end up writing a successful novel with a title like “Found On Road Dead,” good for you. Please mention me in the acknowledgements. It’s all yours because I just don’t have the patience to do the research. Goodness knows, my four hoodoo books set in the 1950s Florida Panhandle required more fact finding than anyone might guess.

I can see, though, why books in this genre (whatever it might be called) are popular. People love conspiracies, knowing secrets, and being the first to solvce old mysteries. Especially those that show us that old myths really weren’t myths.

Malcolm

Show me the wisdom

The world tree is a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the terrestrial world, and, through its roots, the underworld. It may also be strongly connected to the motif of the tree of life, but it is the source of wisdom of the ages. – Wikipedia

One common theme in magic, mythology, and fantasy is the idea that this “wisdom of the ages” is (or was) known by individuals called “the old ones.” Some say they came and went eons ago and left their wisdom right in front of us, and that all we had to do was figure out what we were looking at. Others say that whether the “old ones” still walk amongst us unseen or left eons ago, that their knowledge can only be found by years of meditation, study, and withdrawal from the day-to-day world.

I’ve been fascinated with this stuff since I was in high school and first came across the mystery school mysteries, comparative mythology, and similar approaches to “the big question.” I’ve noticed a lot of commonality between systems even though the myths and techniques are often somewhat different.

The only thing I’m sure of is that the more one studies all this, she less s/he knows. That doesn’t imply, though, that if one hadn’t studied it at all, s/he would know everything by the time s/he reached my age. All I have so far at my sage other than aches, pains, medications, and trips to the hospital is a monthly copy of “AARP Magazine.”

Maybe all this has been bunk. If so, it’s been joyful and addictive bunk that’s provided a lifetime of wondrous insanity. As luck–or the gods would have it–I’m not living on the street or, worse yet, in an institution where the psychiatrists ask, “Do you hear or see things that aren’t there?” My only response to that would be, “How would I know?”

When I became an old one, I didn’t have a visit from an older one who handed me a book titled “Here’s The Wisdom.” Or, if that did happen, I was asleep and missed it.

So, all I have to say about the wisdom is that it’s been a nice hobby and it’s given me some mysterious things to put in my novels. I have no idea what percentage of my readers think the wisdom is out there waiting for them and end up in an asylum where they’re asked “Do you hear or see things that aren’t there?” If so, I hope they know the right answer.

So reading about mysterious things is a risk sort of like bungee jumping. You might be yanked up into the high clouds where all will become known or you might hit bottom where nothing more will be known–or vice versa.

But what a ride.

–Malcolm

Conjure Woman's Cat Audiobook By Malcolm R. Campbell cover artMalcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing

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Listen, and if you’re still “okay,” move on to the second audiobook in the series.