Matt Kelly is shocked when his ex-girlfriend Anna Barrett joins a shadowy organization known as Imperium Luminis--and disappears. As Matt researches Imperium Luminis, he finds himself both strangely attracted to the group's aspirations, and suspicious about their intentions. But when he begins to uncover some questionable practices, and becomes convinced that Imperium Luminis is actually a cult, Matt decides to persuade Anna that she has been deceived--even going so far as to pretend to join Imperium Luminis himself. But how can one pretend to join? Trapped in this murky uncertainty of good and evil, where truth twists into lies, where even his own feelings are suspect, Matt must race to find Anna, and to uncover the true nature, and the true power, of the Empire of Light.
WHEN I RECEIVED word that Anna Damiani Barrett was officially lost--lost, that is, for the first time--I was home for dinner with my parents. It was toward the end of the meal, my father already pushed back slightly from the table so that his large, tired body could unfurl in a slouch, my mother stacking plates and prodding the remains of the roast with the serving fork.
I drained the last of my beer and watched my father reach for his yellow legal pad. He ran his hand through his thick gray hair and considered the pad, on which he recorded, in the order of their occurring to him, matters that he needed to discuss with us. This was the phase of dinner in which plans were made, consensus reached. Anna had often remarked on the military atmosphere of the proceedings.
"He might as well have unfolded a map of Normandy on the table," Anna said to me once. "Your father is still the perfect soldier."
In many ways, she was right. My father maintained a humorless...
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