Blog Tour: The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson


THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION by Mark H. Jackson, Adventure/Thriller, 288 pp., $18.22 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)



Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION
Author: Mark H. Jackson
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Pages: 288
Genre: Adventure/Thriller

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

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Chapter Twenty-Nine
Mato Grosso, Brazil, 1939

Himmler paused, bending to examine a black, broken piece of rock
discarded on the forest floor. He turned it in his hand, frowning as
he swept a finger over its impeccable, marble-like finish. It must have
been chipped from a statue or pillar. It was impressive workmanship
and Himmler doubted even the largest construction companies
in Germany would have done any better, even with their modern
machinery and tooling techniques. He slipped the fragment into his
pocket, a tingle of childlike excitement building in his stomach.
After years of ploughing Nazi resources into the Ahnenerbe, he was
at last on the verge of completing his quest. If the papers found in
Tibet by the short-sighted idiot, Ernst Schafer, were to be believed,
then it wouldn’t be long before he possessed the evidence he craved:
solid, indisputable proof linking Aryan Germany to prehistory’s
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis. Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would rally
under the Nazi banner, joining forces with the Fuhrer to form an
unstoppable alliance tasked with reclaiming the lands and legendary
technologies of their ancestors.
Tibirica barked a command in Himmler’s direction, snapping him
out of the daydream. There were still several steps he needed to tread
along this path and he needed to focus on the present. Proving his
doubters wrong would have to wait. A month earlier, Hitler himself
had dismissed the Ahnenerbe as mere folly and the criticism still
smarted his ego. Luckily for him, his reputation ensured the majority
of Party members were still happy to indulge the quest. Himmler
wasn’t a man anyone wanted as an enemy, and the Party viewed their
support as an easy way to appease his infamous temper.
Up ahead, Tibirica swept aside a dense section of foliage and signalled
for Himmler to follow. He disappeared through the gap with
his son and the vines dropped back in place. Himmler looked down at
the diminutive translator. His hate for the man welled inside his gut.
He despised the reliance his current predicament demanded he place
on such an insignificant being. Back in occupied Europe he would
have ordered the creature’s execution without even batting an eyelid.
But out here… He shook his head. Out here this dirt-encrusted man
was irreplaceable.
‘You go first and tell me if it’s safe,’ said Himmler.
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified translator.
‘That is why you are going first.’ Himmler shoved him in the small
of his back and propelled him through the foliage, sending him crashing
into whatever lay beyond. With a bone-crunching thud the translator
hit something solid and yelped in pain. He staggered backwards
and lost his footing, returning through the greenery and landing at
the feet of his employer. He whimpered and pulled a mucky rag from
his pocket, pressing it against his broken and bloodied nose.
‘Well?’ asked Himmler, suppressing laughter. ‘How did you get
on?’
‘Wall… Wall on other side.’
Himmler frowned and slipped a hand through the thick, leafy
foliage. His hand barely cleared the flora when it met something solid,
something sharing the same smooth surface as the strange flake of
rock in his pocket. Himmler’s eyes widened in anticipation. Could he
really be touching the walls of the lost city? It was an incredible feat
of engineering. He couldn’t have been closer, and yet, if it weren’t for
Tibirica, he and his men would have walked on by, never knowing
how close he’d come to his goal. Not for the first time, he offered up
a quick word of thanks to Lady Luck. This information alone more
than made up for the loss of life inflicted on his Gruppe.
Himmler forced the rest of his body through the tight opening.
The greenery dropped in place behind him and his world plunged
into darkness. Surprised and a little disorientated, he stumbled forwards,
both hands slapping hard against the rock wall. An eerie echo
bounced back and forth through the oppressive, airless atmosphere.
Torrents of perspiration snaked his body, drenching his already moist
uniform. He battled to keep it from his eyes and cursed his decision
to wear the black SS uniform. One of his men had advised otherwise
but Himmler had refused to heed the advice, stubborn in his belief the
officer concerned was testing his authority.
Himmler took a moment and regained his composure. He groped
for the torch strapped to his belt and flicked it on. The thin beam
penetrated the gloom, casting ghostly shadows and exaggerating the
size of the obstacles littering the overgrown path ahead. With a sense
of foreboding and familiar feelings of claustrophobia creeping up on
him, Himmler waved the torch to his left, illuminating the black wall
of rock holding his weight. It seemed to stretch on forever. He stroked
its surface and moved forward a few steps. There weren’t any breaks
or cracks anywhere, the wall’s surface seamless in its construction. No
joins, no cement holding it together, in fact no discernible clues as
to its construction at all. He smiled, marvelling at the thought of his
ancestors possessing such advanced skills in engineering. The Reich
had so much to learn from this ancient people.
Himmler froze as the torch registered movement up ahead, the
beam picking out the shadow of something hidden in the undergrowth.
He cocked his handgun and held his breath, poised and ready
to react to the merest hint of hostility. A male voice split the tension.
Tibirica’s son called out to his father. The two tribesmen must have
realised he was no longer following and retraced their steps. Himmler
lowered his gun and reached for his translator, grabbing his hair and
forcing him to take point. He wanted to trust Tibirica but his instincts
advised him otherwise. Trust was a luxury a man in his position could
little often afford to give freely. He prodded the translator in the back
with his gun and shoved him towards the two tribesmen.
‘Tell them to stay where they are,’ he said. ‘If they disappear again,
we’ll never find them.’ The translator repeated the order, his speech
muffled by the cloth still pressed to his nose. A minute later, after slipping
and sliding their way down the rocky passage, Himmler arrived
alongside his two guides. They flanked him and prodded the torch,
both fascinated by the magical shaft of light it emitted. Himmler
kept them at arm’s length, making a mental note of the greed in the
younger man’s eyes.
‘Ask them where we are headed,’ he ordered, trying to distract
them.
The translator obliged, and Tibirica’s response sounded curt.
‘Well?’ said Himmler.
The translator frowned. ‘He say we walk through wall. I ask where
door. He only repeat same words and point at wall.’
‘I don’t pay you to question what he says, just do your job and
translate.’ Himmler shoved him aside and raked the torch beam across
the wall, searching for evidence of an entrance.
The proximity of the magical light source suddenly became too
much for Tibirica’s son. In a mix of lust, greed and perhaps revenge
for his broken nose, he lunged at Himmler. Catching him unawares,
he shoved Himmler’s gun arm behind his back and punched him in
the kidneys. Himmler tensed his muscles and flung the elbow of his
free arm into the Brazilian’s gut. The blow connected, but found little
purchase on the boy’s greasy stomach. A thick forearm snuck around
his neck, while the other made a grab for the torch. The attempt failed
but the force of the attack was enough to knock it from his grasp and
send it crashing to the ground. Himmler grimaced, grinding his teeth
as the bulb shattered on impact, engulfing the passage in darkness.
The sudden disappearance of the light took the young warrior by
surprise and his grip slackened. Himmler whirled on the ball of his
foot, simultaneously smashing the palm of his hand into his attacker’s
already broken nose. The Brazilian didn’t even have time to scream,
dying where he stood as numerous splinters of bone penetrated his
brain. Himmler shoved the corpse aside and smoothed the creases
from his uniform.
‘Translator, please inform Chief Tibirica to proceed. His son has
met with a little “accident” and I wouldn’t want a similar one to befall
him.’ The translator didn’t respond. Himmler clenched his fist. The
little bastard must have made a bolt for it. He stared into the darkness,
his index finger hovering above the Luger’s trigger as he searched for
a target. The silence was deafening – even the birds appeared to have
abandoned this long-forgotten piece of forest. The Nazi shuddered,
straining his ears for the merest hint of sound. His life was in danger,
and he knew it. A faint clicking sound, two or three metres to his left,
disturbed the silence. He turned to greet it, gun levelled and ready to
open fire.
‘Translator? Is that you?’ Himmler whispered. ‘Answer me or I’ll
shoot.’ A bead of blue light flickered in response, illuminating a small
clearing up ahead. Himmler tensed as a large shape loomed into view.
It was Tibirica. He stepped forward, only to see Tibirica raise an arm
and halt his progress. The chief extended a long finger and pointed at
Himmler’s feet.
Himmler crouched and scanned the ground ahead. There was
something blocking the path. His arm snaked towards it, tentative but
determined to confirm his suspicions. He scowled as his fingers met
the soft, warm flesh of his stricken translator. How would he understand
the bloody chief now? He pulled the old man onto his back and
recoiled at the brutal efficiency of the kill; the head ripped clear of the
neck. It was a sight that left Himmler in no doubt of the suppressed
rage Tibirica must be harbouring. To break a man’s neck was easy,
but to rip it clean from the spine took a strength and skill rare in a
world where the gun ruled the battlefield. He looked up at the chief.
Did this mean they were even again? An eye for an eye and all that?
The stoical Brazilian nodded and jabbed a finger at the glowing
light in the wall. The result was as immediate as it was spectacular.
A semi-circular shaft of light shot from the rock and illuminated the
clearing brighter than the midday sun. Himmler raised an arm to
shield his eyes and staggered backwards. What black magic was this?
Tibirica sniffed and wiped a smattering of blood from his face. He
turned away from Himmler and ducked his head, sliding his ample
frame through the newly formed gap in the wall. Himmler scrambled
up the slope to join him and darted through before the thing closed.
He didn’t have a choice; his life was now in the hands of the chief and
he knew it. He stepped from the makeshift doorway, buoyed to find
natural light on the other side. His elation was tempered as Tibirica’s
massive hand clamped around his shoulder, hauling him through the
gap as it closed behind him. He yelped in pain, feeling a rib crack as he
landed on something solid. He pressed his chest. No harm done, just
another bruise to add to his ever-growing collection. He pushed himself
upright. Where was he? It almost looked like a gutter of a paved
road. The corners of his mouth twisted upward into a tight smile and
he glanced at Tibirica.
‘If this place is what I think it is, Untermensch scum,’ he whispered,
‘then you have assured my place in history.’
If Tibirica understood the German language, he’d have killed
Himmler then and there. Instead he managed only a look of puzzlement.
For the sake of his son, the chief could do little more than pray
Himmler was the messiah his tribe were expecting. Himmler’s smile
widened. Luck was indeed on his side.







Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.

Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

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