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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.

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

  1. What initially got you interested in writing?

 

I suppose it must have been my mother initially but I’m not really sure. I loved reading and writing just seemed a natural bedfellow. I remember attempting to write an Enid Blyton style mystery at primary school so I guess it was in me from an early age. I was quite a solitary child and just enjoyed the escapism it offered.

 

  1. What genres do you write in?

 

I write mainly within the thriller and adventure genres. They are the genres I have grown up with and can relate to best. I have tried others but always migrate back again. I just cannot write certain styles – particularly romance. I have so much respect for those writing in that field. I can never generate anything other than embarrassing mush destined for nowhere other than a very deep slush pile.

 

  1. What drew you to writing these specific genres?

 

As I said, I grew up with those genres and my bookshelves were always full of Secret Seven and Famous Five books. My interest was cemented during my student years. In what feels like a different lifetime, I studied Archaeology and Ancient History and, although I didn’t deviate too far from mainstream ideas in class, I secretly loved the more alternative versions of our past. I focused on researching topics such as the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plot for The Atlantis Deception was born.

 

  1. How did you break into the field?

 

I guess my big break came via the online writing site, Wattpad. I posted an early draft of, The Atlantis Deception (then called Atlantis Reborn) on the site to find out if anyone would bother reading what I’d written, let alone like it. I worked tirelessly on raising my profile, bugging people on forums and contributing to discussions, whatever the topic. Eventually the hard work paid off – Wattpad promoted me to the rank of featured author, and more importantly advertised my work. Within a year, Atlantis Reborn hit over one million reads with hundreds of amazing comments. I believe these comments and reviews are the reason why my publisher, Unbound eventually picked up the book for publication.

 

  1. What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

 

I’m not going to pretend the main goal of my work is anything more than to create a credible piece of escapist entertainment, but if I can achieve that whilst educating and creating a situation whereby my readers can question the rhetoric of the establishment, all the better. I’m not saying we should all be looking for conspiracies under every rock, only that it is sometimes worth enquiring as to why certain rocks are harder to lift…

 

  1. What do you find most rewarding about writing?

 

Aside from the beer money (literally all it is), the process is an escape for me. I can go into my head and lose myself in a place where the only limit is the scope of my imagination. All my day to day worries take a back seat while I create a new world, albeit a new world with different problems that need solving!

 

  1. What do you find most challenging about writing?

 

At the moment, it’s just finding the time to engage. I’ve got a little boy who’s nearly two and he can’t understand why he can’t just sit on my lap and tap at the keys like Daddy! In terms of the process itself, I would class myself as a pantser. As a result, sometimes the plot can get away from me and I have to engage in the occasional deep edit to get myself back on track.

 

  1. What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

 

If you want to do it then go for it – write something you would want to read yourself and then attack it with all you’ve got! Most importantly, don’t quit at the first sign of trouble – stick with it until the bitter end. Writing is hard and there are already far too many half-completed manuscripts hiding in drawers around the world – you don’t need to add to them.

 

  1. What type of books do you enjoy reading?

 

I tend to read the same genre that I write, for pleasure and research. My favorite authors at the moment include Steve Berry, Andy McDermott, Clive Cussler, Scott Mariani, David Gibbins, Michael Crichton, and Robert Harris. They are all masters of their craft.

 

  1. Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

 

I once appeared on stage in London’s West End with the Blue Man Group. An interesting experience to say the least!

 

  1. What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

 

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to interact with my readers and potential readers. I am always available and willing to discuss my work or wider questions in general. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via the following mediums and thank you again for taking an interest in my work.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhj873/?hl=en

Website: www.markhjackson.com

 

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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