It looked like an ordinary book. Old and boring. But when 11 year old Nathan Cole picks it up off the attic floor, strange things begin to happen; things he can't explain...or ignore. The book leads him through a complex set of clues left by Alastair Raven, a renowned New York City architect who vanished in the mid 1800's, never to be heard from again. Through every twist and turn Nathan is convinced that Raven is reaching out to him, leading him to something. But what? What could a man who lived 150 ago possibly want him to know? As Nathan works to answer that question, an even bigger mystery that dates back through his family for countless generations. See what surprises await him in this action-packed novel that shows how one book can change your life. Forever.

Eleven-year-old Nathan Cole was never much of a reader-not until he discovered a mysterious bookcase hidden in the shadows of the attic. The bookcase had once belonged to his grandfather, a noted bookseller from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it called to Nathan from the moment he first saw it-as if it had a mind of its own. Nathan soon learns that the books lining its dusty shelves have been saved for a reason: they each contain an unsolved mystery. Even more curiously, it seems that he doesn't choose the books he takes from its shelves-they choose him. And now another book is calling to him. In it is a mystery that dates back to the 1800s-the baffling account of a boxcar that seemingly vanished into thin air-from a moving train-in a town that doesn't exist. Only with the help of his best friend, Gina McDermott, can he hope to unravel a secret that has haunted a small New Hampshire town for generations. But they aren't alone. Someone is watching. And waiting

It was a shred of paper... Nothing more than the corner of a page, torn from a just-written book that was mysteriously destroyed 30 years ago. When 12-year-old Nathan Cole discovers it in the curious bookcase hidden away in his attic, he is pulled into a tangle of unanswered questions that grows more complex at every turn. With the help of a few old friends and some surprising new allies, Nathan unravels the clues one by one. With each step forward, his investigation draws him ever closer to some truly dangerous forces. But Nathan can't quit--not since he learned the truth about the bookcase, and the role he plays in its legacy. Before this adventure reaches its conclusion, that little scrap of paper will lead Nathan and his friends to uncover a series of long-forgotten crimes with roots in an age-old legend known as the Curse of Halim.

In the summer of 1715, the three-masted frigate, Scavenger, captained by notorious pirate Edward Banes, sailed north from the Florida Keys. The ship was battered and bruised, having staged a fierce attack on a Spanish treasure galleon sailing out of Havana with a fortune in gold, silver, and precious gems. With its ragged sails rotting from years in the tropical Caribbean climate, and its oaken hull leaking from an infestation of shipworm, Scavenger rode the favorable Gulf Stream winds up the eastern seaboard to the coast of Maine, and on the tenth day, under the light of a full moon, the hobbled vessel slipped unnoticed into Casco Bay, home to hundreds of islands that could provide cover while the crew made much-needed repairs. What happened after that is a mystery that has haunted the Hammond family for decades. And now it calls to 12-year old Nathan Cole, the youngest descendent of the Hammond line. There are dark forces at work--powers that Nathan can’t yet understand, but whose sectrets have already brought death to his family.But with the help of Gina McDermott, his best friend and confidant, Nathan follows a twisted trail of clues to a pulse-pounding finish that could cost him everything--including his life.

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2019 Alfred M. Struthers