Le French Book to launch print version of The Bleiberg Project – July 15
Well, David and his publishing company have been busy since we last spoke to them. Not only did The Bleiberg Project become an instant best-seller in France, selling more than 100,000 copies, it won the Prix Blue Moon for best thriller, and is now being made into a movie.
“I realised the world we live in rose up from the ashes of war, and was built on the corpses of sixty million victims,” David said. “I wanted to write about it, and used entertainment to make it more bearable. Hidden behind the fast-paced thriller lies a tribute to those who lived through the war and suffered from it.”
But David’s book leaves us with one important question. Are Hitler’s atrocities really over?
The Bleiberg Project follows trader Jay Novacek who finds himself thrown into a race to save the world from a horrific conspiracy straight out of the darkest hours of history. Does Hitler’s super-Aryan really exist?
Below is an excerpt of the novel, which will also be available in print from July 15, 2014.
The Bleiberg Project excerpt
We’re making good time. The GPS estimates arrival in four hours. I didn’t see anything of Switzerland. Shame, it’s supposed to be pretty. I’d like to think I’ll take in the sights next time. If there is a next time.
Jackie’s asleep in the backseat, still dazed from Bernard’s killing and the shootout. We’re all taking it bad. Even Eytan Morg. They knew each other better than he’s letting on. Maybe he’ll tell us about it in his own sweet time. I hope so. His bathroom break hasn’t made things simpler.
He drives, eyes staring at the road ahead. Tough shit, I need to talk.
“Besides work and getting high, what do you do all day?” No answer. You’re out of luck, pal. I’m pigheaded. “The journey will seem shorter if we talk, don’t you think?”
He sighs. “When I’m not on an assignment, I paint.”
I can’t help laughing.
“You think that’s funny?”
“I’m picturing you on a stool with your palette and brush, gazing at a green valley or a snowy mountaintop. Sorry, but with your look and build, it’s funny!”
“If you’re just going to make fun of me, the trip is going to seem very, very long.” He clams up.
“There’s no harm in a little fun. OK, I’ll stop,” I snort, laughing even louder. Why do giggling fits always hit at inappropriate times?
“What about you? Besides driving home from clubs dead drunk, what do you do?”
Bastard. That’s below the belt. On second thought, I guess I deserved it. “I try to survive. I thought about blowing my brains out, but I’m too much of a coward. So I drink. I smoke like a chimney. Every day, I destroy myself a little bit more.”
“Suicide isn’t a sign of bravery, but of giving up. We all make mistakes. You don’t judge somebody by the number of blows they can give.”
“What do you judge somebody by, Mr. Freud?”
“The number of blows they can take.”
His words hit home. “You’ve taken a lot, right?” I ask.
A long, long beat. “More than you can ever imagine.”
Why am I not surprised? This guy’s been around the block. I’d bet my life on it. “How do you do it?”
“Blowing guys away like that. How do you do it?”
“Who said it was easy?” He sighs heavily. A long awkward silence. My questions seem to carry Eytan onto a stormy sea whose crashing waves he’d do anything to avoid.
I plow on. “I saw you kill two guys in my building. Jackie told me you eliminated two more who ambushed her. And now the rest-stop massacre. No trembling, no hesitation. By my calculations, you’ve wasted eight guys in under twenty-four hours.”
“I suspect the total is closer to ten—one every three hours since we met.” He glances at the dashboard clock. “Another hour, and I’ll have to kill somebody else to keep up my batting average.”
Maybe Eytan thinks he can laugh this off. My frown disabuses him of the notion. “Don’t try to worm your way out of it. I repeat, how do you do it? I want an answer.” Unintentionally, I raise my voice. “I need an answer!”
“Why? How will knowing help you? Am I your fantasy? Does death fascinate you or the idea of killing turn you on? Maybe it revolts you. Whatever. What do you expect me to say? Yes, I kill. Killing is my job.”
Excerpted from The Bleiberg Project by David Khara. First published in French as Le Projet Bleiberg, ©2010 Editions Critic. English translation ©2013 Simon John. First published in English byLe French Book.