Book Spotlight: The Hidden Reality by Stephen Martino
Title: The Hidden Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Genre: Science Fiction/Political Thriller
In the year 2084, the brilliant inventor, Alex Pella, finds himself at a precarious crossroad between the pursuit of justice and preservation of his own sanity. While attempting to undermine an international New World Order government created by the financial juggernaut known as The New Reality, he must also face the hidden truths about his own genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him. After receiving an ambiguous message sent from a former New Reality executive who died 2 years prior, Alex learns that the only possible means to confront this New World Order is to defeat a long-forgotten enemy almost 2500 years old.
THE HIDDEN REALITY is the second stand-alone novel in a trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist and entrepreneur Stephen Martino. With his fusion of history, politics, and science fiction, Martino joins such masters of the thriller genre as Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Michael Crichton.
Martino’s villain is a corporation run by a cadre of ruthless international bankers known as The New Reality. Directed by the most corrupt and morally unscrupulous of the bunch, Myra Keres, the company has economically seized control of the world’s governments and the population’s personal freedoms in the process. In order to save humanity from this despot ruler and the unwonted atrocities to which she plans to perpetuate on the world, Alex Pella must infiltrate the company and face an enemy that has unknowingly haunted both him and history for almost 2500 years.
Martino says he wrote THE HIDDEN REALITY more than just to entertain the reader. He wanted to create a modern day Orwellian ANIMAL FARM to allegorically forewarn his readers of a possible dystopia future that awaits all of mankind if humanity continues to proceed down its path of self-destruction.
In THE HIDDEN REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic cloning, unprecedented economic debt, the rise of big government, and the threat of a New World Order run by the economic elite, while bringing the reader back almost 2500 years into the past when the ancient city state nation known as Greece fought the mighty Persian Empire for world domination.
All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE HIDDEN REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation and the world if they are not properly addressed today.”
About the Author:
Stephen Martino is neurologist practicing in New Jersey. Though not separating conjoined twins like Dr. Ben Carson, he is part of an active medical practice and is currently participating in concussion research and inventing new medical products. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to provide stroke education to the local community, EMS squads and healthcare professionals.
THE HYPNOTIC MELODY of the whistling wind and the patter of raindrops hitting the roof ordinarily proved more comforting to Xavier von Zweck than the most angelic lullaby. On this night, the grandfather clock had just chimed 2:00 a.m., and Xavier could barely close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.
Insomnia was no friend of his but had become an accustomed bedtime partner over the past year. Though the night was unusually warm and muggy for a Bavarian October, Xavier pulled another quilted blanket over his body, covering himself as if he were trying to make a cocoon.
“Xavier?” his wife mumbled, half asleep. “You’d rest better with the lamp off.”
“Mind your own business,” he quipped. Not wanting to start another argument, his wife simply turned away and drifted slowly back to sleep as if nothing had occurred. She had become accustomed to her husband’s quick fits of temper and erratic behavior. The man she married in her late teens was certainly not the man she had grown to know over the past year. His gentle, caring demeanor had been transformed into one of paranoia and fear. Though she cared for him dearly, their relationship dwindled as quickly as Xavier’s sanity.
If she only knew, Xavier thought. She would not be sleeping so soundly.
He double-checked his bedside table drawer for the tenth time that night to ensure that his gun was in the proper place. He had loaded the flintlock pistol and stowed it there in case of any emergency. Assured the gun was where he stored it, Xavier rolled on his back and looked blankly up at the ceiling. It was such a noble and just cause, he lamented. The enlightenment we would have brought to Bavaria, if not the world, would have made the Renaissance pale in comparison. Now they hunt us down like a pack of dogs, wanting to rid their country of any contrary thoughts or points of view. The government and church are nothing more than instruments of suppression that hinder man’s true nature to achieve enlightenment and pursue humanitarianism.
Xavier startled as the front door rattled.
Was it just the wind?
He lifted his head, trying not to make a sound. His breathing became shallow while his pulse raced. He could feel his heart pound and temples throb. He listened intently, hoping it was just the storm. Seconds passed like hours. Every raindrop sounded like raging bulls charging through his home. In his heightened awareness, the wind seemed to grow to hurricane proportions. His head darted to the bedroom window as a windblown tree branch only gently scraped across it.
They found me, he trembled. Just as they did all of the other brothers of the order! Baron Kruigge-Philo, Baron Bassus, Ferdinand Brunswick. All taken. Never seen or heard of again.
He looked at the window, expecting soldiers to come barging through it.
Xavier slowly began to ease himself back down to bed after a few terrifying moments.
Just as he was about to breathe relief, the door rattled once again. This time the sound was unmistakable. This was not the storm or some wayward tree branch. Someone was out outside trying to get in.
Wearing only his white-laced nightshirt, Xavier sprang to his feet. Grabbing the fluted lantern from the night table by the base with his right hand and the pistol with the left, he dashed over to the top of the stairs. From that vantage point he had a clear view of the front door. Illuminated by ornate lanterns on both sides and burning candles in the hallway, the door was clearly visible in this moonless night.
Xavier pointed the pistol down the stairs, waiting for any unwanted visitors to enter his home. Though the ivory and gold festooned weapon was an inaccurate shot, at close quarters it should prove accurate enough to stop an intruder.
The door rattled once again, and the person outside accompanied the rattling with seven distinct knocks. There were two doublets and one triplet all separated by a short interval. Could it be?
Xavier hesitantly descended the steps, keeping his pistol pointing at the door. The knock was unmistakable. It was the secret cadence required to gain access to the order’s clandestine meetings.
Was it one of his brothers or was this just some sort of rouse the police were using for him to open the door?
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