As a modern-day fortune-hunter, Drake operates within a rough, lawless world occupied by treasure-seekers, antiquities smugglers, con men and thieves. Unlike his associates, Drake is driven more by the historical intrigue and thrill of the hunt, than the promise of the treasure itself. He may or may not be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th-century explorer and privateer – but regardless of his lineage, Drake is gifted with a remarkable historical imagination and an uncanny ability to unravel mysteries from only the barest clues.
Although he’s smart and self-educated, Drake tends to conceal his intellectual side when dealing with the rogues gallery of dangerous individuals who haunt the gray-market underworld of the illegal antiquities trade. In his dubious line of work, Drake finds himself confronting everything from guerillas to drug traffickers, modern-day pirates, rival salvage companies, and frequently the law – so he’s had to learn how to handle himself in tight situations, whether it means guns, fists, charm, or the occasional hasty exit. In the end, Drake survives by his wits, tenacity and resourcefulness – and a dash of good old-fashioned luck.
Drake’s former companion, Elena has since graduated from tabloid reporter to a legitimate investigative journalist, and now tracks stories in some of the most dangerous and war-torn corners of the world. She’s as stubborn and tenacious as Drake is, and determined to such a degree that it is both her greatest virtue and her greatest fault.
Drake’s current partner and romantic interest, Chloe is as tough and capable as she is beautiful. She’s equally comfortable in a gunfight or a fistfight – whatever the occasion demands. Chloe’s a good ally, but her moral compass is uncertain, and her reckless and impulsive nature makes her somewhat unpredictable.
A longtime friend and associate of Drake’s, Flynn operates within the same shady underworld of fortune hunters, smugglers and thieves that Drake inhabits. Flynn possesses a certain roguish charm, but he’s far more unscrupulous than Drake, and will take just about any job if the profit’s good – regardless of any moral or legal implications.
A larger-than-life Hemingwayesque character, Sullivan is Drake’s partner, mentor and the closest thing he’s got to a father figure. He’s a seasoned adventurer, explorer and treasure hunter – the consummate con man in a world of con men – and knows just about everyone connected to the illicit antiquities trade.
A rogue paramilitary leader and fugitive war criminal, notorious for committing unspeakable massacres and atrocities. Believed to have been killed in a bombing raid, Lazarevic survived (though he bears the scars of the attack), and now operates in the shadows as the leader of a secret terrorist society. Ice-cold and relentlessly ambitious, Lazarevic is an imposing figure with a ruthless intensity and a dark magnetism that’s both terrifying and hypnotic.
The sole survivor of a failed expedition to the Himalayas in 1938, Schäfer has been living among the locals of a remote Tibetan village for seventy years. As a fellow explorer, Schäfer is able to provide critical information and guidance at a time when Drake needs it most.
A leader in his remote Tibetan village, Tenzin joins Drake halfway through his perilous journey. Their partnership is made awkward by the language barrier – Tenzin speaks only Tibetan, and Drake only English – forcing them to communicate largely through gesture. Despite this obstacle, Tenzin becomes one of Drake’s most trusted allies.
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