The Last Conquistador
By Michael Elias
(Open Road E-riginal, Paperback, 9781480400030, 286pp.)
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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During an archaeology field trip in the mountains of Peru, professor Nina Ramirez and her students discover an ancient mummy—and the remains of a recently murdered teenage boy. Shortly thereafter, the son of a US embassy employee in Lima is kidnapped and FBI agent Adam Marez is assigned to the case. Adam, Nina’s former lover, is haunted by memories of his murdered wife and by mysterious dreams of a distant ancestor: Francisco Pizarro, the great Spanish conquistador who vanquished the Incan Empire. As two more children disappear, Adam and Nina are pulled into a growing investigation. The crime scenes share a common clue: a shell-encrusted mirror left at each site. The mystery draws the couple into the past, leading them inexorably to an archaeological wonder: the lost city of the Incas.
Michael Elias (b. 1940) is a writer and director based in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. His screen credits include The Jerk, The Frisco Kid, Envoyez les Violons, Young Doctors in Love, and Serial. He wrote and directed the acclaimed jazz film Lush Life, starring Forest Whitaker and Jeff Goldblum. In television, he co-created the series Head of the Class. His play The Catskill Sonata premiered in Los Angeles and was directed by Paul Mazursky. With Fred Roos (co-producer of Apocalypse Now), Elias is currently producing his screen adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Dead Man in Deptford.
Elias graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, with a major in philosophy. Before moving to California he lived in New York, acting with the Judson Poets’ Theater and the Living Theatre. He is a former board member of PEN USA, and belongs to the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He lives with his partner, Bianca Roberts, who is vice president and chief advancement officer at the California Institute of the Arts. His son, Frederick, attends Bowdoin College.