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Luis Rousset
The Alb
Luis Rousset, author
A new Inca tomb with gold artifacts and an incredibly rare finely woven white tunic was found deep in the South American Andes by a geological expedition searching the area for metals and minerals. Warned, the Peruvian authorities send an archeologist and his assistant to examine the find and assure that it is kept intact. The event raises the curiosity of Mr. John Engelhard, CEO and chief shareholder of the New York based company, Horizon Mining, conducting the mineral exploration in the Andes Mountains. A self-made man and billionaire, Engelhard decides to travel to the exploration site, in the Colca area in Peru, to see firsthand the archeological treasure found by his geologists. On the night after his arrival, the campsite is raided and all its members murdered. The treasure disappears. The Museo de la Nacion in Lima, where the matter of the stolen treasure is being handled, grieves the disappearance of the priceless objects, especially the loss of the unique white tunic found in the tomb. The museum archeologists refer to this piece of ancient garment as the “alb,” an allusion to the fabled tunic worn by “Viracocha” the most important deity in the Inca pantheon of gods. According to legend, the alb has the power to protect whoever wears it from “Supay,” the god of death and of the inner world. A New York detective, Mr. Alan Leary is hired by Mr. Anton Deville, Horizon’s chief attorney and Engelhard’s close friend, to investigate the crime. A body with remains of Engelhard’s wallet and documents was found among the campsite victims and for a time it was thought he had also been killed. However, a more careful analysis later revealed that the body belonged to a local shepherd who had bivouacked at the site. The idea of Engelhard, owner of a great fortune, committing the murders to rob the Inca treasure is preposterous. Deville wishes Alan to discover what took place. What could have happened to Engelhard? Was he kidnaped or is he dead and buried somewhere else? Thus begins an adventure extending over three continents, from civilized Manhattan to the high Andes in South America, and through the rivers and forests of the Amazon to its surprising conclusion in Italy.