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The Caliphate's Caretaker
The Story

Preliminary Cover

Author Notes

In the shadows of our society we occasionally discover that some lurk patiently until there’s an opportune moment to strike in a unique and unexpected manner. In many Western countries, there is a fear of radicalization in Islam by persons who claim affinity for a new and vibrant caliphate such as the one declared by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL. Posing no significant threat to people, I have painted the Caretaker with the self-declared caliphate as a backdrop and the utopian belief in the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire, itself one of the last caliphates.

Tom Arden, who found a long lost Rembrandt (Rembrandt Redux), is now an assistant curator with the Metropolitan Museum of New York. He's intrigued by an embroidered cloth painted in a 16th century still life. In the process of interpreting a partial message, he becomes convinced that the cloth is the one mentioned in a legend involving Leonardo da Vinci.

A zealot, whose purpose in life is to guard critical secrets on behalf of a future Ottoman Empire, will stop at nothing to prevent a powerful revelation on the cloth. A murder prompts Tom to pursue a suspect, and a confrontation ensues amidst Roman ruins in Cyprus, Tom battles the zealot in his attempt to find a secret treasure have secular and sacred implications.
Along the adventure he has come to realize his lack of commitment to his fiancee and fellow curator Isabelle.