The Explorer's Code

A Novel

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Award-winning CNN journalist Kitty Pilgrim turns her talents to print in The Explorer’s Code, an exciting international thriller that revolves around the quest for a land deed valuable enough to kill for. When the renowned young oceanographer

Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically. John Sinclair—a dashing, wealthy archaeologist and philanthropist—presents Cordelia with the award at the glamorous Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. He also gives her a journal that her greatgreat- grandfather wrote in 1908. An orphan with very few family belongings, Cordelia is amazingly touched to have this precious heirloom. Once the journal is in her possession, Cordelia learns that she is heir to the land on which the Global Seed Vault in Norway sits. The valuable deed for this land, or at least a clue to its whereabouts, may be hidden in the journal.

When the journal disappears from Cordelia’s stateroom on the Queen Victoria and Cordelia receives threatening e-mails, it becomes clear that she is in danger. John Sinclair comes to Cordelia’s aid, helping her search for the missing journal and land deed, and capturing her heart. As they race to find the deed, Cordelia and Sinclair encounter a team of British virologists trying to decode the genome of the 1918 influenza pandemic, but unearthing infected tissue samples may prove more lethal than curative. Cordelia and Sinclair sail through the Mediterranean from Monaco to an archaeological site in Ephesus, Turkey. They travel to a beautiful old Parisian home and a lavish estate in the British countryside. Their search culminates in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, not far from the North Pole. Behind them every step of the way are a consortium of Russian underworld criminals, religious fanatics from Texas, a sinister botanist, and a sexy American spy, all hunting for the deed, all pursuing Cordelia.

The Explorer’s Code is a satisfying blend of historical detail, fast-paced action, scientific discovery, and the thrill of exploration that informs as well as entertains. The breathtaking ending in the high Arctic is as chilling as a polar breeze.
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Book Details:
  • Scribner | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439197196 | 
  • June 2011
List Price $29.99

Video

Discovering the Bradford Folio

CNN journalist and author Kitty Pilgrim examines the paintings of William Bradford, an American romanticist painter, photographer, and explorer known for his paintings of ships and Arctic seascapes

Read an Excerpt

Ephesus, Turkey

For the last hour, John Sinclair had been crouched over a fragment of bone sticking up from the earth. With a small camel-hair brush he flicked away grains of soil.

“Karl, take a look at this,” he shouted over his shoulder. There was no reply.

Sinclair stood and looked around the site. Ephesus was strangely deserted. The silent ruins stretched out for miles in the sunshine, and not a soul was moving among the white chunks of marble. Even the few off-season tourists had left. He glanced at his watch, dustproof, shockproof, and well suited to his work. It was noon.

He... see more
Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

Cordelia Stapleton unzipped her full-body dive skin, peeled it off, and flung it on the deck in a sodden black heap. Underneath was a blue tank suit. She could feel the ocean water evaporate instantly from her back, leaving the sensation of dried salt on her shoulder blades. Her dark hair was still wet, splayed like tentacles over her shoulders.

Dripping, she walked over to the bin of towels. She took one and rubbed her limbs vigorously, conscious of the deep tiredness that comes after swimming for hours. She massaged her leg muscles to warm them up. Cordelia was long and lean,... see more
Villa San Angelo, Anacapri, Capri, Italy

Charles Bonnard looked away from the majestic view of the sea and saw the light blinking on his cell phone. He retrieved it from the stone parapet and sat down in the alcove. After looking at the water, his eyes had to adjust to the shade. It took a moment to register the number of the missed call.

John Sinclair’s international cell number—that was odd. They weren’t supposed to talk until the end of the week. He pressed the voice-mail retrieve button and listened.

“Charles, I’m heading to Monaco a few days early . . .”
... see more
Hotel Metropole, Monaco

John Sinclair leaned over the balustrade of the Hotel Metropole. It was a gorgeous day. The breeze was blowing, the megayachts were bowing to one another in the marina, and the sunlight was sprinkling the sea with diamonds. At 1 p.m., Sinclair was still in his robe and unshaven. His head was pounding from a massive hangover, and the sunlight was searing his corneas.

God damn it, Shari. He remembered how she had looked last night. The breathtaking beauty of her as she walked into the terrace restaurant. Her white silk dress flowing around her magnificent body. She was ethereal. Golden hair... see more

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