‘The Trail of Four’ a mystery novel from Manjiri Prabhu (published by Bloomsbury) was launched by Mr. Werner Ploner, Managing Director, Swarovsky, India at Crossword Pune.
The novel is entirely based in Europe and in the city of Salzburg in Austria. It is about deciphering a trail set 75 years ago by the Austrian-American Theatre personality Max Reinhardt who also owned the Palace Schloss Leopoldskron, a very famous place in the city. But as it appears, the events take an evil turn and the entire city comes under an ominous threat by an unknown villain. Re Parkar, an investigative journalist from Paris, gets psychic premonitions about the happenings in Salzburg and arrives there instinctively. The story of solving the mystery and saving the city from the imminent disaster unfolds only in 48 hours and takes the readers to a nail-biting climax.
Prabhu read an intriguing extract from her novel and then the audience had a very interesting and lively interaction with her and Mr. Ploner.
Re Parkar is an investigative journalist and filmmaker from Paris, who is prone to getting psychic visions of his next case. When he ‘visualizes’ the Schloss Leopoldskron covered in black smoke, Re catches the first flight to Salzburg and explains his vision to Dan, the GM of the Schloss. But Dan refuses to believe him. The Schloss is all set to conduct one of the grandest seminars of their time, where top government dignitaries of the world would congregate for talks on peace.
On the morning before the guests arrive, shockingly, the heart of the Archbishop is stolen from its holy grave in the Schloss Chapel and a letter from the dead and long-gone American/ Austrian Max Reinhardt is found in its place, threatening the destruction of the four pillars of Salzburg.
“Follow the trail of Four and find my last gift to the Schloss. You have two days. If you fail, you endanger my four Pillars of my beloved Salzburg, on the stroke of twelve, every time! Save my Pillars. .. Find my gift. . .Follow the Trail of Four. . .
P.S. The heart will be destroyed on the 4th strike of 12 and the energy will destroy Salzburg.
Pressure mounts at the Schloss Leopoldskron at this sudden and totally devastating turn of events. Stefan, the Officer in charge is confident that they would find the mischief maker. Teams are sent out to all the ancient monuments of the old town to ensure that no bombs are planted and to protect the historical Pillars of Salzburg. But when, on the stroke of twelve (noon), poisonous gas almost kills twelve people at the Mozart Birthhouse, the Polizei are stunned to realize that this is not the usual bomb scare technique of destruction.
Dan enlists Re’s aid to solve the Reinhardt trail. He also requests Isabel, the Seminar Historian and Fellowship Manager to help them. However Isabel has her own problems. Her husband Justin has gone missing and Officer Stefan Weiss, her ex-boyfriend, strongly suspects her to be involved in the disappearance. Matters worsen for her when Justin’s body is found by the Schloss pond.
Which are the four pillars of Salzburg? Where will the trail lead and what is Reinhardt’s last gift to the Schloss? Is it evidence that Mozart actually played at the Schloss? An evidence that has been missing for hundreds of years? Who is the criminal mind behind this? The rival Schloss Florenberg, the Secret Society of Salzburg or even the CIA? Can Re overcome his personal demons to unravel the trail of four, in time to save the Pillars of Salzburg from destruction, before the grand seminar begins? And help catch the mastermind behind the mass destruction plan? He has 48 hours to do it. . . .