|The Dead of Night|
|Publication Date:||March 6, 2012|
|Setting:||Prague, Czech Republic;
|Preceded By:||A King's Ransom|
The Vespers have crossed the line. Amy and Dan were devastated when the Vespers kidnapped seven Cahills around the world, holding them hostage until Amy and Dan delivered an impossible ransom. But at least the hostages were Cahills—members of the world's most powerful family, trained to face disaster.
But now the Vespers have captured Atticus, an innocent 11-year-old boy and Dan's only friend. Dan and Amy find themselves in the struggle of their lives. Because if they can't outwit the Vespers, the unthinkable will happen... Atticus is going to die.
A LIFE ON THE LINE
When seven members of his family were kidnapped by the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill knew he was in for the fight of his life. He knew he was up against an impossibly powerful enemy. And Dan knew the odds were that some of his family members wouldn't make it.
But even as Dan steels himself to accept these facts, the unthinkable happens. The Vespers capture a blameless bystander--Dan's best friend Atticus. With an innocent life on the line, Dan kicks off a frantic hunt that will take him from the back alleys of Prague to the rock caves of Turkey. But Dan better find Atticus fast. If he doesn't his best friend will surely die.
- Part of the star map can be seen at the upper left-hand corner.
- There is a puzzle on the telescope on the inside cover. To read the code you read only the letters with a star over them. It reads: Timbuktu
- On the lens of the telescope two stars are red, Alpha Mensae and Vega. Alpha Mensae is the brightest star in the constellation, Mensa, and Vega is the brightest star in the constellation, Lyra.
- On certain pages there are items from the periodical table. If you decode it from that to numbers, then numbers to letters, it reads: Manuscript Voynich. This is a reference to the Voynich manuscript.
- On the front cover on the lens of the telescope, there are four constellations, Mensa, Orion, Lyra, and Eridanus. If you take the first letter of each constellation, you get the word: MOLE.
Do you ever feel that you lack a certain sparkle? I do. In fact, right now I lack exactly 545.67 carats worth of sparkle. Get the Jubilee for me and I'm sure I'll feel better. And don't make me say pretty please. I doubt you'll like the consequences.
The book begins after Atticus is kidnapped by the Wyomings . The Wyomings stop to see if the getaway jet is ready. Then Atticus complains that he is getting sick from the sticky buns and motor oil. Before he remembered that his mom's tech guy, Max Beezer, gave some of his tech to him and his assistant Dave Speminer. He asks for his key chain and Cheyenne finds that on the key-chain that there was a transmitter (flashdrive) but she destroyed it. But the hand sanitizer was really a hidden transmitter. Atticus types a coded message to Dan and Amy via the transmitter. The Wyoming twins take Atticus to a Vesper stronghold in Goreme, Turkey. There, they force Atticus to decipher a code. Meanwhile, Dan and Amy have located Atticus's whereabouts via the transmitter signal, and Jake seems to be starting to work together with them. Back at the Vesper stronghold, Atticus activates the self-destruct system, and he runs away before the place explodes. Outside, he is finally reunited with Dan, Amy, and Jake.
Once outside the car, they get another assignment: give a stale orb in four days, or one of the seven hostages is dead. Also they have to pick a hostage, or V-1 will choose. Without hesitation, Dan picks Alistair Oh. They need to go to Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Sinead said that Interpol is tracking every flight out of Turkey, so they need fake passports and disguises, and go tomorrow morning. So, they have to stay in the hotel. Erasmus comes, bringing bad news about McIntyre's death, plus a paper with list of cities. Amy contacts Hamilton and Jonah to go to Pompeii. They went inside the hotel, then fears that they've been followed. Greeted by Bartu Yilmaz, Erasmus's cousin, he turns Amy and Dan to Interpol.
Meanwhile, back at the Cahill Command Centre, Ian checks the scrap paper he picked at DeOssie factory. He decides to visit his mother, so he's goes to New York. Back in Turkey, Dan and Amy are saved by Luna Amato, bringing them to her house. They stay for a short time, until they discovered that V-5 is Luna Amato. They escape, and Dan manages to steal her phone. Dan almost killed Luna Amato by throwing a pitcher at her. Now, they have a tool to contact V-1.
At Samarkand, Uzbekistan, they go to Ulugh Beg Observatory. Salim, their tour guide, gives poems on the tour. They ask him about "stale orb", and he in reply hands him a business card to "Estelle Urb". They arrive at the address and find a fortune-telling woman. Dan and Atticus go across the street to buy snacks, and a man scares them when he relays a message to Atticus from his father, telling him to come home.
Meanwhile, in New York, Ian finally talks to his mother, and changed his flight. At Cahill Command Centre, Sinead received the photo of the hostages. The lizard on the photo might give the location of the hostages. Back in Turkey, Dan finds out that 'a stale orb' is actually an anagram of 'Astrolabe'.
Back at Cahill Command Center, Sinead got mad at Evan for sharing the hostages' photo to the Cahill Command Message Board. She makes Evan wear a tracker anklet, and he refuses. Amy and Jake figure out about the three factors of the stars in Salim's poem, and get time to break into the observatory at night. 1022 = 2 x 7 x 73, they then descend and ascend the stairs with these numbers, press a stone, and a secret hatch opens. They found the astrolabe. The police came at the time they found it. Jake made the covering, while Atticus, Dan, and Amy escaped, and contact V-1. The place they will deliver the item is in the grave of Olga Sarkarov. A raptor picks up the item, and put the item on the man in the car. Back at the hotel, they get a message from the center: the hostages are kept in Argentina, and Ian might be there. Another assignment from V-1: Golden Jubilee Diamond in Germany.
Dan is still thinking about AJT. At the airport, he text messages him a question: "If you're really my dad, can you tell me what special thing you said to make us smile together?" Then, the answer came straight away: Moon Face.
- Peter Lerangis has said about the book:
|“||All I can say is you'll travel to some jaw-dropping locales you may never have heard of, with more deadly escapes and double-crosses, on a search for a secret left by a revolutionary leader who was one of history's great geniuses.||”|
- The constellations and zodiac signs on the covers of the books in Series Two form a connection.
- The code on the telescope on the inside cover is "Timbuktu", a possible reference to the place that Dan and Amy go to in Shatterproof.