In August of 1838, in the middle of a devastating civil war, a grotesque figure arrived at Santiago de Compostela, the ancient pilgrimage town in the North-West of Spain. He was a former Swiss mercenary, who thirty years previously had heard a rumour about a massive hoard of church plate buried by the soldiers of Marshal Ney. A fantasy? A daydream? Just one of the many hollow legends of hidden gold that abound in Spain? Perhaps so. But, astonishingly, the Swiss vagrant did not come on his own errand. He came sponsored by Spain’s savvy Minister of Finance, Don Alejandro Mon, who for some shadowy reason of his own lent credence to the tale.
Like an historical sleuth, Peter Missler traces the tale of Benedict Mol the treasure hunter through the mists of time and a smoke-screen of cover-stories. It is a fascinating saga which takes us to Portugal with looting French soldiers, into the wild mountains of Northern Spain with the brilliant polyglot George Borrow, and – by the hand of Mol — into the darkest nooks and corners of a syphilitic’s hospital. The 1st attempt to find the hoard toppled the government, the second one ended with the murder of two peasants. But was the treasure secured? Or does it still lie waiting somewhere in a Santiago park…?
A table of contents and some sample chapters are available here.
the Treasure Hunter of Santiago is available in hardback, paperback and ebook (ebook coming shortly). Links to the paper books at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk are given here.
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Last updated Sunday, 5 December, 2010