Publisher's Summary

When Michelle receives a call from a Richmond historian, she sees the chance for a much-needed adventure. All she has to do is find a century-old key.
Three others - a guitarist, an engineer, and a retiree - receive similar calls. Each family possesses a key to a four-lock safe found buried in a Virginia courthouse, though their connection is as mysterious as the safe itself. Their ancestors should not have interacted, had no apparent reason to bury the safe, and should not have disappeared thereafter.
Bearing their keys, Michelle and the other descendants converge in the courthouse basement and open the safe, revealing the truth about their ancestors - a truth stranger, more deadly, and potentially more world-changing than any of them could have imagined. Now it's up to them to keep their discovery out of the wrong hands.
©2015 Allison Maruska (P)2015 Allison Maruska
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Critic Reviews

"I rarely read a story that I can't wait to get back to, and this was one. It's full of drama and suspense. It's fresh and new, something very much needed, and it's totally unpredictable." (John Darryl Winston, author of IA: Initiate)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-04-2015

Excellent Story. Well-written with a Great Cast

What made the experience of listening to The Fourth Descendant the most enjoyable?

The plot twists were the best part. The story kept me guessing. I can't say more without giving things away. I'd like to talk about the ending, but it would spoil it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jonah. At the start you think he'll be just your stereotypical dread-locked musician, but he turns out to be much deeper.

Which character – as performed by Donald R. Emero – was your favorite?

He didn't perform any of the characters better or worse than the others. I was impressed with the narration; he has a nice, resonant voice. In a few places, perhaps, he overdoes the difference in voices between the different characters, but it's not a problem. He doesn't overact. His voice sounded a little deeper in later chapters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Four ordinary lives, brought together by one extraordinary discovery.

Any additional comments?

I was puzzled by some of the other reviews. This is well-crafted and satisfying fiction. I enjoyed it all the way through. Concerning the storyline, be sure to check out the many positive reviews of the written version of this book on (which has, of course, the same storyline).

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Matthew on 30-03-2015


What disappointed you about The Fourth Descendant?

All of it. Poorly edited, poorly constructed, and lacking a true sense of direction. The premise, and the overall start of the story began well, but it descended into treacle.

What could Allison Maruska have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Chose another career.

What three words best describe Donald R. Emero’s performance?

Look, Donald had a mess to deal with here, so it's unfair characterize his stuff with the crap he had to deal with. On balance he did all do under the limited circumstances.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fourth Descendant?

All of it.

Any additional comments?

Not recommended.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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