The Sixth Key
I congratulate you on the release of your book White Lie. This is a great event for all who are familiar with the work, searching and life of Otto Wilhelm Rahn. When did you first hear of him?
The first time I heard of Otto Rahn was probably during my research of the history of Montségur and the Cathars in connection with Grail lore. I never studied the man himself and only knew what most people know; that he researched Grail lore, visited Montségur and was working for Himmler as a relic hunter in a pre-war Germany. It wasn't until 2008 that a friend sent me "Crusade against the Grail" in English, followed by "Lucifer's Court" and Nigel Graddon's "Otto Rahn, Quest for the Holy Grail". I was thinking of writing a thriller book at that time about the 1st century, and the mysteries of the Languedoc. I had already done a lot of research for the book, but didn't get around to actually writing it, because the financial crisis had made me and my husband work 7 days a week to make a living. In 2011 I first had the chance to sit down properly and started writing in January. I would write almost 18 to 20 hours a day for several months and Otto slowly became one of the key players in the book.
'By the Power of these Keys, the Head of the Church will be made the Lord of Hell' It is 2012 and a cryptic invitation leads a crime novelist to Venice's Island of the Dead. Once there he is captivated by his host's tale, which spans the centuries, but seemingly begins and ends in the dark days of the 1930's. In 1936, a similarly cryptic invitation brings Grail historian Otto Rahn to an apartment in Berlin. Waiting for him inside is Hitler's right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler, and Rahn's life is turned upside down. For Himmler wants Rahn to locate Les Serpent Rouge, a notorious book of black magic written by Pope Honorius in the 14th century. Following a trail from Paris down to Carcassonne in the South of France, Rahn discovers a web of deceit and murder.