Janusz Rudzinski is a celebrated composer – creator of his country’s national anthem. His greatest work is on everybody’s lips. He is a vital part of everybody’s life. He is a national treasure.
But as Europe in engulfed in world war his country has just been invaded. And now, as a focal point of partisan feeling, he is forced into flight. Over the course of seven days, Janusz’s world is turned upside down and his mind inside out. Celebrity and wealth earned over a lifetime devoted to the art of his people suddenly mean less than nothing, with Janusz’ fame and fortune now nothing more than a target on his back. He’s just another nationalist symbol that the invaders must destroy.
Art? Patriotism? Now it is all Janusz can do just to survive. He must run and hide. The great man is now a wanted fugitive. To save his skin, he is forced to deny his own identity, forced into disguise, and forced little by little to confront his past. Human life becomes suddenly arbitrary as the conquerors begin their ruthless hunt for patriots and Janusz is number one of their list.
Can Janusz rise above the barbarism inflicted by bombs, concentration camps and death squads? Can Janusz save Lidia, a woman he twice married and twice divorced? What on earth can Janusz learn from Gabriela, a ten-year-old girl who has already suffered the trauma of being sold into slavery by her own hapless family? Can the creative Janusz turn the adversity he and his countrymen now face into an opportunity? Is it possible that even the horrors of harrowing butchery can inspire?
William P. Wood’s The National Treasure presents the battle between courage and cowardice, determination and despair. It takes place over a mere seven days, but the lessons learned often take a lifetime – if they are ever learned at all.
William P. Wood is the author of nine thrillers and one non-fiction book. His thriller Rampage was made into a motion picture by Academy Award winning director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist). His thriller Broken Trust was also filmed starring Tom Selleck with a screenplay by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. As a deputy district attorney in California, he handled thousands of criminal cases ranging from disturbing the peace to murder. He also headed several state agencies in California.