Black Order (Sigma Force Series)

Black Order (Sigma Force Series)

4.3 364
by James Rollins

View All Available Formats & Editions

A sinister fire in a Copenhagen bookstore ignites a relentless hunt across four continents. Arson and murder reveal an insidious plot to steal a Bible that once belonged to Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory. And Commander Gray Pierce dives headlong into a mystery that dates back to Nazi Germany . . . and to horrific experiments performed in a

…  See more details below


A sinister fire in a Copenhagen bookstore ignites a relentless hunt across four continents. Arson and murder reveal an insidious plot to steal a Bible that once belonged to Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory. And Commander Gray Pierce dives headlong into a mystery that dates back to Nazi Germany . . . and to horrific experiments performed in a now-abandoned laboratory buried in a hollowed-out mountain in Poland.

A continent away, madness ravages a remote monastery high in Nepal, as Buddhist monks turn to cannibalism and torture. Lisa Cummings, a young American doctor investigating the atrocity, is suddenly a target of a brutal assassin working for clandestine forces that want the affair buried at any cost. Lisa's only ally is a hidden pilgrim, Painter Crowe -- director of SIGMA Force, an elite command of American scientists and Special Forces operatives -- who is already showing signs of the baffling malady that destroyed the minds of the monks.

Now it is up to Gray Pierce to save both Painter and Lisa -- and a world in jeopardy -- as SIGMA Force races to expose a century-old plot that threatens to destroy the current world order . . . and alter the destiny of humankind forever.

Combining the historic scope of The Da Vinci Code with the relentless thrills of today's best action novels, James Rollins's Black Order is a classic adventure -- an ingenious and breathtaking tour de force that explodes with revelations . . . while offering a startling new view of our place in the grand scheme of existence.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
In this high-octane thriller by James Rollins, an elite special ops unit is faced with solving a mystery shrouded in the mists of time: one that could save -- or completely destroy -- humankind.

Sigma Force is a covert group of military scientists overseen by the Department of Defense's research and development wing. Led by former Navy SEAL Painter Crowe (the hero of 2004's Sandstorm), members of the counterespionage team are scattered all over the world on individual missions. Grayson Pierce is in Copenhagen, following up a tip about an increase in black market sales of Victorian-era documents, including a Bible once owned by Charles Darwin. Crowe witnesses firsthand an outbreak of plague in a Himalayan monastery that drives peaceful monks to butcher one another. Scrawled on the walls in blood is a series of strange runes -- and carved into the head monk's chest is a swastika. Meanwhile, on a sprawling estate in South Africa, a sinister program begun during WWII is about to be unleashed upon the world…

Rollins's previous thrillers (Map of Bones, Sandstorm, Ice Hunt, et al.) have been likened to the Indiana Jones movies for good reason -- scientific adventurers risking life and limb in exotic locales to locate and/or unlock arcane knowledge -- and Black Order is no different. Incredibly fast-paced, centered around intensely controversial subject matter (the origins of life and theories of evolution), and featuring enough cryptic codes, secret societies, and historical conspiracies to satisfy the most fanatical Da Vinci Code fan, this high-octane thriller (which subtly blends elements of historical fiction and science fiction) practically demands to be read. It's quite possibly Rollins's best work to date. Paul Goat Allen

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sigma Force Series , #3
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Black Order EPB

Chapter One

May 4
6:22 A.M.

Fortress city of Breslau, Poland

The body floated in the sludge that sluiced through the dank sewers. The corpse of a boy, bloated and rat gnawed, had been stripped of boots, pants, and shirt. Nothing went to waste in the besieged city.

SS Obergruppenführer Jakob Sporrenberg nudged past the corpse, stirring the filth. Offal and excrement. Blood and bile. The wet scarf tied around his nose and mouth did little to ward off the stench. This was what the great war had come to. The mighty reduced to crawling through sewers to escape. But he had his orders.

Overhead the double crump-wump of Russian artillery pummeled the city. Each explosion bruised his gut with its concussive shock. The Russians had broken down the gates, bombed the airport, and even now, tanks ground down the cobbled streets while transport carriers landed on Kaiserstrasse. The main thoroughfare had been converted into a landing strip by parallel rows of flaming oil barrels, adding their smoke to the already choked early morning skies, keeping dawn at bay. Fighting waged in every street, in every home, from attic to basement.

Every house a fortress.

That had been Gauleiter Hanke's final command to the populace. The city had to hold out as long as possible. The future of the Third Reich depended on it. And on Jakob Sporrenberg.

"Mach schnell," he urged the others behind him.

His unit of the Sicherheitsdienst — designation Special Evacuation Kommando — trailed him, knee-deep in filthy water. Fourteen men. All armed. All dressed in black. All burdened with heavy packs. In the middle, four of the largest men, former Nordsee dockmen, bore poles on their shoulders, bearing aloft massive crates.

There was a reason the Russians were striking this lone city deep in the Sudeten Mountains between Germany and Poland. The fortifications of Breslau guarded the gateway to the highlands beyond. For the past two years, forced labor from the concentration camp of Gross-Rosen had hollowed out a neighboring mountain peak. A hundred kilometers of tunnels clawed and blasted, all to service one secret project, one kept buried away from prying Allied eyes.

Die Riese . . . the Giant.

But word had still spread. Perhaps one of the villagers outside the Wenceslas Mine had whispered of the illness, the sudden malaise that had afflicted even those well outside the complex.

If only they'd had more time to complete the research . . .

Still, a part of Jakob Sporrenberg balked. He didn't know all that was involved with the secret project, mostly just the code name: Chronos. Still, he knew enough. He had seen the bodies used in the experiments. He had heard the screams.


That was the one word that had come to mind and iced his blood.

He'd had no trouble executing the scientists. The sixty-two men and women had been taken outside and shot twice in the head. No one must know what had transpired in the depths of the Wenceslas Mine . . . or what was found. Only one researcher was allowed to live.

Doktor Tola Hirszfeld.

Jakob heard her sloshing behind him, half dragged by one of his men, wrists secured behind her back. She was tall for a woman, late twenties, small breasted but of ample waist and shapely legs. Her hair flowed smooth and black, her skin as pale as milk from the months spent underground. She was to have been killed with the others, but her father, Oberarbeitsleiter Hugo Hirszfeld, overseer of the project, had finally shown his corrupted blood, his half-Jewish heritage. He had attempted to destroy his research files, but he had been shot by one of the guards and killed before he could firebomb his subterranean office. Fortunately for his daughter, someone with full knowledge of die Glocke had to survive, to carry on the work. She, a genius like her father, knew his research better than any of the other scientists.

But she would need coaxing from here.

Fire burned in her eyes whenever Jakob glanced her way. He could feel her hatred like the heat of an open furnace. But she would cooperate . . . like her father had before her. Jakob knew how to deal with Juden, especially those of mixed blood. Mischlinge. They were the worst. Partial Jews. There were some hundred thousand Mischlinge in military service to the Reich. Jewish soldiers. Rare exemptions to Nazi law had allowed such mixed blood to still serve, sparing their lives. It required special dispensation. Such Mischlinge usually proved to be the fiercest soldiers, needing to show their loyalty to Reich over race.

Still, Jakob had never trusted them. Tola's father proved the validity of his suspicions. The doctor's attempted sabotage had not surprised Jakob. Juden were never to be trusted, only exterminated.

But Hugo Hirszfeld's exemption papers had been signed by the führer himself, sparing not only the father and daughter, but also a pair of elderly parents somewhere in the middle of Germany. So while Jakob had no trust of the Mischlinge, he placed his full faith in his führer. His orders had been letter specific: evacuate the mine of the necessary resources to continue the work and destroy the rest.

That meant sparing the daughter.

And the baby.

The newborn boy was swaddled and bundled into a pack, a Jewish infant, no more than a month old. The child had been given a light sedative to keep him silent as they made their escape.

Within the child burned the heart of the abomination, the true source of Jakob's revulsion. All of the hopes for the Third Reich lay in his tiny hands — the hands of a Jewish infant. Bile rose at such a thought. Better to impale the child on a bayonet. But he had his orders.

He also saw how Tola watched the boy. Her eyes glowed with a mix of fire and grief. Besides aiding in her father's research, Tola had served as the boy's foster mother, rocking him asleep, feeding him. The child was the only reason the woman was cooperating at all. It had been a threat on the boy's life that had finally made Tola acquiesce to Jakob's demands.

Black Order EPB. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Black Order (Sigma Force Series #3) 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 364 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could hardly put it down! I was hooked after only a few pages. This book is based on the historical Nazi Bell. I love how Rollins always rolls fact into his suspense! Although the read was wonderful, I did notice Rollins left a few loop holes in his story where things did not add up. It is still definitely worth reading though.
kalanikea More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy "high octane" novels with unsuspected twists and turns, this thriller is for you. Rollins just keeps getting better and better with each book he writes. BLACK ORDER is a "page-turner" that is certain to keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning. IMHO.
JRBaker More than 1 year ago
This is the first James Rollins book I've read, and I'm very impressed. I didn't realize it was part of a series either, until I found the rest online. He does an excellent job of developing the characters and not assuming you've read the earlier books in the series. The level of technical detail here and the arguments made are very deep and thought provoking. Rollins drew me in held my attention from beginning to end. I also agree with one of the earlier reviewers - this is perfect for a movie; even Rollins' writing style lends itself very easily to adaptation. I can't wait to read the others in the series!
Xanimus More than 1 year ago
The next best thing to waking up on a holodeck with Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, Ian Malcolm and Robert Langdon. You can't help but want to read them all.
IceManCC More than 1 year ago
Historical accuracy,great villians, and my all-time favorite crime fighting crew. Another non-stop action adventure you wont want to put down.
BookaholicTracy More than 1 year ago
Great book I couldn't put down. Would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harriet Klausner needs to learn that this is where you give your personal OPINION of a book, NOT an overview of it. I'm really sick of her ruining books for me before I even get a chance to read it!
LarryE More than 1 year ago
I was on vacation when I picked this book up. I've been a James Rollins fan for a while, not because his books are necessarily believable, but because they are fun. If you are looking for a summer blockbuster of a book, then this is for you. Honestly I'm surprised none of his books have been considered for a movie. The plots are fantastical, the action scenes are exciting and over the top, the characters are well written. Anyway, I'm off on a tangent. I was on vacation and this was a great vacation read. There were a couple areas that made me think a little, which is rare for this genre, and the story was very interesting. I would definitely recommend this for any fan of Matt Reilly, as his books are similar in style (although I think James Rollins has better plot lines).
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
In typical Rollins fashon, he dishes up a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter. Strange symbols, power mad scientists, super critters, and people,and the usual desperate race against time to save the good guys and the world. All in all a great, can't put it down weekend read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely one if the "just one more chapter before i go to bed" books. Highly recommended.
the-constant_reader More than 1 year ago
I really like the science behind this novel, but this book needs just a little more excitement, more suspense, less drivel about secret agents in love.
YBJake More than 1 year ago
Second book in the Sigma Force series. The Characters are strong and the story is fast paced.
Javaniebs More than 1 year ago
For those of you who love the puzzle-solving historical fiction of Dan Brown as well as the thrilling action of Tom Clancy, this book will satisfy! Rollins completed a massive amount of research in order to entwine historical fact with a compelling and action-packed fictional story. It leaves the reader wondering.. "what if...?" I spent many a groggy morning at work because I didn't want to put the book down at night! Although this can be read as a stand-alone novel, I do recommend reading Map of Bones first, in order to understand some of the references to past events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. This book covered a lot of topics from WWII oocult secrets, quantum theory, technological advances and even the basis of religion. The plot was well thought out and the characters were done very well. If you like history, mystery, suspense and good old fashioned intrigue, you should read this. From Nazi's to the Zulu tribes, MI5 and other shadow groups, this book is a definite page turner. Highly recommended.
MomWhoLovesToReadBooks More than 1 year ago
I love the Sigma Force Novels! And this one is no different! James Rollins has such a unique way of mixing together fact & fiction that I cannot put a single book down until it is done - and then do a little research afterwards about the facts he has built in. Black Order was an excellent read & I highly recommed this & any of his books to everyone!
SunnyDay1961 More than 1 year ago
The action scenes were great, but some chapters made me feel like i was reading a beginners quantim physics textbook. I didnt like the way he shifted between events either. I liked the characters, and my husband would love this book, but i probably wont buy another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not my idea of a good read. The back-history went on and on and on and on. The whole thing was a confusing mess. Between quantum physics, mythical runes, religion, love stories, four countries, four languages and a partridge in a pear tree, I was lost and bored. I had the most fun keeping track of ALL the loopholes. I MADE myself finish this book and it was a total struggle. I would not recomend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok ppl. Harriet klausner has ruined another book by revealing everything. Dont bother buying the books. Just read her plot reveals and you can save money. This woman needs to be taught that a review is whether she liked it or not. Not write a dissertation on each and every point of the book. She disgusts me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engrossing with much actual fact in the fictional story. If you like page turning adventure with engaging characters this is for you, Rollins is always a good read and I should know because I have read them all.
JudyJudyJudy More than 1 year ago
It kept you in suspense and with interesting characters. Especially liked the fair & balanced view of creationism vs evolution and intelligent design.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love his thrillers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great Sigma read! This one was a lot of fun and the dual story lines made it even more fun to read.