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From Barnes & NobleThe 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