Once again, Sigma Force (Black Order; Map of Bones) must pursue a full agenda. In The Judas Strain, the ultra-secret crew of scientific commandos tracks a conspiracy that involves a body-gnawing bacteriological plague, a prehistoric cryptogram, and an unpublicized side trip by explorer Marco Polo. As usual, James Rollins's novel moves faster than any synopsis can capture.
The special-ops trained scientists of Sigma Force battle the criminals of the shadowy Guild in bestseller Rollins's lively third Sigma Force thriller (after Black Order). An ancient and deadly plague, the Judas Strain (which afflicted Marco Polo), has suddenly re-emerged. Gray Pierce, a Sigma operative, and Seichan, a Guild defector, pursue clues to the nature of the plague to the Vatican, Istanbul (with a fine shootout in the Hagia Sophia mosque), Marco Polo's tomb and, finally, Cambodia's Angkor Wat. Meanwhile, Guild members hijack a cruise ship full of plague victims (to provide experimental subjects for the weaponizing of the plague), and Gray's parents are taken hostage (though the senior Grays prove feistier than their kidnappers reckon). Sophisticated the plot isn't, but Rollins includes more than enough action and suspense to keep readers turning pages. 8-city author tour. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
This exciting but complex and overlong sequel to Rollins's Black Orderrevolves around the government's super-secret Sigma Group, which consists of scientists and military types determined to prevent terrorists from devastating the country and the planet. This time, life on Earth is threatened by the recurrence of an ancient and incredibly vicious and lethal virus, the Judas Strain, which may have been responsible for eco-disasters in millennia past. Sigma is out to halt the virus, but Sigma has an enemy, an equally shadowy group of terrorists called the Guild. Ironically, both want to prevent a catastrophe, but Sigma wants to save humanity, while the Guild wants to control it. Action abounds on almost every page, as the characters from the previous novel range over the globe. There are murders, disfiguring diseases, pirates, cannibals, and, oh yes, people who glow in the dark. As with all Rollins books, this book is great good fun, if readers suspend their disbelief and sense of logic. Recommended for larger thriller collections.
Long dormant organisms, roused from their slumber by insidious international villains, threaten civilization with the unstoppable plague that spoiled Marco Polo's trip home. Yes, that Marco Polo, with whose travels Rollins (Black Order, 2006, etc.) begins a thriller that rockets from Christmas Island to the Washington suburbs to Rome, Constantinople and Cambodia. There's no time to catch your breath when the fate of mankind may fall into the hands of The Guild, a gang of rascals reminiscent of Ian Fleming's sadistic syndicates. They'll stop at nothing! Whether it's terrorizing a spunky old couple or unleashing bacteria with the power to turn happy South Sea islanders into maddened cannibals, The Guild will go anywhere and torture anybody in their quest to control the terrestrial balance of power and make tons of money while they do it. And what does the Venetian explorer have to do with modern mayhem? It seems that the glaring omissions in his travel diaries had to do with a little side trip into the East Indies, where his fleet encountered victims of a plague with no known cure other than a few bites of . . . And it is that very plague that the Guild has its fiendish grasp on. As soon as they figure out the antidote, the ruthless criminals can bio-terrorize the entire planet. Thank goodness for the resourcefulness and bottomless purse of Sigma Force, America's semi-secret collection of sharp-shooting scientists and commando types who are thrown into the fight one nanosecond after Seichan, a sexy, vaguely Asian, possibly turn-coat Guild operative, careens on her motorcycle into the driveway of Sigma stalwart Commander Gray Pierce while he's helping his mother clean up after a Fourth ofJuly celebration. Seichan's got a bullet in her gut and pursuers in her wake. Sigma Force will not sleep for weeks. Relentless action in spectacular places and plenty of spurious science provide more than enough distraction from some fairly breathtaking coincidences and leaps of logic.