Synopses & Reviews
The bestselling master of astonishing adventure James Rollins delivers his most relentlessly exciting page-turner to date a gripping and explosive novel of an ancient conspiracy to create a terrifying new world order out of the ashes of modern civilization.
The crime is inhumanly cruel with horrific consequences both unthinkable and inevitable. During a service at a cathedral in Cologne, Germany, a band of armed intruders dressed in monks' robes unleash a nightmare of blood and terror, ruthlessly gunning down worshippers and clergy alike. The killers haven't come for the church's gold and valuable artwork, but for a priceless treasure secreted within: the preserved bones of the Three Magi who once came to pay homage to a newborn savior. As they flee the carnage they have wrought, they carry a prize that could reshape the world.
The Vatican is in turmoil, and Lieutenant Rachel Verona of Rome's carabinieri is assigned to lead the investigation. But no ordinary police organization alone can deal with the bizarre theft and massacre, and SIGMA Force an elite covert arm of the U.S. Defense Department is called in under the command of Grayson Pierce. New to SIGMA, Pierce assembles a crack team of scientific and Special Forces operatives to unravel the mystery of the stolen bones, and together they set out on a twisting trail through a labyrinth of clues and dark revelations that carry them to the sites of the Seven Wonders of the World and to the doorstep of the mystical and terrifying Dragon Court.
An ancient, secret fraternity of alchemists and assassins, the master-adepts of the Dragon Court have plans for the sacred remains that will alter the future of humankind in devastating ways that only the maddest of zealots could desire and they will let nothing and no one stand in their way. Suddenly Pierce, Verona, and the SIGMA team are the hunted as well as the hunters, forced to use every skill they possess to survive as they follow the bones to the ultimate confrontation between darkness and light in a lost place of history where science and religion will unite to unleash a horror not seen since the beginning of time.
A masterful novel that combines the exhilarating mysticism of The Da Vinci Code with the pulse-pounding action of a Tom Clancy thriller, James Rollins's Map of Bones is destined to be a modern classic that will stand among the very best adventure tales ever written.
"A mysterious biblical object, nefarious Vatican spies and a deadly centuries-old religious cabal sound familiar? Sacramento veterinarian Rollins offers more Da Vinci Code style thrills for the seriously addicted. In this seventh outing, hooded men invade midnight mass at the Cologne Cathedral and slaughter almost everyone present, then break open a gold sarcophagus and steal... the bones of the Three Wise Men. Grayson Pierce, top agent in the Department of Defense's covert Sigma Force, takes a team to Rome, joins up with love-interest Rachel Verona, a carabinieri corps lieutenant, and her Vatican official uncle, Vigot. It seems that the Dragon Court, a medieval alchemical cult-cell that still operates within the Catholic Church, is to blame, and it also seems that the bones of the Magi aren't really bones, but the highly reactive Monatomic gold that the group plans to use to accomplish its ultimate goal Armegeddon. Rollins has few peers in the research department, which makes the historical material fascinating, and he keeps the dialogue believably colloquial and the incidental elements motivated and plausible for at least short stretches. Clumsy romance is mostly overcome by lots of action. Dan Brown-ers looking for methadone will add to Rollins's usual solid numbers. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[C]lever and suspenseful....Rollins makes the most of a moderately implausible premise." Booklist
"Rollins combines the mystery and research of Dan Brown with the adrenaline-charged action of Clive Cussler into a slick thriller that you can't put down." Jack Du Brul, author of Deep Fire Rising
"A spiraling, high-octane adventure, loaded with cutting-edge technology and jam-packed with action and mayhem." Steve Berry, author of The Third Secret
When a group of parishioners is burned to death in a German cathedral, the U.S. sends in the SIGMA force. The tragedy is more than a case of arson; someone has stolen the priceless treasure stored in the cathedral's golden reliquary: the bones of the biblical Magi, the legendary Three Kings.
About the Author
James Rollins is the bestselling author of five previous novels: Subterranean
, Deep Fathom
, Ice Hunt
, and Sandstorm
. He has a doctorate in veterinary medicine and his own practice in Sacramento, California. An amateur spelunker and a certified scuba enthusiast, he can often be found either underground or underwater.