This is the third book in the Sigma Force series that I've read and absolutely loved. James Rollins writing is historically accurate and amazingly detailed. It's one of those books that draws you in from the first horrific chapter and keeps you turning pages as fast as your fingers (and eyes) allow. Of course there are multiple things going on: a historical trail and a scientific trail which ultimately converges with dire consequences. I particularly liked the inclusion of Kowalski, an ex-military man who is now doing security for Sigma Force. He is included on the mission to provide muscle not brains but his one-liners are spot on and hilarious. He provided a much needed dose of comic relief.
Sigma has one major enemy in the war against terrorism...The Guild, they are a badass outfit that is usually one step ahead of Sigma but Sigma always wins the race. Guild agent Seichan, shot in the gut, ends up crashing her motorcycle in Commander Gray Pierce's driveway. Seichan and Gray have a past and it's not a friendly one. The historical trail involves Gray, Seichan, a Catholic priest and Kowalski reversing Marco Polo's historic journey from China and discovering the cure for a nasty bacteria that is currently killing people off the coast of Australia but which could eventually decimate the entire human population. Bad guy on this leg: Amen Nasser (Guild operative) who immediately kidnaps Gray's parents to get the upper hand.
The scientific trail involves Sigma operatives Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis out on Christmas Island trying to find the cause of the recent plague-like outbreak. Bad guy here: Devesh Patanjali, Guild operative who has hijacked a cruise ship full of evacuees from Christmas Island to use as guinea pigs while looking for the cure so The Guild can use the disease for bio-terrorism. Fortunately both Lisa and Monk are on board and working against Devesh's evil.
Taken on an adventurous ride this thriller took me with it's first pages. Rollins' held a firm grasp on a plot so compelling that the book keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
Ancient history reaching from the past into the future in the form of an ancient strain of viruses turning friend into foe: The Judas Strain.
There is no Dan Brown here. There is something with believeable substance That takes you into the past, present and future. Likeable characters, blended fact and fiction create a masterpiece in the thriller genre. One that stays with you for a long time.
Enjoy the ride ! You're going to travel from the Indian Ocean through Venetian tombs, Byzantine cathedrals and jungle-encrusted ruins - following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: Marco Polo.