Thursday, January 10, 2019


Crucible by James Rollins
HarperCollins: 1/22/19
eBook review copy; 480 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062381781
Sigma Force Series #13 

Crucible by James Rollins is a very highly recommended action/adventure thriller and the 13th addition to the Sigma Force Series. Rollins never lets you down!

On Christmas Eve Sigma Force commander Gray Pierce and his best friend, Monk Kokkalis, return to Monk’s house in Silver Spring, Md., where they discover the house has been broken into and is a wreck. Monk’s wife, Kat, is lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. Even more alarming is that Monk's two daughters, six-year-old Penny and five-year-old Harriet, are gone, along with Gray's pregnant wife, Seichan. Kat is the only witness to what happened, but she is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak - until a way is found to communicate with her.

What they find out, along with other events, sends the team to the site of a massacre in Portugal. The lives of five women who led an international network of female scientists have been murdered and 21 year-old Mara Silviera, whose AI research they were funding, is missing. Somehow the current cutting edge AI research is tied to a group that dates back to the Spanish Inquisition, but the ultimate stakes are even more dire. 

Crucible is another exciting addition to the Sigma Force Series. Rollins always delivers pulse-pounding, nail-biting action and bases his story on historical facts and current scientific research resulting in a great mix of action, history, and science. The story itself is full of twists and surprise along with the trade-mark action you expect. As usual, do not skip Rollins author's notes at the end about his research for the novel. I've said it before, and I'm going to repeat myself here, but I appreciate the fact that Rollins treats his readers with respect and a nod to their intelligence and ability to comprehend a complex plot.

As expected the writing is impressive as the various plot threads move along and are all equally captivating. This was a novel that will result in the "just one more chapter" mantra. Although I have read almost all the Sigma Force novels in order, I think you could enjoy this one as a stand-alone as Rollins provides enough background information on the characters. There is, however, a greater depth to the story if you know the characters, their backgrounds, their struggles, and their relationships. I will always take the time to read anything Rollins writes. He always delivers a fast-paced interesting thriller.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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