Da Vinci C"/>
 

Map of Bones

James Rollins, Author
James Rollins, Author . Morrow $24.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-076387-9
Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005

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)

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