Books Read in 2016

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1. Crimson Shore - Preston & Child - My first book of the year. In this story A. X. L. Pendergast and Constance Greene are called to the north eastern port town of Exmouth to investigate the theft of an extensive wine collection. Pendergast in his thoroughness researches the history of the town and many of its occupants. His presences in the town make many people nervous including the soon to retire sheriff. Constance Greene finds out the town has a history of witchcraft connected to Salem which is not very far away. There is a subplot in the story about a ship that was misled into crashing onto the rocks outside Exmouth because the residents were starving and wanted to plunder the ship for food. Unknown to many, the captain of this ship was transporting a cache of rubies to the new world so he was captured and tortured but never revealed that he had swallowed the gems to keep them safe. He was eventually chained up in the town's lighthouse and left to die. Pendergast finds where the captain was buried while investigating the wine theft and determines the theft was just a cover for retrieving the skeleton and the gems. In the meantime other people searching of signs of the lost ship get murdered. Pendergast realizes that many of the existing community members are descendants of the people who caused the ship to crash and were carrying the secret with them. Eventually Pendergast determines the murders and the wine theft were perpetrated by two brothers and with that thought the case was solved. Constance however doesn't think the story was over and felt that witches were deeply involved. Just when the Exmouth residents were beginning to calm down after the murders a monster sweeps through town and kills many of the towns residents. In trying to understand what is happening, Constance and Pendergast follow the monster's trail back to a, thought to be deserted, church where they find a modern day witches coven. The witches who escaped from Salem relocated to Exmouth 150 years earlier and have been breeding deformed human creatures as part of their devil worship. It was their creature that escaped and killed all of the members of the coven who had kept the creature prisoner. In the final battle with the creature Pendergast is severely wounded and swept out to sea and that is where the story ends. Is he alive or isn't here ? I guess we will find out in a later book. I'm guessing he made it out safely somehow but that is just a guess (;>).
2. The 6th Extinction - James Rollins - Having tired of Pendergast novels I looked for a new author that also combines intrigue and science in the stories and that led me to James Rollins. I had actually read one of his books, Subterranean,  a long time ago and then forgot about him. Well I may well have a new favorite author. This book is part of the Sigma Force series. In this book a super secret biotech military base in Owen Valley near Mono Lake is destroyed by bio terrorists resulting in the spread of a toxin that seems impervious to everything and kills everything in its path. To make matters worse a mad genius named Cutter Ewes has forces out killing anyone associated with the base or who saw what happened. A woman ranger from Mono Lake is targeted because she saw the terrorists leaving the base after the explosion. It quickly becomes apparent that scientists don't know how to stop the spread of the toxin so people in charge bring in a nuclear device hoping that setting this off will stop it even though the blast would make Yosemite and Owens Valley uninhabitable for a long time. At the same time Cutters rival has set up a lab in Antarctica where he is experimenting with non DNA based life forms found there. Cutter needs his rival's technology (that is why he destroyed the base) so he can complete his bio engineered toxin that he wants to release into the world that will remove humans intellect and make us all into cattle for his manipulation. There was actually three stories going on at once in this novel. One in Owens Valley, one in Antarctica and one at Cutters secret hideout in the mountains of Brazil. This was a good story with lots of action. I'm definitely ready to read another James Rollins book.
3. Subterranean - James Rollins - This is the third time I have read this book over about a decade and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. This was Rollin's first book and it set his career in motion. It is about a group of scientists who are picked to explore ancient ruins found in a deep cavern under Mt Erebus in Antarctica. Little did these scientists know but no one from a previous expedition into these caves ever returned. This time there would be an armed presence to protect the scientists. The scientists venture into a cavern through an opening drilled through a mile of ice to Alpha Cavern where a base has been set up. The immediately find evidence of an ancient civilization when they come upon an apartment like complex of dwelling carved out of solid rock. They proceed deeper into the earth through a series of small wormholes on skateboard like transports but soon find they are not alone. They encounter a series of creatures that live in the caverns that want to kill them for food and later they come across a society of creatures they must cooperate with if they have any hope for survival. They find rooms made of diamonds during their travels. The geologist in their group turns out to be a plant from a famous diamond producer with orders to blow up the site to prevent any diamond extraction so they can keep control of the diamond market. In order to accomplish his task he kills any member of the team who gets in his way. Of course there is a love story going on as well. This is a great story and a real page turner.
4. Excavation - James Rollins - In this story the discovery of a mummy in the Andes starts a whole sequence of events in motion. A curious substance found inside the mummy's head is found to have profound, not of this Earth, properties. Unfortunately it also attracts a sect of religious monks who have protected the secret of SubstanceZ for five hundred years and will do anything to anyone in their quest for acquiring more of the substance. They believe that if they get enough they will be able to cause the second coming of Christ. A group of graduate students are left to  dig at a site in the Andes near where the mummy was found that turned out to be an ancient pyramid filled with treasures which then leads them to a room full of SubstanceZ. They become trapped in the pyramid when the entrance is blown up by the monks and they must make their way through an underground cave system which has many types of proto-human beasts that are bent on eating them. When they finally make their way out they find an intact Inca village that has been cut off from the outside world. In the end a battle ensues where the monks kill all of the villagers and attempt to kill the scientists so they can get all of the SubstanceZ but end up dead themselves. This was another good read. I'm convinced the author, like me, loves volcanoes and caves as they seem to be a reoccurring theme in his books.
5. Deep Fathom - James Rollins - The book starts off with the President of the United States who is watching an eclipse from the island of Guam on a diplomatic mission with the Chinese. While the eclipse starts off fine, there are earthquakes on the island and the President is forced to evacuate on Air Force One.

At the same time, Jack Kirkland is on an underwater salvage mission in the Pacific, trying to salvage gold bricks from a sunken Japanese ship when an underwater earthquake occurs causing an underwater volcanic eruption and the magma consequently consumes the ship taking all but one brick of the gold with it. Kirkland returns to his ship, a salvage boat - Deep Fathom, with the brick and shares the disappointment with his team when they are radioed by the U.S. Navy to go to a site close to where they are. Though reluctant, the Deep Fathom proceeds towards the co-ordinates given.

On the other side, Canadian Professor Karen Grace and Professor Miyuki Nakano, Karen's Japanese friend from Ryukyu University, are in Okinawa trying to get to the jetty during a curfew. Undeterred by earthquakes, they escape from patrols and get to the boat which Karen had hired to take them to the twin dragons, submerged pyramids which had come above the sea level along with a whole city. When they get there they go to a large pyramid to explore but are interrupted with three men come from nowhere and ask them to leave. The women refuse and after being chased deep into the pyramid, they find a star-shaped crystal. Using the crystal, the women escape and return to Okinawa.

Kirkland and his ship are requested to salvage at a crash site, which turns out to be the site where Air Force One crashed after taking off from Guam. Meanwhile, David Spangler, a covert operations commander and an old acquaintance of Kirkland is ordered by his boss in CIA and the vice-president to secure the black boxes of the crashed plane. Spangler, turns out to be the brother of Kirkland's fiancee, who was killed during a botched space mission, and now vengeful, blaming Jack for his sister's death. Spangler decides to kill Kirkland as a side operation.

Kirkland uses the Deep Fathom's submersible to find the crash site and along with it, a huge crystal pillar sticking out the ground with the plane's debris all around it. He also finds that all the metal from the plane seems to be magnetized as they work to get the pieces above. Another peculiarity is that his submersible seems to lose contact to the ship every time he goes near the pillar and he takes more pictures for his team to study of the pillar. Kirkland and his team do not inform the Navy about the pillar but start investigating it on their own after they find ancient script on the pillar. Though slow work, they eventually find the plane's black boxes, which are taken away by Spangler who subsequently orders Deep Fathom off the site.

The writing is the same as that found by Karen Grace in the pyramid tunnel. She responds to the emails and decides to meet with Kirkland at Okinawa. Before Kirkland leaves, Spangler sets up two bombs to kill everyone but the one with Kirkland goes out of range before Spangler could detonate it. Kirkland and Grace then go to the risen pyramids and are attacked by fighter jets, when they get away they are found by the people who tried to kill Karen the last time she was there. Only, this time they don't try to kill them. The men, one who is named Mwahu, take them back to Okinawa.

When they meet with Miyuki they discover that the inscriptions are Rongorongo through the use of Miyuki's computer system which is an Artificial Intelligence system and how the same writing is found in many other places around the world theorizing that there was one major civilization which actually traveled and populated the other parts of the world. Soon Kirkland gets a call from his ship the Deep Fathom telling him they have a bomb aboard and when the phone terminates he believes that the bomb had exploded. Spangler, who had tapped into the call, is happy as Kirkland's ship and friends were now gone.

Karen, Kirkland and Miyuki then go to the pyramid city with Mwahu to following the first civilizations clues but when they arrive they are attacked by Spangler's men. Karen is caught, but the others escape and Kirkland is found by the Deep Fathom's crew who are still alive because they defused the bomb and sent out a false message to trick Spangler. Kirkland decides to rescue Karen and when he arrives on Spangler's ship he is fought off by Spangler and his men. Kirkland's team finds out that soon the world is going to be destroyed when a new solar flare hits the pillar by the crash site of Air Force One.

Karen is taken to an underwater research base by the pillar where she is kept as prisoner. When she can send them a message they decide on another strategy for rescuing Karen. When Kirkland leaves this time in his submersible towards the underwater station he is attacked by Spangler in another submersible. After a brief fight Spangler is killed by the giant squid which tried to attack Kirkland earlier. Kirkland manages to get on board the deserted underwater base and is told by his team aboard his ship that they are going to destroy the pillar to prevent the destruction of the Earth by shooting it with a particle beam from a satellite that Kirkland had placed in space during his space mission. When the pillar is destroyed, the time continuum is modified and the world goes on like it would have on the day of the eclipse without the devastating earthquakes.
6. Bloodline - James Rollins - A decent story but without caves and volcanoes like many of Rollins other novels. This is a story about a rich and ancient family that has been trying to reach immortality for hundreds of years at any cost. Some members of the family make up the Guild, a little known criminal enterprise,  which has been manipulating its genetics in the quest for immortality. The president of the USA who is a member of the family has no idea what other more powerful members of his family are trying to do until they kidnap his pregnant daughter so they can get her baby which has been genetically modified with 3 strand DNA. The story centers around trying to rescue the baby before it is killed for their "research". A decent read but not one of Rollins' best in my opinion.
7. The Eye of God - James Rollins - This story brings together dark energy, comets,  Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and the Sigma Force team. A satellite crashes in Mongolia, but before it does, it transmits what appears to be an image of Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C., in ruins. The image, it turns out, is time-shifted from the very near future by about 90 hours (there’s a rather laborious scientific explanation for how this could happen). Painter Crowe, head of Sigma, tries to understand the situation while operative Gray Pierce learns of an ancient relic that seems to predict imminent disaster. In four days, the end of the world is set to begin and the highly skilled Sigma team tries to stop it. A famous Vatican archaeologist and his daughter find relics of Genghis Khan including a book covered with his skin and his skull which has ancient writing on it. This points to a cross which was made from rocks that fell from the sky which turns out to be from a comet that is approaching the Earth. It turns out the comet and the cross are quantumly entangled which is causing the comet to head directly for Earth and it is bring swarms of large asteroids with it. The Sigma Force team travels all over the world trying to find the cross which they eventually do and coupled with a piece of the crashed satellite break the enganglement and save the Earth from disaster. A far fetched but kind of fun read.
8. Instinct - Jeremy Robinson - A new author for me who seems to write stories along the lines of James Rollins. This is a story about a deadly plague that only affects men and as a result has the potential to wipe out the whole human race. The plague has no symptoms but causes the heart to stop suddenly resulting in death unless the heart is shocked back to life. The Chess Team made up of special forces people named king, rook, pawn, queen, bishop, knight etc. is dispatched to Vietnam where the weaponized plague was developed. Each male team member has had a defibrillator implanted into their chest to prevent death from the plague as they are all infected. Their task; to find a cure before it is to late as even the President of the United States is infected and the whole White House is quarantined. Upon being dropped via parachute into the back country of Vietnam they find a village completely torn apart and are quickly engulfed in a conflict between the Vietnamese Army and a separatist army group looking to secure this part of the country. After escaping from the conflict they come upon a society of Neanderthals that has remained hidden for thousands of years and want to stay that way. The Neanderthals are lead by an archaeologist who originally found them and was forced to mate with a female or be killed. The mating resulted in a hybrid which was more human like but still had the killer instinct of the Neanderthals. The Chess Team also found ancient cities built under a mountain where the secret society once lived and were preparing to do so again. The archaeologist developed an immunity to the plague as a result of his mating and the woman scientist on the Chess Team savagely bites him to mix his blood with hers and acquire the immunity so they can take it back and develop a vaccine. The Chess Team narrowly escape death from the armies and the monsters but live to return with the cure. This was a pretty good story that moved right along. I've check out another Robinson eBook already and will see his story telling keeps up.
9. Doomsday Key - James Rollins - A story about a Norwegian CEO who is secretly creating genetically modified foods to slowly kill off portions of the population in an effort to reduce the strain on Earth's resources. When a son of a US Senator is killed off in Africa while working on a test planting of the GMO corn, Sigma Force is called in to determine what happened. Their investigation leads them to an ancient Celtic site in England where a rare fungus is found in a bog that has the ability to keep people healthy well beyond their years and then to Norway to a seed repository sponsored by the CEO. Portions of the Sigma team are in conflict with each other but Gray Pierce and Painter Crowe piece the mystery together and route out the traitor in their midst. The scientific and mystical facts which form the basis of this novel are:
- The disappearance of bees from colonies worldwide
- Saint Malachy's prophecy concerning the 111 popes of Rome of which coincidentally, Pope Benedict is the 111th as predicted in the Saint's vision
- The hunger problem faced by the world in which the population is increasing exponentially while the food supply isn't
- Genetically modified crops & the scary possibilities faced by mankind due to rash & unethical experimentation
This was a good read because it combined history and science in a believable way.
10. Amazonia - James Rollins - This is a story about Nate who's joined a search in the Amazon for his father who was presumed dead after leading an expedition into the jungle and never coming back. A soldier, who was part of the expedition, stumbled into a jungle village after having regrown an arm he had lost previously. Nate, some of his friends and colleagues are accompanied by a an elite military unit back into the jungle to find out what happened to his father's party and to uncover how the soldier regrew his arm. Unfortunately the soldier died and when his body is shipped back to the US for study everyone who came in contact with the body contracted a fatal disease. Nate's expedition is plagued at every step by bizarre animals that no one had ever seen before trying to kill them. They eventually find a hidden native people called the Ban-ali who posses extremely good health by being in proximity to an ancient Yaggi tree. Come to find out a French pharmaceutical company has hired a group of mercenaries to follow Nate's group and steal anything they find that could be made into new drugs especially any that could cure the fatal disease spreading across the US thereby making them extremely wealthy. The mercenaries eventually attack Nate's group and kill most of the Ban-ali as they think the sap of the Yaggi tree holds the cure they are seeking. The mercenaries tie up Nate's group and plant bombs around the Ban-ali village to kill everyone left behind and destroy all the evidence of their activities. Luckily Nate is untied by his dead friend's jaguar and frees everyone left to die. They also discover a secret way out of the valley and catch and kill most of the mercenaries. In the end Nate and his traveling partner Kelly get engaged and have a baby. This was a good read for sure.
11. Strange Shores - Arnaldur Indridason - This is my first book by this Icelandic author and a somewhat strange story it was. In the story an off duty policeman returns to where he was born and stays in a broken down house he lived in as a child. He becomes interested in what really happened to a young woman who disappeared while trying to make a journey in the back country of Iceland during a raging storm. The cop also lost his younger brother in the same storm and he finds bits and pieces of evidence as to his brothers last moments. The cop interviews all of the people who knew the woman and slowly pieces together her story. In the end he determines the woman was not killed in the storm by killed by her jealous husband upon finding out about an affair she was having. He finds her buried remains in a grave with another person as the husband was a grave digger for the local church. He also finds bones that he believes to be from his brother. This was a somewhat dark story that reflects the feeling I had when Heather and I visited Iceland. I may look up other books by this author to see what he has done.
12. The Last Oracle - James Rollins - Another interesting story by Rollins that is hard to summarize. Sigma gets involved with some autistic children that have had their intellect enhanced by electronic implants in a secret Russian laboratory. The goal is to use these enhanced children to guide a new powerful Russia to world domination. To do this however, the bad guys try to empty a highly radioactive lake near Chernobyl (which according to the author really does exist) into the water table and then into the Arctic ocean thereby poisoning much of the western world. In the mean time a famous scientist is mysteriously killed outside the Sigma headquarters at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. In following up this murder Sigma operatives go to India and find a mysterious Greek city containing artifacts from Delphi in Greece and come to understand the history of the Romani or Gypsies. They also see images in a hidden temple which shows a young boy burning in an attempt to save the world. The bad guys also try to sabotage the closing of the enclosure over Chernobyl and cause a radiation leak meant to kill all of the world leaders in attendance. Both plans are foiled by Sigma and the enhanced children and Monk is found (they thought he was dead) and starts the recovery of his memory. A good story all in all.
13. The Ice Limit - Preston & Child - I haven't read a book by these guys since the first of the year and I can say they are back with a good book with a very good story line. In this story what seems like a meteorite is discovered by a professional meteor hunter on Deception Island south of South America and very near the ice limit where cold Antarctic waters mix with warmer water to create some of the worst weather on the planet. When a billionaire hears of this he decides he needs this meteorite for the science museum he is building and so mounts an expedition to retrieve it from the Chilean island. Further research revels that this meteor weight ~20,000 tons making this the heaviest object ever attempted to be moved by man. The billionaire hires EES a consulting firm headed by Eli Glinn to plan the extraction down to the last detail. Soon   a retrofitted oil tanker makes it way to the island. Knowing they are being watch by the Chilean authorities they make it look like they are mining for iron and gold while they move the meteorite towards the tanker for transport. All scientific tests seem to indicate the meteorite is inert but twice it released an electric pulse that has vaporized anything and everything around it. Further research determine that the energy pulse is caused by the meteorite coming into contact with salt.

A Chilean military colonel  finds out what they are really doing on the island and tries to destroy their ship and all aboard. This results in a high sea chase that takes the ships beyond the ice limit where the military ship finally sinks in high seas. However the damage done to the tanker by the bombardment causes the tanker with the meteorite to sink as well killing most of the crew.

The scientists who analyzed the meteorite finally determine that it wasn't a meteorite at all but a seed sent from somewhere in the universe to plant itself when it finds conditions favorable to it; hence the salt water. The term for this is panspermia. The story ends with scientists determining that the seed has just sprouted in the waters off of Antarctica. I have the follow on book, "Beyond the Ice Limit" on hold at the library where this story continues.
14. The Bone Labyrinth - James Rollins - An interesting story dealing with genetic engineering that combines science, adventure, historical mystery, archeology, technology, and legend in a inventive tale that connects early man and the fate of the Neanderthals, while exploring the evolution of human intelligence from its wellspring to where we, as a species, may be headed next.Two sister scientists are studying what caused the "Great Leap Forward" (an expression describing the rapid increase in human intelligence that happened about 50,000 years ago) get kidnapped along with their gorilla subject named Baako by a team of Chinese who are trying to use their knowledge to build a better soldier. Sigma is called in to find out the fate of a scientific team investigating a cave in Croatia and gets dragged into a conflict that spans multiple continents. The twists and turns in this story are to numerous to mention. Subplots dealing with Atlantis, Catholic Priests, numerology and others things fill this story. I found the references to the two prime numbers 37 and its mirror 73 particularly interesting.  I had no idea they played such an important role in the human life and in the universe in general. Although I didn't grasp all of the details put forth by Rollins, I did enjoy reading this novel.
15. Altar of Eden - James Rollins - Another story about genetic modification of animals and humans which takes place in Louisiana. After a freighter is found crashed in the swamp an investigation into its cargo yields a collection of animals that were obviously not normal. During the investigation, a genetically engineered saber tooth tiger escapes and heads for the mainland from the swamp. An organization called ACRES off loaded the animals just in time before the freighter explodes. It becomes obvious that whoever was responsible for these abused animals did not want to have a trail left back to them. As an explanation is sought for the animals the tiger terrorizes an alligator farm and the boy scouts camping out there. Eventually the tiger is put down but when examined closely it is found that its brain has what looks like a fractal antenna. Examination of the other animals from the freighter find the same antenna and it is determined the animals have some form of non verbal communication. The animals turn out to have been created by a less than moral military contractor who is using genetic engineering in an attempt to create a better soldier. These commandos storm ACRES in an attempt to kill the animals and anyone who has come in contact with them to keep their secrets safe. They fail but do manage to kidnap the head woman scientist and take her to their secret lab in the swamps to see what she knows and to see if she could help them fix problems with their creations. A group of people take off for the secret base to attempt a rescue and ther eventually do. All of the bad guys are killed and the two main characters end up getting married. This was a good story like the other Rollins books.
16. The Judas Strain - James Rollins - In this story the Guild (the bad guys) gain access to a strain of deadly virus from the time of Marco Polo and unleash it on Christmas Island as an experiment only to kill much of the wild life and many of the human inhabitance. Members of Sigma force are sent in to help investigate the outbreak and are captured by the Guild. Seichan, one of the Guilds assassins,  attempts to break free of the Guild and is shot in her escape attempt. She then helps Sigma uncover the history of the virus which leads the crew to Anchor Wat and Anchor Thom in Thailand. One of the Christmas Island scientists Susan who was initially infected lives through the infection and becomes the medium of the cure. Nassar another Guild assassin is sent to kill Seichan and to recover Susan so the Guild would have access to the virus and its cure so they could sell it to the highest bidder. In the end Nassar is killed (yeah) and the cure is given to the world to prevent a world wide pandemic. This was a good story like the other Rollins books. He seems to be able to continually crank out good stories.
17. Ice Hunt - James Rollins - A secret but abandoned WWII Russian research lab is found embedded in an ice island in the Arctic where they were studying freezing and thawing humans. Matt, a fish and game warden in the Brooks Range of Alaska is drawn into a plot when he rescues Craig, who he thinks is a news reporter, from a plane crash only to find out later that he was a CIA agent. From the moment of the rescue Matt is hunted by unknown assassins and everyone one he comes in contact with is placed at risk as well including his ex-wife. A large group of American scientists are brought to the Arctic base to try and understand the work that was being done there. There they find Grendels which are whales with feet that were frozen solid but come back to life when thawed and are very hungry and pissed off. The base becomes a mini war zone between the US, Russia (and the Grendels) as they are both trying to recover the research for their own uses.  Many of the scientists are killed off when they try to escape but luckily Matt and friends are saved at the last minute by their ingenuity. It turns out that both the Russians and the American Delta Force are given orders to secure the research and leave no prisoners. Luckily there is an American research sub in the area that finally gets the survivors out. This was another good read from Rollins. The writing about the Arctic is so good I got seriously cold just reading the story.
18. Tracker - James Rollins - A short story about an ex-service man Tucker and his dog Kane. Tucker is in a cafe when he notices an out of place woman who seems to be hiding from someone. As you watches he sees the serious bad guys the woman is running from and being a gentleman gets himself right in the middle of her situation. Come to find out the woman's father found some old Jewish documents that told where some WWII treasure had been hidden in an old Jewish cemetery and the bad guys are after her to make her father tell them where it is. Tucker gets captured in the process but Kane comes to his rescue. In the end the bad guys are killed and the treasure is recovered and used to help people in need. Turns out Tucker and Kane show up again in his book BloodLine. This was a good story but way to short.
19. Threshold - Jeremy Robinson - An OK story about an immortal man,  Ridley, who has learned the "original language" of Adam and Eve and Moses that has the power to animate inanimate objects (like stone) and turn them into golums (an ancient Jewish legend) and of course he uses this power for evil. Using the original language Ridley plans on turning the human race into passive slaves that will worship him as God. The Chess team is called into action when Kings foster child Fiona is kidnapped because she is the last remaining speaker of the language of her people who were all wiped out and Ridley is gathering up all last remaining speaker of all languages to learn as much as possible about the original language. The Chess team is dispersed all over the world to try and save the last remaining speakers before Ridley can snatch them up. King has Alexander or Hercules on his side who is also an immortal with incredible strength and he is needed to fight off the golums who can neither feel pain or be afraid. In the end Ridley is captured after only partially regenerating from a massive wound sustained during the final battle with the Chess team. The story was a little hard to believe even though it is science fiction so it didn't excite me as much as the other books I read.
20. Golden Buddha - Clive Cussler - An interesting story about the Corporation, Juan Cabrillo and his ship, the Oregon, and how they were hired (they are mercenaries after all) to steal the Golden Buddha (700 pounds of solid gold) that was stolen from the Dali Lama during his exile in India. Returning the Golden Buddha to Tibet and the Dali Lama was a precursor to Tibet throwing off Chinese power and retaking their country. So the Corporation set up a massive undertaking by organizing the governments of the USA, China and Russia to all cooperate in returning the Dali Lama to his native country. There were so many characters and so much detail in this story I was somewhat lost at times but in the end the story made sense. I haven't read a Cussler novel in a while so I was glad he had written a new one. Not one of his best, but a good story never the less.
21. Blood Gospel - James Rollins with Rebecca Cantrell - An earthquake in Masada, Israel kills hundreds and reveals a tomb buried in the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigators, Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant archaeologist are sent to explore the macabre discovery, a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl. But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run, thrusting them into a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb’s sarcophagus: a book rumored to have been written by Christ’s own hand, a tome that is said to hold the secrets to his divinity. As the story unfolds Erin and Stone find help from an underground organization of the Catholic church made up of sanguines which are vampire like beings with super human strength who are pledged to Christ for the hope of salvation. They all battle the strigoi which are non redeemed vampires who want to get their hands on the book in hope that it can reverse their curse. The story concludes with an epic battle under St. Peters where the book is finally opened but its secrets are not revealed until the next book. This was a decent read but not one of his best.
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