Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Devil Colony by James Rollins (Sigma Force #7)

Publisher's Blurb: 
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery—hundreds of mummified bodies—stir international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies’ origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.
During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help—her uncle, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force. To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war across the nation’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.
From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies. But can he discover the truth before it destroys all he holds dear?

Review:  Oh, how I love James Rollins.  How much, you ask?  If the guy lived next to me I'd make him a crockpot of my homemade-everyone-in-my-family-will-actually-eat-it-happily chili con carne.  Every week.  With corn bread!  Just so he could keep on writing:-)
In the latest outing for the secret Sigma Force (a Black Ops government agency of soldier/spy/scientist men and women), Director Painter Crowe and Commander Gray Pierce have their hands full on multiple fronts, as each races to figure out the ancient technology unearthed in the Rocky Mountains.  The discovery of what appears to be gold tablets with a strange writing on them has triggered a scientific and geologic chain of events that may cause near-global destruction.  As if that was not enough, the Guild has a centuries-old knowledge of the existence of these plates, and is somehow tied to the founding of America.  Throw in complicated ties to Native Americans, Mormonism and geological and cultural events over the last two millennia, and the race is on.  Rollins is a superb action-thriller writer, and has also continued to add emotional and personal complexity through these novels, creating a richly developed group of characters who outshine the competition.  Painter's niece is involved in the first explosion, and is on the run, desperately calling Painter for help.  Gray is struggling to decide how best to help his parents, as his father sinks further into dementia and his mother fights to hold it together.  And Gray is still the secret handler of Seichan, who is working for Sigma.  Or is she?
Rollins has always excelled at creating a quilt-like thriller, sewing strands of action, mystery, science, myth, military, fact and fiction into a near-seamless fabric.  But where he truly distinguishes himself is his ability to do this same thing with the personal lives of his characters, without sinking into the simplicity of sex-based relationships (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and emotionally simplistic or one-dimensional people.
Such balance keeps me reading late into the night, and come June it will happen again when Bloodline is published.  I am especially anticipating this book after the shocking ending of The Devil Colony!

Check out his website at

Bloodline will be published on 6/26/2012.