The Doomsday Key: A Sigma Force Novel
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James Rollins, the New York Times bestselling master of nail-biting suspense and historical mystery, combines cutting-edge biotechnology with a centuries-old secret in an apocalyptic story that reveals where humankind is truly headed
The Doomsday Key
At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator's son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.
The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The first clue is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog--a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world.
Aided by two women from his past--one his exlover, the other his new partner--Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.
Sigma Force confronts humankind's greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint--an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key.
Gray shone his flashlight down into the interior of the sarcophagus. The hollow space was hewn out of the bluestone block. He had been expecting some moldering bones, but though there was room for a body, the sarcophagus was empty. Except for one item. A massive book, bound in thick leather, rested in the center. It stretched a foot wide, just as thick, and two feet long. It looked perfectly preserved. Most likely the tome hadn’t been disturbed since it was first closed up and sealed with wax.
ran a finger through the dust. “‘Here lies Meritaten, daughter of King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. She who crossed the seas and brought the sun god Ra to these cold lands.’” By the time the professor was done, his hands trembled as much as his voice. “The dark queen.” He turned, his eyes wide with shock. “She’s an Egyptian princess.” “Could that be possible?” Rachel asked. Gray stared through the stained glass. He remembered Father Rye’s tale of Bardsey Island, of the claim that the wizard
militarized and large scale in force and scope.” Painter sat straighter. “Attached to the same e-mail was a set of research files. The senator did not understand why they’d been forwarded, nor could he decipher their scientific content. Not knowing what else to do, he sent them to his son’s thesis professor at Princeton University, Dr. Henry Malloy.” “I’d like to see those files myself,” Painter said, beginning to understand why Sigma had been called into the matter. The strange attack, the
the barest flicker of pixels on the screen. They flowed toward the downed motorcycles. Even with such low resolution, Painter recognized the stalking pattern of true hunters. He mumbled to the screen, half plea, half prayer. “Get the hell out of there, Gray…” 8:36 A.M. Rome, Italy Rachel leaned on Gray’s shoulder. Each step sent a jolt of pain up her right leg. She had wrenched her knee tumbling into the subterranean region of the Coliseum. As she hopped alongside him, she searched around
appear natural.” “And you have that covered.” “We do. Leaving you free to focus fully on your objective.” Seichan read the threat behind the words. There would be no excuse for failure. Not if she wanted to live. As she listened to the mission specifics, she continued to watch the hotel window. Not focusing on Gray any longer, she stared at the Italian woman seated beside him. Rachel smiled at something the professor said, her eyes sparking warmly even across the cold distance. Seichan held