Crucible, a New Sigma Force Series Thriller by James Rollins

The Bottom Line: You never expect the Spanish Inquisition, but leave it to James Rollins to create a complex action/fantasy thriller that actually entertains and (mostly) makes sense.

James Rollins’ reliable Sigma Force series may be in its 13th installment, but that doesn’t mean his luck has turned. On the contrary, this may be a perfect entry point for newcomers to get in on the fun.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history — a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?

While there’s plenty of Rollins’ trademark history and theoretical science to digest, there’s also a healthy dose of fantasy. Just roll with the over-the-top storyline and enjoy. Perfect for Dan Brown fans waiting for the next Professor Langdon series novel.

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