The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
I guess it’s obvious that I’m hooked. It was less than a week ago that I wrote about The Judas Strain and here I am, writing about another James Rollins book. I just couldn’t resist buying one of his books and then I couldn’t put it down.
At first, I was almost afraid to read another of his books, in fear that after the great experience I had with the first one, this one might be a let down. Nope. The Doomsday Key definitely met and exceeded expectations.
Again, the mash up of genres: archaeological adventure, science/medical thriller, historical fiction, and more. This time, there was even more Vatican/Roman Catholic involvement in the plot and, although I’m sure it would be controversial to some, I certainly enjoyed the read.
This time the plot follows a little more in order (or perhaps I am just getting used to Rollins’ writing). Instead of five different storylines to follow, now there are really three primary lines to keep up with, making it much easier to follow when you do have to put it down (darn work!).
The story begins in the modern world (well, during Benedict XVI’s reign as pope), with three gruesome murders across the globe: one, in Rome, of a Vatican archaeologist; the second, in Africa, of a young man working at a Red Cross camp that is also doing research on GMO corn; and the third, of his genetics professor at Princeton. The main story, without ruining too much of the end, follows two key lines. The first, follows the investigation of the link between the second and third murders by Director Crowe, an investigation that reveals a great deal about the engineering going into GMO crops and the very real dangers of planting GMO seed. The second line follows Gray and his team as they follow the clues left by the Vatican Archaeologist, trying to find what it was that got him killed. As the danger mounts, both teams find themselves traveling around the globe to find the answers before it is too late.
The plot ends up involving Saints Bernard of Clairveaux and Malachy, Malachy’s prediction, the Black Madonna, and the ancient Egyptians. I, whose studies of Bernard of Clairveaux were limited to whatever Dr. John Sommerfeldt has told me, had no idea of the complicated conspiracy theories behind these two best-friend holy men. Rollins’ writing is just generous enough to keep from offending while entertaining and educating. Again, Rollins balances his incredible plot with compelling facts from history.
I give The Doomsday Key a solid 5. And, if you happen to have a copy of any of Rollins’ other books, I would love to borrow them.