Map of Bones – James Rollins

I told you it wouldn’t take me long to get back to the Sigma Team; I didn’t lie.  Now, there’s always a risk that a sequel won’t live up to the original (movies provide us with numerous examples:  The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Speed 2: Cruise Control, and Caddyshack II to name but a few).  Movies also provide us with examples where the sequel is up to the challenge, though (The Godfather: Part II, Die Hard 2, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo… just seeing if you were paying attention there). 

With novels, I find the greater threat is that they become formulaic.  When I started reading the novels of James Patterson, I couldn’t get enough of the Alex Cross series. After the first five or six, they were beginning to become pretty predictable.  While I stuck with them until the twelfth in the series, Cross, I quit that one mid-book.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.  

Fortunately, in my experience, that has been the exception much more than the rule.  And, even if it ends up being to case somewhere down the road with Mr. Rollins, there wasn’t much threat that it would happen in the second book.   Map of Bones is another barn burner that allows you to suspend your disbelief for a while and enjoy the global escapades of the secret group of warrior scientists as they investigate a bizarre robbery of a Catholic Church in Cologne, Germany in which the bones of the Three Magi are stolen during a midnight mass.  More bizarre is that all of the worshipers who partook of communion mysteriously die, apparently by being electrocuted, while those who did not participate in the Eucharist survived the electrocution only to be gunned down by the thieves.  The Sigma Team joins forces with the Vatican in a race to discover who is behind the theft/murders and beat them to the ultimate prize.

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