In the Seychelles, a woman is taken by Somali pirates. It soon becomes apparent that her kidnappers are no ordinary pirates: they seem unusually interested in the child she’s carrying. And here’s a further complication: the woman is the daughter of the U.S. president. Sigma Force, the special-ops arm of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), races into action, but they have no idea what they are up against, or what’s at stake, until it’s almost too late. As usual, Rollins mixes the action with healthy doses of historical mystery and modern-day conspiracy (this time involving the Bachal Isu, otherwise known as the Staff of Jesus, and the quest for immortality). Fans of Rollins’ brand of adventure will completely enjoy the latest in the Sigma Force series, while newcomers—attracted, perhaps, by the ripped-from-the-headlines Somali pirates element—should immediately be swept up by his fast-paced storytelling style (short chapters, short paragraphs, minimal scene-setting narration, plenty of action). Rollins is a proven commodity, with a large fan base, and his latest hits all the right notes.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, July 2012.