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The Doomsday Key    by James Rollins Amazon.com order for
Doomsday Key
by James Rollins
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William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Okay, I thought, as I opened James Rollins' latest, The Doomsday Key, another Da Vinci Code thriller with all the religious significance and delving into the murky past for hidden clues to some great find. But the guy is a good writer one of the best so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Am I glad I did? You betcha.

The Doomsday Key involves more than religion. Obviously Rollins is concerned about the state the world is in and is trying to bring its sad condition to our attention. Overpopulation is the greatest threat we have. How can we possibly feed the masses? Then there is the diminishing food supply and genetically modified crops. These alone are enough to worry about, but the characters in The Doomsday Key have another problem. They are committed to finding that key to save the world. Quite a burden to place upon anyone's shoulders. But this group of people took the quest upon themselves. To compound the problem, another group is dedicated to stopping them for their own benefit. What benefit? Money, of course. Isn't that what makes the world go round?

Plenty of action keeps everyone on their toes, from Norway to Wales. Parts seem to drag but soon pick up with more bloodshed crossbow arrows loaded with explosives, gunshot wounds, copper spikes descending from above, polar bears. Name it. It happens. The characters are strapped for time maybe that's why I never really connected with them. But it's a good, tightly written plot with various curves that straighten out as the story progresses. Research! Wow! A lot of the background the reader might take as fiction to further the storyline. However, at the back of the book are tip notes that back Rollins' use of real places and happenings.

The finale or what the reader might feel is the end is a shocker. This is a book that we should all read for the good story that it contains, but also for the warnings that are all in front of us. Will we take them seriously? That remains to be seen.

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