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Black Order    by James Rollins Amazon.com order for
Black Order
by James Rollins
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William Morrow, 2006 (2006)
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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Let me get my breath! I just finished Black Order, the eighth of James Rollins' novels. Action started on the first page and never quit until the end of this highly exciting book.

Rollins uses different locales they almost read as three different stories and weaves them together expertly without a hesitation as to whom, what and where. Copenhagen, a base camp on Mount Everest, South Africa, a hollowed-out mountain in Poland, bits and pieces in the United States all meld together as one cohesive force to bring the reader a daring plot.

Charles Darwin's diary, scientific data that boggles the mind, evolution and devolution, grotesque creatures and gene-manipulated humans cover the pages, keeping the intrigue going. Just as I thought I had the author's thoughts figured out, he went off on another extraordinary tangent that proved easy to follow. Rollins provides a touch of humor in the character of Fiona, pickpocket extraordinaire. He wisely throws in to the plot mix man and woman's need for each other, even in the direst of circumstances, giving a bit of normalcy to the scene.

Commander Gray Pierce on a routine assignment in Copenhagen falls by chance into a pit he thinks he will never crawl out of. What follows is a series of explosions, gunfire, fires, exposure to deadly disease, kidnapping, torture, ambush, and the ride of his life. Black Order is a top drawer thriller.

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