Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Doomsday Key (on CD)

The Doomsday Key
by James Rollins [Compact Disc Rollins]

I like books that weave history into a modern day plot. In this novel Rollins draws on the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 as his inspiration. This book was known as the great land survey. It provided extensive records of the landholders, their tenants, the amount of land they owned, how many people occupied the land (villagers, free men, slaves etc.), the amount of woodland, meadow, animals, fish and plows, all the buildings (churches, castles, mills, etc.) and the value of the land and its assets before the Norman Conquest, after the conquest and at the time of Domesday (the day of reckoning) for taxation purposes. The story does not hinge on the prosperous parts of England but on some of the areas that were declared, "wasted" in the Domesday Book. William's army ravaged these places when they moved through England. Here, Rollins takes artistic license and he creates a "wasted" village with unusual markings and a decimated population. The strange cause of the death of the villagers is as shocking as the odd markings. The centuries roll to modern times when three people are murdered on three continents. Jason Gorman, son of an influential United State Senator, sends an email about genetically modified corn to his father just before he is murdered in a Red Cross camp in Africa. His body is branded with a Druidic cross. A Vatican archeologist who is researching the roots of Celtic Christianity hides a leather pouch with a grizzly clue just before an assassin kills him in St. Peter's Basilica. A Druidic cross is burned into his flesh. A geneticist is tortured and murdered in his lab at Princeton University. He is seared with a Druidic cross. Each of these men was also connected to Viatus International, a company working on the genetic modification of seeds. Sigma Force, a clandestine Department of Defense agency, is assigned to look investigate these deaths. The Sigma Force leader, Painter Crowe divides his team and sends Grayson Pierce and Joe Kowalski to Rome to investigate the murder of the Vatican archeologist. They pursue the Doomsday Key -- an ancient cure to a potent fungus that can be used for biological warfare as well as to control the world food supply. Crowe and Monk Kokkalis head to Norway where Ivar Karlsen, the head of Viatus International has called a World Food Summit. This CD was good company when I drove through the sandhills on a quiet highway. The flippant humor sprinkled throughout story amused me. The historical aspect was fascinating. I enjoyed the notes that Rollins provided at the end. This section is called "The Author's Note to Readers: Truth or Fiction." It gave details about several elements portrayed in the book. The prophecies by Saint Malachy are eerily on target. The history surrounding the Domesday Book is intriguing. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Steve Berry, the works of Dan Brown, and the works of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in print format.]

[ official Doomsday Key page on the official James Rollins web site ]

Have you listened to or read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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