Alter of Eden

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Alter of Eden

With blockbuster hits like Map of Bones, Judas Strain, and a slew of others, under his belt, fans of James Rollins have been waiting for Altar of Eden.   Even though this book moves away from his signature Sigma Force adventures, it’s still filled with nail biting suspense designed to keep you on the edge of your sofas.

Anxious to get back to the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRE) to find out more about the loss of power to the more than thousand acre facility located in New Orleans, Dr. Lorna Polk is none too thrilled to be pulled away by the Border Patrol for her assistance. She’s further irritated when she realizes the Field Operations Supervisor is her deceased boyfriend’s brother, Jack Menard. Despite her hesitation and discomfort, Lorna understands why she’s been called when she looks at all the carnage, and believes that this is a case of black market animal smuggling gone horribly wrong. As they look closer at these animals, both realize something even more sinister is going on; the intelligence of a featherless talking parrot, an intuitive jaguar cub and others that defy the imagination are enough to make the duo agree to put the past and years of hurt behind them to find out the stunning truth.

Rollins introduces bad guys like Duncan Kent who’s on a mission to silence any witnesses, the mad scientist Malik and others round out a book rich with multi-faceted characters to tell this brilliant story. Readers will be fascinated as they try to figure out what is fact and fiction in this phenomenal tale, and they’ll be intrigued when they actually land on the Island of Eden because that’s where this tale of wonder begins.  But with the persistence of Lorna and Jack, there is a frantic unraveling that will have you jumping for joy for some and crying with sadness for others. For those craving a little romance in your thrillers, Rollins offers that up too, and brilliantly depicts the chemistry between Jack and Lorna. Their story within a story tells of what happened to cause bad blood between them and is heart wrenching. If you have not read the work of this prolific genius, do yourself a favor and get Altar of Eden right now, then make a point to read everything else he’s ever written. This book is worth a 5++!

Book Blurb for Alter of Eden

Following the fall of Baghdad, two Iraqi boys stumble upon armed men looting the city zoo. The floodgates  have been  opened for the smuggling of hundreds of exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles to Western nations, but this crime hides a deeper secret. Amid a hail of bullets, an underground secret weapons lab is ransacked--and something even more horrific is set free. 

Seven years later, Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk stumbles upon a fishing trawler shipwrecked on a barrier island. The crew is missing or dead, but the boat holds a frightening cargo: a caged group of exotic animals, clearly part of a black market smuggling ring. 

Yet, something is wrong with these beasts, disturbing deformities that make no sense:  a parrot with no feathers, a pair of Capuchin monkeys conjoined at the hip, a jaguar cub with the dentition of a saber-tooth tiger. They also all share one uncanny trait--a disturbingly heightened intelligence.

To uncover the truth about the origin of this strange cargo and the terrorist threat it poses, Lorna must team up with a man who shares a dark and bloody past with her, now an agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, Jack Menard.

Together, the two must hunt for a beast that escaped the shipwreck while uncovering a mystery tied to fractal science and genetic engineering, all to expose a horrifying secret that traces back to mankinds earliest roots.

But can Lorna stop what is about to be born upon the altar of Eden before it threatens not only the world, but also the very foundation of what it means to be human?

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2010 5.00