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The Bone Labyrinth
by James Rollins
William Morrow, $27.99, 462pp
Published: December 2015

Every novel of James Rollins is always food for thought and the Bone Labyrinth is no different.

This is fundamentally a thrilling high-rev thriller with the Sigma Force Operatives to track down some mysterious artifacts and information about human intelligence.

Oh, don’t start yawning. For some reason, 50,000 years ago, mankind as a whole made a big leap in intelligence; tool-making, art and even rituals. And no one knows why. Many scientists believe it occurred  because mankind met up with other hominins in Europe and Asia—and the hybrids from matings between Neanderthals and early man developed better brains—brains able to make the leap into the beginnings of civilization.

And it all begins with the discovery of this long-hidden Catholic church in Croatia that contains the bones of a very unusual Neanderthal female.  And typical of Rollins’ Sigma novels we are ALL over the place tracking down clues as to the meaning of some obscure writings by a 17th century Catholic priest and his cohort that take us from Croatia to a primate center outside Atlanta, to the Vatican and to the Beijing Zoo and, most importantly, to a mysterious cavern system in the Ecuadorian Andes.

On Sigma Force we have stalwarts: Gray Pierce and Siechan, Joe Kowalski and twin sisters Lena and Maria Cardwell - two scientists intrigued by human intelligence and primate intelligence in the form of Baako a three-year-old lowland gorilla.

I couldn’t put this down with all the wonderful bizarre facts in this book, how convenient the circumference of the moon is to the earth (and in solar eclipses). The numbers 37 and 73….and the possibility of unknown species of hominin that may have been more advanced than the rest of our species thousands of years ago…and even more intriguing---the foundation for the legend of Atlantis.

If you read Rollins—this is just a terrific addition to his Sigma series and if you are new to him---this will suck you right into the wonderful and entertaining imagination of James Rollins. ~~ Sue Martin

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