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The Bone Labyrinth: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins


Author: James Rollins

Publisher: William Morrow


Publish Date: December 15, 2015

ISBN-10: 62381644

Pages: 496

File Type: epub,mobi,lrf,lit,htmlz,pdb,azw

Language: English

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Book Preface

April 29, 10:32 A.M. CEST

Karlovac County, Croatia

We shouldn’t be here.

A trickle of superstitious dread stopped Roland Novak on a switchback of the trail. He raised his hand against the morning sun and stared at the craggy mountaintop ahead. Black clouds stacked in the distance.

According to Croatian folktales—stories he had heard as a child—during stormy nights, witches and fairies would gather atop the summit of Klek Mountain, where their screams would be heard all the way to the neighboring city of Ogulin. It was a peak haunted by tales of the unwary or the unlucky meeting horrible fates.

For centuries, such legends had kept the peak fairly unmolested. But in the past few decades that had changed when the crag’s towering cliffs drew an ever-increasing number of local rock climbers. Still, this was not why Roland and the others risked scaling the northern side of the mountain this morning.

“It’s not much farther,” Alex Wrightson promised. “Best we be in and out before the storm hits.”

The British geologist led the foursome, looking as solidly built as these peaks, though he had to be close to seventy years old. He wore khaki hiking shorts despite the chill, revealing strong, wiry legs. His snow-white hair, fuller than Roland’s own receding blond hairline, was tucked under a climbing helmet.

“That’s the third time he’s claimed that,” Lena Crandall mumbled under her breath to Roland. A fine sheen of perspiration from the hour-long climb made her cheeks glow, but she didn’t seem winded. Then again, she was in her midtwenties, and from the well-worn boots on her feet, he figured she must do a fair amount of hiking herself.

She stared at the skies, studying the towering wall of dark clouds. “Luckily I was able to get here a day early,” she said. “Once that storm breaks, these mountains will be swamped for who knows how long.”

In acknowledgment of that threat, the group set a harder pace up the unmarked trail. Lena unzipped her thermal expedition jacket and adjusted an old backpack higher on her shoulders. It bore the logo for Emory University, her alma mater in Atlanta, Georgia. Roland knew little else about this American, except that she was a geneticist who had been called away from a fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. And like Roland, she was equally in the dark about the reason behind this sudden summons by the British geologist and his partner, a French paleontologist.

As they climbed, Dr. Dayne Arnaud spoke in low whispers with Wrightson, and though Roland could not make out the paleontologist’s words, especially with the man’s thick French accent, the researcher plainly sounded irritated. So far neither of the men had shared any more details concerning the group’s destination or what they had discovered here.

Roland forced himself to be patient. He had grown up in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, but he knew all the stories surrounding this peak of the Dinaric Alps. Its summit bore an uncanny resemblance to a giant lying on its back. It was said to be the body of the giant Klek, who battled the god Volos and was turned to stone for his affront. Before being petrified, the giant swore that he would one day break free from his slumber and exact revenge upon the world.

Roland felt a flicker of superstitious unease.

Because that giant had been rumbling of late…………………Download to read more

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