"Blood Line" by James Rollins
Reviewed by David Marshall James
James Rollins is an author who obviously enjoys writing hyped-up thrillers, parting the curtains on seemingly futuristic technology that has already come to pass, while employing tried-and-true plot devices that never fail to vouchsafe-- okay, guarantee-- the reader's attention.
For instance, even with all his razzle-dazzle and flash-and-burn scenarios-- including subterranean evil-genius laboratories and heebie-jeebie little robot warriors, which summon memories of Karen Black's TV movie, "Trilogy of Terror"-- he puts a lovable dog on center stage.
The canine-- Kane-- has even earned a miltary rank in the Army Rangers, although you may well wonder why he's still just classified a major.
Maj. Kane is the partner of a captain who's assisting the Sigma special force, headquartered under the Smithsonian Castle.
President James Gant's daughter, Amanda, has fled with her husband, after receiving a mysterious, dire threat.
Sigma mobilizes when they learn she's been kidnapped, along with her almost-term unborn son.
The Guild-- an age-old group that has hidden itself in every secret society going back to "ism"-- has had a hand in genetically engineering the expected child, conceived via help from a fertility lab.
So, here's the crux-- Sigma vs. The Guild.
Here's a disturbing question: How much does the president know about the Guild?
And here's an unsettling ethical concern: When does morality draw an absolute line in the sand, if you will, against scientific research?
The Guild has gone freakin' Frankenstein-y with their experiments into genetic engineering toward achieving immortality.
Rollins rolls out the thrills in literal and figurative waves, with Maj. Kane and his handler, Cap. Tucker Wayne, putting the show over here.
Atypical Sigma member Kowalski's sense of humor and homemade pyrotechnics also prove most welcome, along with the author's barely contained glee at polishing off the bad guys, usually in spectacular and/or ironic fashion.
Gotta like that.
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