Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to "unlock" her mind long enough to ask a few questions.
What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history—a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?
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It begins in Africa . . .
A United Nations relief team in a small village in the Congo makes an alarming discovery. An unknown force is leveling the evolutionary playing field. Men, women, and children have been reduced to a dull, catatonic state. The environment surrounding them—plants and animals—has grown more cunning and predatory, evolving at an exponential pace. The insidious phenomenon is spreading from a cursed site in the jungle — known to locals as the Kingdom of Bones —and sweeping across Africa, threatening the rest of the world.
What has made the biosphere run amok? Is it a natural event? Or more terrifyingly, did someone engineer it?
Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force are prepared for the extraordinary and have kept the world safe, vigilance for which they have paid a tragic personal price. Yet, even these brilliant and seasoned scientific warriors do not understand what is behind this frightening development—or know how to stop it. As they race to find answers, the members of Sigma quickly realize they have become the prey.
To head off global catastrophe, Sigma Force must risk their lives to uncover the shattering secret at the heart of the African continent—a truth that will illuminate who we are as a species and where we may be headed . . . sooner than we know.
Mother Nature—red in tooth and claw—is turning against humankind, propelling the entire world into the Kingdom of Bones.
If the biblical plagues of Egypt truly happened—could they happen again—on a global scale?
Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story. The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone had begun to mummify the professor’s body—while he was still alive.
His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt. The medical team who had performed the man’s autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo. Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force. The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses. As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises.
Are those plagues starting again?
Before Director Crowe can investigate, a mysterious group of assassins leaves behind a fiery wake of destruction and death, erasing all evidence. With the professor’s body incinerated, his home firebombed, Sigma Force must turn to the archaeologist’s only daughter, Jane McCabe, for help. While sifting through what’s left of her father’s work, she discovers a puzzling connection tying the current threat to a shocking historical mystery, one involving the travels of Mark Twain, the genius of Nikola Tesla, and the adventures of famous explorer Henry Morgan Stanley.
To unravel a secret going back millennia, Director Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce will be thrust to opposite sides of the globe. One will search for the truth, traveling from the plague-ridden streets of Cairo to a vast ancient tomb buried under the burning sands of the Sudan; the other will struggle to stop a mad genius locked within a remote Arctic engineering complex, risking the lives of all those he holds dear.As the global crisis grows ever larger, Sigma Force will confront a threat born of the ancient past and made real by the latest science—a danger that will unleash a cascading series of plagues, culminating in a scourge that could kill all of the world’s children . . . decimating humankind forever.