By James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
In recent years, author James Rollins has sold thousands of books in his best-selling Sigma Force series. Rollins has written other standalone novels, but his most popular works continue to be the adventures of Painter Crowe and his teammates. Now, Rollins is teaming up with mystery writer Rebecca Cantrell to launch a new series with this short story. If this first taste is any indication, the new series could be as popular as Sigma Force.
This e-only novella introduces Sgt. Jordan Stone, a team leader for JEFF (Joint Expedition Forensic Facility), a CSI-esque group of investigators in Afghanistan. The team is called to investigate the massacre of a team of archaeologists in the titular “City of Screams,” Shahr-e-Gholghol. Upon arriving, the team discovers a lone survivor — a 10-year-old girl — and a terrifying mystery. In the 13th century, the conqueror Genghis Khan slaughtered more than 100,000 people at the site, and some believe the ghosts of that massacre still haunt the location today. Rollins and Cantrell play off this piece of history as well as some others in building a suspenseful story that ends far too quickly.
I knew it was a novella or short story going in, but I was still disappointed with just how short it was and just how quickly the story ended. I wanted to know more.
I am a huge Rollins fan and this book did nothing to change that opinion. From the little taste we get here, I like the new character of Sgt. Jordan Stone and am excited to see what the full-length novel holds. This short story did just what it was intended to do — introduce the new character and whet our appetite for what is to come.
In January, the first book in the new series will be released. Look for “The Blood Gospel,” the first book in the Order of the Sanguines series on Jan. 8, 2013.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “The City of Screams” a 4.5