Sandstorm (Sigma Force Series)

Sandstorm (Sigma Force Series)

by James Rollins

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum, setting off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world. And now the search for answers is leading Lady Kara Kensington; her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery’s brilliant and beautiful curator; and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert.

But others are being drawn there as well, some with dark and sinister purposes. And the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare waiting to be unearthed at journey’s end: an ageless and awesome power that could create a utopia…or destroy everything humankind has built over countless millennia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062017581
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Series: Sigma Force Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 45,539
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

James Rollins is the author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the "hottest summer reads" (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight. He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains.


Sacramento, California

Date of Birth:

August 20, 1961

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

Fire and Rain

November 14, 01:33 A.M.
The British Museum
London, England

Harry Masterson would be dead in thirteen minutes.

If he had known this, he would've smoked his last cigarette down to the filter. Instead he stamped out the fag after only three drags and waved the cloud from around his face. If he was caught smoking outside the guards' break room, he would be shit-canned by that bastard Fleming, head of museum security. Harry was already on probation for coming in two hours late for his shift last week.

Harry swore under his breath and pocketed the stubbed cigarette. He'd finish it at his next break ... that is, if they got a break this night.

Thunder echoed through the masonry walls. The winter storm had struck just after midnight, opening with a riotous volley of hail, followed by a deluge that threatened to wash London into the Thames. Lightning danced across the skies in forked displays from one horizon to another. According to the weatherman on the Beeb, it was one of the fiercest electrical storms in over a decade. Half the city had been blacked out, overwhelmed by a spectacular lightning barrage.

And as fortune would have it for Harry, it was his half of the city that went dark, including the British Museum on Great Russell Street. Though they had backup generators, the entire security team had been summoned for additional protection of the museum's property. They would be arriving in the next half hour. But Harry, assigned to the night shift, was already on duty when the regular lights went out. And though the video surveillance cameras were still operational on the emergency grid, he and the shift were ordered by Fleming to proceed with an immediate security sweep of the museum's two and a half miles of halls.

That meant splitting up.

Harry picked up his electric torch and aimed it down the hall. He hated doing rounds at night, when the museum was lost in gloom. The only illumination came from the streetlamps outside the windows. But now, with the blackout, even those lamps had been extinguished. The museum had darkened to macabre shadows broken by pools of crimson from the low-voltage security lamps.

Harry had needed a few hits of nicotine to steel his nerve, but he could put off his duty no longer. Being the low man on the night shift's pecking order, he had been assigned to run the halls of the north wing, the farthest point from their underground security nest. But that didn't mean he couldn't take a shortcut. Turning his back on the long hall ahead, he crossed to the door leading into the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court.

This central two-acre court was surrounded by the four wings of the British Museum. At its heart rose the great copper-domed Round Reading Room, one of the world's finest libraries. Overhead, the entire two-acre courtyard had been enclosed by a gigantic Foster and Partners–designed geodesic roof, creating Europe's largest covered square.

Using his passkey, Harry ducked into the cavernous space. Like the museum proper, the court was lost to darkness. Rain pattered against the glass roof far overhead. Still, Harry's footsteps echoed across the open space. Another lance of lightning shattered across the sky. The roof, divided into a thousand triangular panes, lit up for a blinding moment. Then darkness drowned back over the museum, drumming down with the rain.

Thunder followed, felt deep in the chest. The roof rattled, too. Harry ducked a bit, fearing the entire structure would come crashing down.

With his electric torch pointed forward, he crossed the court, heading for the north wing. He rounded past the central Reading Room. Lightning flashed again, brightening the place for a handful of heartbeats. Giant statues, lost to the darkness, appeared as if from nowhere. The Lion of Cnidos reared beside the massive head of an Easter Island statue. Then darkness swallowed the guardians away as the lightning died out.

Harry felt a chill and pebbling of gooseflesh.

His pace hurried. He swore under his breath with each step, "Bleeding buggered pieces of crap ... " His litany helped calm him.

He reached the doors to the north wing and ducked inside, greeted by the familiar mix of mustiness and ammonia. He was grateful to have solid walls around him again. He played his torch down the long hall. Nothing seemed amiss, but he was required to check each of the wing's galleries. He did a fast calculation. If he hurried, he could complete his circuit with enough time for another fast smoke. With the promise of a nicotine fix luring him, he set off down the hall, the beam of his torch preceding him.

The north wing had become host to the museum's anniversary showcase, an ethnographical collection portraying a complete picture of human achievement down the ages, spanning all cultures. Like the Egyptian gallery with its mummies and sarcophagi. He continued hurriedly, ticking off the various cultural galleries: Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Chinese. Each suite of rooms was locked down by a security gate. With the loss of power, the gates had dropped automatically.

At last, the hall's end came into sight.

Most of the galleries' collections were only temporarily housed here, transferred from the Museum of Mankind for the anniversary celebration. But the end gallery had always been here, for as far back as Harry could recall. It housed the museum's Arabian display, a priceless collection of antiquity from across the Arabian Peninsula. The gallery had been commissioned and paid for by one family, a family grown rich by its oil ventures in that region. The donations to keep such a gallery in permanent residence at the British Museum was said to top five million pounds per annum.

One had to respect that sort of dedication.

Or not ...

Sandstorm. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Sandstorm 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 343 reviews.
mretg1 More than 1 year ago
Each of James Rollins books have a great basis in fact. This makes them easily identifiable and palatable. They give you an insight into the past, present and future. The fictional elements of these thrillers make dry facts interesting, and even, intriguing and exciting. At the end of each book he relates which pieces are fact and which are fiction. Also gives references to further your knowledge if you are interested in learning more. Sigma Force novels are fast paced and involve engaging characters that use both brawn AND brains to solve any of the many crises they face. Sigma Force is a secret US government organization under DARPA that silently solves problems. I give no summary of the story. Read it and discover for yourself the superb storytelling this author produces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great Read. Lots of nonstop action. The characters get out of some amazing situations. Really get to know the characters and like most of them.
Woodworker37 More than 1 year ago
A very difficult book to PUT DOWN. All the actions are very beliveable and the ending is NOT what I expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every chapter was action packed. Never did it get bland and uninteresting. I actually felt something for Cassandra despite her... opposition. Its amazing how one quote turned my feelings towards her around. I loved it!
Bret Draper More than 1 year ago
Real page turner action packed. Can't wait to start the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The last half of the book tries too hard to be a teenage love story in contrast to the mystery set in the beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was the slowest book I ever read. From the outset it went nowhere and I never finished it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Sigma Force series and they are all fast paced and can't put down books. Once you start to read you just can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of action. Couldn't put it down!
AHS-Wolfy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A novel which combines science and technology with an archaeological mystery and overlays that with a spy thriller which ends up as a pretty decent action-adventure yarn.When what appears to be an accident at the British Museum destroys most of the Arabian collection owned by Lady Kara Kensington, her childhood friend and curator of the exhibition, Safia al-Maaz, makes a discovery that will send them on an expedition to Oman looking for the ancient city of Ubar. Putting together a team that will unite Safia with her former fiancé, Omaha Dunn, Kara is forced to accept Painter Crowe and his partner as members of the group. Crowe is an agent of Sigma Force, a secret US Government agency that combines special ops training with scientific knowledge to form an elite cadre of personnel that can handle any situation. They set off to discover where the discovered clue will lead them. Unfortunately for them there are also other interested parties that want to reach the same destination and they'll stop at nothing to get there. Mother Nature also wants to make her presence felt as well with the combination of a giant sandstorm and high pressure system to create a megastorm. Who's going to live through to the end and what will they find when they get there?This book at times reads like an Indiana Jones film with bits of a Dan Brown plot thrown in for good measure but the end result is not bad. The action is plentiful but not really gripping in a kind of will they/won't they survive type of thing. The main characters are well written and you do care when they are up against it but the secondary characters just seem to be along for the ride or used to provide info-dumps on the science involved. I will at least read the next in the series at some point.
enemyanniemae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What's not to like about James Rollins? His Sigma Force series is the tops, combining thrills, Indiana Jones-like archaeology with just the right mix of history, religion and the supernatural. Throw in top secret operatives, romance, technology and science. You get a fun and exciting read.
JoAnnSmithAinsworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great action. Great story. I was studying as I read.
JoClare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really love James Rollin's books. I love how he takes a historical tidbit of information and connects it to a slice of science, mixes it all together with a lot of adventure and a dash of romance and voilà!; I'm ready for an enjoyable read~I also love how he points out the facts and the fiction at the end of his stories; more than once I have gotten lost on the internet satisfying my curiosity regarding the history/science he calls to attention there.I think he does a great job with his protagonists, I find most to be really interesting and fleshed out. Sigma Force is a recurring theme in many of his stories and it adds another layer of interest for me, taking the adventure to the next level.Rollin's novels are every bit as enjoyable to me as a big screen summer blockbuster; think I'll go get some popcorn~
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's always fun to read an old fashioned, adventure novel. Set in London and the Middle East, the book is non-stop action. When I see the name James Rollins, I know it's going to be a quick, exciting read.
MKPMRP More than 1 year ago
This Sigma series by James Rollins is going to be a great action series. Special ops with an internationl spin and loads of action. Great characters with an awesome plot makes for really entertaining and fun reading. Very hard to put down !
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Get ready for a wild adventure. This book has plenty of twist and turns and a enormous amount of adventure.
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I ? James Rollins.
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