Bloodline, by James Rollins, is the 8th book in a series of 11, centered around Sigma Force, the military covert operations arm of DARPA. The series follows a core team of full time Sigma operatives, who have diverse talents and utilize their skills in equally diverse situations. Many of the novels start with an ancient secret, honed by modern day terrorists into something cataclysmic and it is up to Sigma Force to neutralise it first.
A crack military team, they occasionally enlist the help of outside specialists. In Bloodline’s case, it is former Army Ranger, Tucker Wayne, and his military war dog Kane (both now freelance, having served their tours of duty). Another reviewer has commented that, if you cross Rin Tin Tin with James Bond, you’ll get Kane; 70 pounds of muscle, an exceptionally well trained Belgian Malinois. Bloodline highlights this little known world of war dogs and their handlers. The author has often stated that he created the characters of Tucker and Kane after researching real war dogs (retired, and currently serving) and discovering their very unique talents.
The Kill Switch by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood is an offshoot from the Sigma Force series, centered entirely around Tucker and Kane. It’s a thoroughly entertaining action adventure, highlighting the unbroken bond between soldier and war dog (‘Up the leash and down the leash’) and Kane’s ability to carry out 1,000+ voiced commands. The second book in this series is War Hawk and explores the subject of PTSD in returned soldiers (particularly Tucker’s).
Each novel is a rollicking good adventure, fast, smart and action-packed. If the reader enjoys adventure, high tech, fast paced, diverse characters, both series are recommended.