Whilst this instalment; Crucible, is number 14 in the Sigma Force thriller series, it’s best to have read the immediate predecessor The Demon Crown first as Crucible starts almost immediately after the predecessor’s cliffhanger ending.
The New York Times Book Review said that Rollins is a cross between Michael Crichton and Dan Brown; a writer of fast paced mixes of historic mystery, cutting edge technology and a clandestine team of special forces personnel. What’s interesting about Rollins’ novels is the sheer amount of new tech introduced in each instalment, necessitating author’s notes at the back of the book to direct interested readers into further reference books on the specific topics.
What is actually interesting about Crucible is, after 14 novels, the Sigma Force team have grown older, some married and with young children. Unfortunately, the bad guys have kidnapped two of the children this time (along with a heavily pregnant member of Sigma) and threaten an appalling end if their demands are not met. This novel is a much longer read than some of the previous books but it has more sub-plots running than usual and all have to be tied up by the last page.
Aptly named, Crucible really is a test of Sigma’s team under excruciating pressure.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group