It took me a long time to finish this book because I had so many irons in the fire towards the end of last year. I am so glad that I did pick it up now, because it turned out to be a very rewarding read. It took me a bit to get used to his writing style, but I have to say it really worked for me. A tough as nails special forces operative, who is also a serious brainiac. Which leads me to my next point.
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London, England Harry Masterson would be dead in thirteen minutes. Instead he stamped out the fag after only three drags and waved the cloud from around his face.
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. 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. 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.
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.
This central two-acre court was surrounded by the four wings of the British Museum. 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.
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 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. 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. 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. But the end gallery had always been here, for as far back as Harry could recall. 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 Excerpted from Sandstorm by Rollins, James Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc.
Sandstorm (Sigma Force Series)
A novel by James Rollins Nationally bestselling author James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon his most gripping and terrifying adventure yet: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland. An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum -- a devastating blast that sets off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world, as the race begins to determine how it happened, why it happened, and what it means. For new evidence exposed by the tragedy suggests that Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, is more than mere legend Two extraordinary women and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, are not the only ones being drawn to the desert. Former U. And the trail is pointing him toward Ubar.
London, England Harry Masterson would be dead in thirteen minutes. Instead he stamped out the fag after only three drags and waved the cloud from around his face. 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. 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.
Biographical sketch[ edit ] Rollins was born in Chicago. His undergraduate work focused on evolutionary biology. He graduated from the University of Missouri , Columbia in with a doctorate in veterinary medicine D. Soon afterward, he moved to Sacramento, California , where he established his veterinary practice, licensed July 24,