The Doomsday Key: A Sigma Force Novel
Released On: Jun 23, 2009

At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peters Basilica. In Africa, a US Senator’s son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. Three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.

The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The first piece of the puzzle is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog-a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world.

Aided by two women from his past–one his ex-lover, the other his new partner–Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Pierce will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.

Sigma Force confronts humankind’s greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint–an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key.

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Critical Acclaim

  • Bestseller Rollins's labyrinthine sixth Sigma Force thriller (after The Last Oracle) offers plenty of intriguing science and history lessons. .... A few of the book's many highlights include genetic manipulation, traitorous beautiful women, illuminated manuscripts, saints, prophecies, curses and miracles. Rollins deftly juggles all this and more as the Sigma team races from the depths of the Vatican to the outer reaches of Norway toward an explosive confrontation with the shadowy forces of evil known as the Guild.

    Publishers Weekly
  • "Rollins does his job: thrills promised, then delivered."

    Tampa Tribune
  • "This guy doesn't write novels-he builds roller coasters...Rollins excels at combining action and history with larger-than-life characters...A must for pure action fans."

  • "James Rollins is a master of international action and intrigue."

    Richmond Times Dispatch
  • "Rollins's prose explodes off the page in a twisty and compelling thriller...swashbuckling adventure, elite team effort, and religious symbology all add up to another gripping and terrifying read...An amazing and brilliant techno-thriller that might be his best to date."

    Library Journal [Starred Review]
  • "Rollins combines real-world science with high-octane action to create rousing stories of adventure that are as exciting as any movie."

    Chicago Sun-Times


  • Q. As a man of science with deeply-rooted spiritual beliefs, how did you grapple with the faith vs. science controversy that is woven into the very core of this novel?
    A. Going back to the time of Galileo, science and religion seem to be at odds, drawing lines in the san ... Read More
  • Q. In one of the most eye-opening plotlines within THE DOOMSDAY KEY, you explain how some genetically modified crops are invading natural crops and changing their molecular structure. What are the ramifications of this phenomenon?
    A. It's one of the greatest environmental risks with GM crops. Pollen migration and genetic contaminati ... Read More
  • Q. In THE DOOMSDAY KEY you talk about a very secretive and elite organization, The Club of Rome, whose major concern is human overpopulation. Does this organization really exist? And are their theories about overpopulation something we should be taking more seriously?
    A. The Club of Rome is a real organization, a global think tank of scientists, politicians, economists, ... Read More
  • Q. Many of your concepts are pulled from the news, or from scientific journals-what was the based-upon-fact genesis of THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. Whenever I start a novel, I'm always looking for two things: a bit of science that makes me go "what ... Read More
  • Q. One of the major consequences of overpopulation is food shortage and mass starvation. As a solution many companies have begun to develop genetically modified food that would greatly increase the food supply. What drew your attention to this subject and how real a threat is mass starvation?
    A. As I mentioned above, the threat is real and it's as current as today's headlines. The world's popul ... Read More
  • Q. Readers love the scientific gems you sprinkle through your books. What was the most interesting scientific topic to research for THE DOOMSDAY KEY-something so good that you just had to put it in the book?
    A. That's simple. In fact, I open the book with this fact. During the years from 2006 to 2008, one-thir ... Read More
  • Q. So scientists around the world are working to engineer perfect crops that aren't affected by Mother Nature. Can humans really create what nature has already done so perfectly?
    A. We'd like to think so. But there continue to be concerns about what mankind will create in the name ... Read More
  • Q. The climax of THE DOOMSDAY KEY takes place at "The Doomsday Vault." What is this vault for and does it really exist?
    A. The vault-more formally known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault-truly does exist. It's basically a N ... Read More
  • Q. THE DOOMSDAY KEY is laced with information about ancient symbols; how did you research the origin of symbols-in particular the Celtic Cross, and what importance do they hold?
    A. In this novel, I explore the manner in which symbols change and transmute over time, borrowed from o ... Read More
  • Q. What amazing adventures did you undertake in researching/mapping the plot of THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. I love to travel, and I've been to many of the locales depicted in this novel: from excavating the l ... Read More
  • Q. What's next for James Rollins?
    A. This winter, I'll be coming out with the first of a series of stand-alone novels, something independ ... Read More
  • Q. You open your new novel with a terrifying reference to the prophecies of the popes which loosely predicts that the current pope, Benedict, is the next to the last pope and that the next pope will oversee the world's end. Can you tell us a little bit more about these prophecies?
    A. During the twelfth century, an Irish Catholic priest named Saint Malachy had a doomsday vision while ... Read More
  • Q. You're a former veterinarian and you have a pretty great sense of humor...your books tend to feature a spooky critter, whether it's a man-eating squid, toothy grendels, flesh-eating swarms of frogs . What killer creature (or exceptional animal) did you mastermind for THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. As a veterinarian, I always love sprinkling a few unique animals into my stories. In this particular ... Read More


  • Which Order to Read Sigma Force Books
  • The Idea for The Doomsday Key
  • Tollundmanden Body Peat Bog
  • Akershus Castle
  • Akershus Fortress
  • Grand Hotel (inside)
  • The Doomsday Key Cover Story
  • The Grand Hotel (outside)
  • Vigeland Sculpture Garden
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