Book #4
The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel
Released On: Jul 02, 2007

From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a horrific plague has arisen to devastate humankind – unknown, unstoppable…and merely a harbinger of the doom that is to follow.

Operatives of the shadowy covert organization Sigma Force, Dr. Lisa Cummings, and Monk Kokkalis search for answers to the bizarre affliction aboard a cruise liner transformed into a makeshift hospital. But a sudden and savage attack by terrorist hijackers turns the mercy ship into a floating bio-weapons lab.

Time is an enemy as a worldwide pandemic grows rapidly out of control. As the seconds tick closer to doomsday, Sigma’s commander, Gray Pierce, must join forces with the beautiful assassin who tried to kill him – following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history into the terrifying heart of an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity’s genetic code.

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Critical Acclaim

  • "THE JUDAS STRAIN is a 400-plus-page adventure novel that takes us around the world in search of answers to questions that spark the imagination. Rollins’s latest thriller should appeal to those who prefer books that focus on serpentine plots rather than multidimensional characters, and it will give readers something scary to think about while vacationing at the beach."

    Donna Volkenannt,
  • The crack, ultrasecret Sigma Force team returns in another adventure that, as usual, unfolds at breakneck speed. Sigma Force, made up of former Special Forces officers trained as experts in various scientific fields ("killer scientists," one of their number calls them), scours the world for technologies that could help or threaten the U.S. This time the group's mission involves a devastating bacteriological plague, a mysterious cryptogram that may predate humanity, and the deadly truth about what happened after Marco Polo's expedition to China. After a handful of Sigma Force novels, Rollins has fine-tuned the formula to precision: characters rendered in broad strokes, punchy dialogue, short paragraphs that propel us headlong through the story. The novels are like prose versions of comic books, or lightly fleshed out movie treatments. But this is not a criticism, at least not completely. The books' style perfectly matches their subject matter, and it's impossible not to be swept up by their energy and excitement. Action/adventure fans unfamiliar with Rollins' work should be emphatically urged to read this series.

    David Pitt, Booklist
  • "Rollins does his job: thrills promised, then delivered."

    Tampa Tribune
  • "You won't want to put this adventure thrill ride down...There's a code to crack, a disease to cure, a villain to outsmart, words of an angel to translate. And, just to to make going to sleep out of the question, the fate of every man, woman, and child on Earth hangs in the balance."

    Knoxville News Sentinel
  • "Rollins Effortlessly Blends Science and superstition in grand tradition of Clive Cussler and David Morrel to make The Judas Strain the best pure action thriller in recent memory."

    Providence Journal
  • "A fast paced meld of intrigue, medical thriller, and historical mystery that owns echoes of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain...Rollins invests The Judas Strain with his characteristic command of detail, along with a creeping dread. The world won't have to wait for gradual environmental calamity. It is about to be visited upon us in a matter of days. And he makes it all seem all too plausible."

    Post and Courier (Charleston)
  • "Cannibals, man eating squid, a bacteria that may wipe out humanity—Rollins's high octane spectacle has it all."



  • Q. How did you stumble across the mystery of Marco Polo's journey from Kublai Khan's palace in China home to Italy that is so central to the plot of this novel?
    A. I actually stumbled upon this mystery while doing research for my earlier novel, Map of Bones. While ... Read More
  • Q. Marco Polo once said, "I have not told half of what I saw." Would James Rollins say the same?
    A. While my books may cover a breadth of topics, there is always so much more left unsaid. As I mention ... Read More
  • Q. Readers love the scientific gems you sprinkle through your books. For instance, in The Judas Strain you write, "Did you know Saxitoxin, from bacteria in certain shellfish, has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction?" Where do you get this stuff?
    A. I am a voracious reader. Not only do I read across a wide gamut of fiction genres, I am passionate a ... Read More
  • Q. The Judas Strain explores a mysterious link between the Catholic Church of Marco Polo's day and the ancient ruins of Khmer temples at Angkor Wat. What inspired this plot?
    A. It all started from a seed of a mystery. As I relate at the beginning of the novel, Marco Polo spent ... Read More
  • Q. There's a tongue-in-cheek warning within the pages of The Judas Strain, "Keep in mind...we still don't know for sure what killed the dinosaurs." It feels as if you are giving a gentle warning to the world at large to watch their backs...
    A. I make another statement in the novel. To paraphrase, if we push Nature, Nature pushes back. We've o ... Read More
  • Q. Within the pages of The Judas Strain, you write of "evolution running in reverse, the oceans devolving into primordial seas," and the impending extinction of marine life. In this, we can see your love for creatures great and small, shining through. Do you find you pull a great deal from your experiences/leanings as a veterinarian in your writings?
    A. As a veterinarian and a human being, I certainly have a strong belief that the stewardship of this w ... Read More
  • Q. You quote the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "But what is known with fair certainty: the next great pandemic will arise again out of the East." SARS, the Avian Flu - even the bubonic plague - all arose from Asia. What is your conjecture as to what will come next? Are global agencies already working out preventative measures to ensure the hypothetical pandemics will not become real worldwide crises?
    A. I don't think we'll ever be fully prepared for what comes next, and I don't think we can. When it co ... Read More
  • Q. You're known for your own personal adventures that you undertake in researching your novels: tell us your amazing stories behind this book?
    A. This novel required doing a bit of traveling, back to Italy again but also to the jungles of Cambodi ... Read More


  • Which Order to Read Sigma Force Books
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