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City of Screams: A Short Story Exclusive

City of Screams: A Short Story Exclusive

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City of Screams: A Short Story Exclusive

evaluări:
4/5 (12 evaluări)
Lungime:
85 pages
1 hour
Lansat:
Oct 30, 2012
ISBN:
9780062262561
Format:
Carte

Descriere

From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins and award-winning suspense novelist Rebecca Cantrell comes a disturbing story of vengeance, bloodshed, and creatures that prowl the night.

In the haunted, war-torn highlands of Afghanistan, amid the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol, an archaeology team is massacred in the night. Sergeant Jordan Stone and his crack forensic team are called in to examine the site, to hunt for the perpetrators of this horrific act. But the discovery of a survivor—a child of ten—will shatter all the team knows about life and death. Among the crumbling bones of dead kings, something hoary and murderous stirs out of the ancient past, lurching forward to claim vengeance on those still living.

Included with this thrilling story is a sneak peek at The Blood Gospel, where the further exploits of Sergeant Stone and his team will be revealed.

Lansat:
Oct 30, 2012
ISBN:
9780062262561
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

James Rollins is the author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the "hottest summer reads" (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight. He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

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City of Screams - James Rollins

City of Screams

JAMES ROLLINS

and

REBECCA CANTRELL

Contents

CITY OF SCREAMS

An Excerpt from The Blood Gospel

Prologue

Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

About the Authors

The Order of the Sanguines series by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Also by Rebecca Cantrell

Copyright

About the Publisher

CITY OF SCREAMS

October 23, 2:09 P.M.

Kabul, Afghanistan

IT STARTED WITH the screams.

Sergeant Jordan Stone listened again to the snippet of an SOS that had reached the military command in Kabul at 4:32 that morning. He rested his elbows on the battered gray table, his palms pressing the oversize headphones against his ears, trying to draw out every clue the recording might offer.

A lunch of lamb kebabs and local lavash bread sat forgotten, though the smell of curry and cardamom still permeated the air, contributing to the nausea he felt as he listened. He sat alone in a small, windowless room at the Afghan Criminal Techniques Academy, a one-story nondescript building at the edge of Bagram airport outside Kabul.

But his mind was out there, lost in that firefight recorded on tape.

He strained, his eyes closed, listening for the fourteenth time.

First screams, then a spatter of words:

They’re coming again . . . helpushelpushelpus . . . !

The sound faded in and out, but that did nothing to hide the terror and panic of those simple words.

Next came gunfire—frantic, sporadic, uncontrolled, echoing around—interspersed by more chilling screams. But what raised the small hairs on the back of his neck was the silence that followed, dead air as the radio continued to transmit. After a full two minutes, a single phrase rasped forth, distorted, unintelligible, as if the speaker’s lips were pressed close enough to brush the microphone. That intimacy more than anything set his teeth on edge.

Jordan rubbed his eyes, then pulled the headphones from his ears. Plainly the situation out there had ended badly in the wee hours of the morning. Hence the need for Jordan’s team to be summoned. He and his men worked for JEFF, the Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility, out of Kabul. His team served as crime scene investigators for the military: gathering evidence from insurgent suspects, examining and testing homemade bombs, tearing down mobile phones found at battlefield sites or ambushes.

If there was a mystery, it was their job to solve it.

And they were good at what they did. They’d solve this one, too.

I’ve got more intel, Specialist Paul McKay said as he entered and plopped down into a metal chair. It squeaked under his weight. The man stood a head taller and a belly wider than Jordan, and he knew his business, recruited out of an Explosive Ordnance Division. Smart and unflappable. That recording came from an archaeological team up at Bamiyan Valley. Four men and a woman. All Americans. Command sent a team of Rangers to secure the scene. We’ve got an hour to figure out what we can here, then we’re supposed to follow them out into the field.

Jordan nodded. He was used to the pressure, liked it even. It kept him running, kept him from thinking too much. I’m going to work on this message. You and Cooper get a full murder kit together and meet me at the chopper.

You got it, Sarge. McKay tossed him a quick salute and hurried out.

Jordan listened to the mysterious phrase at the end of the message again, then called in translators. That didn’t help. None of them could even tell him what language it might be; not even the local Afghanis recognized it. A few claimed that it wasn’t human at all, but some kind of animal.

Someone quickly tracked down a British historian and archaeologist, Professor Thomas Atherton, who had been working with the team in Bamiyan, and brought him to Jordan. A fit and sturdy scholar in his early sixties, the archaeologist had come to Kabul two days before to have a broken arm set. As the historian listened to the screams, he grew pale. He ran one hand through his well-trimmed gray hair.

I think that’s my team, but I can’t be certain. I’ve never heard them scream like that. He shuddered. What could make them scream like that?

Jordan handed him a Styrofoam cup of water. We have a chopper full of Rangers on their way to help them.

The professor looked like he knew such aid would arrive too late. He adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses on his narrow nose and said nothing. When he lifted the cup, his hand trembled so much that water spilled onto the desk. He set the cup back down, his cast clunking against the table.

Jordan gave him a minute to pull himself together. Listening to his colleagues’ deaths had hit him hard, a natural reaction.

That last phrase. Jordan rewound the recording to that final whispery phrase. Do you know what language it is?

He played it again for Atherton.

A muscle under the professor’s eye twitched. It can’t be.

He gripped the edge of the table with both hands, as if he expected it to fly away. Whatever it was, it unnerved him more than the screams had.

Can’t be what? Jordan prompted.

Bactrian. The professor whispered the word. His knuckles whitened as he tightened his grip on the table.

Bactrian? Jordan had heard of Bactrian camels, but never a Bactrian language. Professor?

Bactrian. The professor stared at the headphones as if they were lying to him. "A lost language of Northern Afghanistan, one of the least known of the Middle Iranian dialects. It hasn’t been spoken since . . .

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  • (3/5)
    This is a prequel short story to the Order of the Sanguines series. While the story itself was fine and centered around the character that (so far) I like the best in the series, it didn't really add anything to the rest of the series and doesn't need to be read for additional detail/clarification. The rating: 2.75
  • (4/5)
     I always expect these stories to be longer because I forget they include an excerpt from the next one at the end.Nevertheless, these short stories are designed to whet your appetite for the next in the series (in this case, the first). It succeeds here.
  • (4/5)
    3.5

    City of Screams is the last story I've read this year. I am going to be generous because I enjoyed it and I am curious about the whole series now.

    Sergeant Jordan Stone thought nothing could surprise him any more. He was wrong. Something in the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol, an archaeology site in Afghanistan, has killed a whole team of archaeologists and he and his team have to find out the truth.
  • (5/5)
    Book Description From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins and award-winning suspense novelist Rebecca Cantrell comes a disturbing story of vengeance, bloodshed, and creatures that prowl the night. In the haunted, war-torn highlands of Afghanistan, amid the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol, an archaeology team is massacred in the night. Sergeant Jordan Stone and his crack forensic team are called in to examine the site, to hunt for the perpetrators of this horrific act. But the discovery of a survivor--a child of ten--will shatter all the team knows about life and death. Among the crumbling bones of dead kings, something hoary and murderous stirs out of the ancient past, lurching forward to claim vengeance on those still living.  Included with this thrilling story is a sneak peek at The Blood Gospel, where the further exploits of Sergeant Stone and his team will be revealed.

    My Review This is a short story which is a prequel to The Blood Gospel which gives an introduction to the character of Jordon. It does a good job of giving you a taste for the new series and holds your interest until the end where the atmosphere is setup to begin their new assignment for The Blood Gospel. I would recommend this short story to those who are interested in reading The Order of The Sanguines series.
  • (5/5)
    A new story and characters to fall in love with at the end...but before...

    The story is a stand alone short story well worth every little penny! Fresh life has been breathed into James with his classic ability to scare the crap out of you with whispered ancient mysteries spat forth & swallowed up again by the desert.

    This collaborative with Rebecca Cantell who adds a gentle curve to his raw scientific edge SIGMA's tale has taken him with the last couple of tales. It promises to be the genius stand alone style but is the first in the series, The Sanguine Series! So excited for himself and Rebecca to bury me in the mystery of the upcoming book, due January 2013.
  • (5/5)
    If you’re a James Rollins fan like I am, I jumped at the change to review an exclusive short story called City of Screams. Things are happening right and left in the 60 pages that comprise this introduction to the full-length novel, Blood Gospel which you’ve got to find!Jordan Stone hears the screams coming from a small town in Afghanistan. He sees the girl lying terrified on the bed in the hut. He also sees her taken away by creatures that speak a language so old that virtually no one can translate it. What happens to Jordan and his crew and to the people in the succeeding chapters is what makes Rollins one of my favorite authors – you just never know what will happen. Just when you’ve got it all figured out nice and cozy he throws in something that really rocks you.Do yourself a huge favor – go get Blood Gospel, keep the lights on and cuddle up with an afghan to protect you and read this one!