The book begins in the 14th century with a failed attempt by the "Black Pope" to steal some treasures being transported from the Vatican. Then the book fast forwards to present day Germany.
A religious ceremony becomes a blood-bath when a bunch of armed commandos dressed as monks attack (monks seem to be popular bad guys in all of Rollins books) slaughtering the participants and stealing some bones thought to be those of the Magi.
A government team is put together by Painter Crowe in Maryland to investigate. As soon as they get to the scene they are set on by the bad guys (I guess they do return to the scene of the crime). What follows are chases through some historical landmarks and puzzles to be solved
This book is the sequel to Sandstorm which was an excellent book from start to finish. Map of Bones lacks a lot of key elements present in the other book. Firstly there is virtually no character development. It seems the government team is just thrown together in the beginning of the book and we know very little about anybody's past.
The bad guys seem to be ubiquitious throughout the book but very inept at killing any of the government team. Also, the author tries to capitalize on the treasure hunt through religious artifacts and sites that was prevelent in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. However, the author fails to recreate the tension of those books plus he has the government team solve each puzzle too easy.
I had a real hard time finishing this book and I only gave it three stars because of some of the historical content that had me searching the Internet for more information.
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