Out for a drink with his best friend and colleague, Monk Kokkalis, Commander Gray Pierce arrives home on Christmas Eve to find his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and Monk’s two young daughters vanished into the night. The only witness to this attack is Monk’s wife, Kat, who is found beaten, bleeding, and comatose on the kitchen floor.
With Kat unable to speak, a research neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind, hopefully long enough to answer a few desperate questions—but to do so risks destroying her forever. With no other clues to follow, Gray and Monk must take this chance, because it is not only their families in danger.
Halfway around the world, the U.S ambassador to Portugal is ambushed at a prestigious scientific symposium of women scientists. She and her colleagues are murdered, their bodies burned beyond recognition. The culprits behind this brutal attack are tied to an ancient sect, one that is determined to return the world to a time of darkness and ignorance, to when witches were burned at the stake. To accomplish this goal, the cabal must hunt down a young student who escaped this fiery ambush with a tool of incalculable power—one that in the wrong hands could unleash a demon like no other.
To stop this cabal and learn the truth about the attack upon their families, Gray and Monk must follow arcane clues tracing back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition—and to the dark mysteries surrounding a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches, one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history, a tome used by inquisitors to identify and torture heretical women—those they accused of practicing witchcraft. The shocking revelations that Sigma uncovers about the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present, and a future teetering on the brink of apocalypse.
To save their loved ones and stop an enemy from unleashing a demonic power upon the world, Sigma must confront the ultimate question facing humanity:
What does it mean to have a soul?
Riveting, thought-provoking, inventive, and timely, Crucible
is a fiery thriller that brings into focus some of the most complex and troubling issues that have plagued humankind’s past . . . issues that resonate strongly today and will determine our future. - (HARPERCOLL