I was first introduced to Michael Crichton in 1971, when I read The Andromeda Strain as a high school freshman. Shortly thereafter I saw the movie Westworld and I was hooked. Crichton invented his own genre -- a unique combination of historical fact, thriller and science fiction.
After Crichton passed away in 2008 he clearly passed the baton to James Rollins, who like Crichton, is a renaissance man. Prior to writing full time, Rollins had a career in veterinary medicine and still volunteers at a clinic in Sacramento.
In his latest book, The Eye Of God, Rollins has an appendix in the back of the book filled with historical facts that connect with his storyline and this one was my favorite:
"Genghis Khan was a fascinating and bloody figure, who conquered most of the known world at the time, and his legacy lives on today. Geneticists have determined that 1 out of 200 men living in the world today are genetic descendants of the Great Khan (and this rises to 1 out of 10 in Mongolia)."
In The Eye Of God, a comet is heading towards earth on a collision course and an unusual team made up of historians and military face a potential apocalypse that can only be stopped with, well -- The Eye Of God.
James Rollins has a very distinctive style that would certainly make Michael Crichton proud. One for the beach this summer and perhaps the ages.