cover image The Joshua Stone

The Joshua Stone

James Barney. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-202139-7

Barney follows his Thriller Award–finalist debut, 2011’s The Genesis Key, with an engrossing standalone that combines biblical history and modern science. In 1959, while a group of scientists were conducting a secret experiment at an underground lab in Thurmond, W. Va., a serious accident occurred. President Eisenhower ordered the lab sealed and records of its existence expunged. In the present day, the NSA notices activity at the site and calls in assistant security auditor Mike Califano and CIA agent Ana Thorne to investigate. Meanwhile, renegade scientist Benjamin Fulcher, who knew these experiments were designed to unleash the power of the so-called Joshua Stone that enabled the biblical Joshua to perform amazing feats, teams with Russian energy czar Vladamir Krupnov to get there first. The race is on to recover the stone that’s buried beneath the old lab. Barney nicely integrates time-dilation theory into the fast-moving plot. Agent: Mickey Choate, Choate Agency. (Oct.)