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The alignment of all nine planets will bring the Serpent Force, a mysterious power known to the ancients, to its maximum effect. One man has the secret and must be stopped.
Once more Maxim Gunn is on the trail, but this time as a private citizen and not an operative of the Organization, asked to do for his country and the world what no one else can.
His search for the madman Proteus takes him from Stonehenge to the temples of ancient Greece, and the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan.
Earthquakes, hunting panthers in a catacomb, duels with the forces of evil and unseen powers leave Gunn little time for sightseeing.
It's a race which must be won. Time is running out, and the consequences of failure are unthinkable.
Run, damn you! Run! he shouted at himself. Fifty yards. Twenty yards. And then, with a slam that nearly jarred him senseless, he crashed into the rusty iron grill.
For a moment he didn’t believe it, and uselessly cursed the fates who had let him get so near to safety, and then cruelly snatched it away.
With a snarl of fury, he turned, and like an animal at bay, prepared to meet his hunters. He had no weapon. He had nothing but his bare hands; and he knew it wasn’t enough.
Suddenly his ice cold nerve reasserted itself, and the fear and despair drained out of him. Dammit! He was Maxim Gunn. He was the best there was, and it was not written that he should die in a stinking, dank catacomb beneath the earth. If there had to be an end, then let it be under the good, clean sky.