Tag Archives: Gideon Crew series

Amy Caudill’s Reviews : The Pharaoh Key

The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston

The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew series) by  Douglas Preston (Goodreads Author), Lincoln Child

Amy Caudill‘s review

Following the culmination of righting one wrong from his greatest failure in the last book, Return to the Ice Limit, Eli Glinn has summarily shut down Effective Engineering Inc., leaving everyone else, including his long-time second in command and friend Garza, and Gideon Crew, high and dry with no explanation or compensation.

While being forced to clean out his office, Garza discovers a long-running search has completed its function, and decides to take the data with him as he leaves.  Determined to get the best of Glinn for his apparent betrayal and get a better payout for their extensive efforts,(Garza;,) and make his last remaining months meaningful, (Gideon;) they team up to uncover the mystery of the Phaistos Disk, a legendary artifact believed to be from the time of the ancient Pharaohs.

Keeping their illicit mission under the radar from Glinn is not exactly easy, and neither is going into an untraveled and “forbidden” area of the desert which is under disputed control of multiple governments.  The two protagonists re plagued with troubles almost from the start, and are forced to team with a mysterious woman who claims to be an archeologist, but in reality is much more.

Their journey will take them into a settlement in the middle of nowhere that has been completely isolated from civilization, perhaps going back as far as Moses and the ancient Egyptians dynasties.  What secrets does the Phaistos Disk hold, and is the world actually ready for the truth?  This last adventure for the action-packed series doesn’t disappoint in terms of danger, intrigue, romance, and mystery.

I thought this book was a fitting conclusion to the Gideon Crew series.  Each of the three main characters has some resolution of their own.  Eli Glinn, having regained his health and solved his biggest problems,  finally takes the time to reflect on his behavior, his feelings for the woman he loved and lost, and the role his own actions played in the reactions of his subordinates/colleagues/friends.  Manuel Garza finds a destiny he never would have imagined, but also finds he is content for perhaps the first time.  Gideon Crew has seemingly made peace with his life and his pending death, though the authors don’t actually show that event.  Does this mean there is a chance there will be another Gideon Crew book in the future?

I award this book five stars and recommend it to not only fans of the writing duo of Preston and Child, but to any fans of adventure stories.

Amy Caudill’s Reviews : The Lost Island

The Lost Island by Douglas Preston

The Lost Island by Douglas Preston (Goodreads Author), Lincoln Child
Amy Caudill‘s review

 When Gideon is approached by Glinn to steal a page from a famous Illuminated manuscript, on display in New York and in broad daylight from inside an incredibly secure exhibition, he has to think twice before accepting the challenge.  What clinches it for him is when Glinn hints that a secret map with the key to a “miracle cure” is hidden underneath the text.  A mysterious benefactor wants to find and distribute the cure that may possibly save Gideon’s life, as well as heal Glinn’s injuries.

Gideon finds himself summarily teamed with an inhospitable partner and recreating the voyage of Odysseus on the trail of a lost tropical island.  While on the course of this mission, they will encounter the last remnant of a civilization straight out of myth, and face a heartbreaking ethical dilemma.

The authors skillfully tie this latest book into their prior novel The Ice Limit, which introduces Eli Glinn and Effective Engineering Solutions; the mission where Glinn met his first real career failure and received his crippling injuries.  Glinn’s obsession and guilt over repairing the damage done on that mission to himself and others and undoing its consequences have overwhelmed his judgement.  His entire team, not just Gideon and Amiko, as well as the previously lost island come into great risk from his actions and lack of self-control.

Although Glinn’s motives are partially altruistic, as the secret client, a fact not revealed till near the end, his goal to fix his biggest mistake ends up causing another catastrophe.  He learns the hard way, and many pay the price for his hubris, that he is not fallible, and his methodology for preventing failure by mapping out all possible failures cannot conceivable account for every variable. 

Glinn is forced to admit he needs Gideon’s impulsive, instinctive methods to counter and balance his own methods.  Only his admission of his limitations gains Gideon’s continued assistance on the next mission.  While the “cure” seems to be helping Glinn, Gideon does not appear to be so lucky, so the only real thing he has left to live for is the chance to do so good before he dies.

This story, a definite departure from previous books in the series as it takes several fantastical turns, is nevertheless an excellent thrilling adventure.  Gideon’s character continues to grow as he wrestles with his conscience and awareness of his mortality.  It is nice to see other characters are capable of growth and change as well.

I award this book four point five stars for originality and amazing action, as well as depth of character and plots that tie into the authors’ greater universe.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series, but I may have to reread the original The Ice Limit book to refresh my memory before I go forward.  Still, this book and the Gideon Crew series are must-reads for fans of thrillers and mysteries, as well as fans of modern day treasure hunting stories.

Amy Caudill’s Reviews: Gideon’s Corpse

Gideon's Corpse by Douglas Preston

Gideon’s Corpse (Gideon’s Crew #2)
by Douglas Preston (Goodreads Author), Lincoln Child
Amy Caudill‘s review

Loner, scholar, roguish hero-with-a-death-sentence-on-his-head Gideon Crew is back with a new adventure that begins shortly after the end of the last book.  Gideon is once again in front of Eli Glinn, ready to tell the man off after the completion of recent events, when Glinn reels him in once more.

A former colleague of Gideon’s is holding hostages in New York.  The culprit is the most unlikely terrorist Gideon can imagine, but events place a great deal of suspicion on the now dead antagonist.  Crew, with the assistance of FBI Agent Stone Fordyce, are soon investigating a possible nuclear threat to Washington DC, with a trail of clues that leads back to Los Alamos before Gideon himself comes under suspicion.

Framed as a terrorist, Gideon must make his way through the wilderness with an unwilling accomplice to find the true culprit(s) before “N” day, when the nation will be brought to a halt.  But is the threat what Gideon and the multi-agency task force believe it to be?  Who framed Gideon, and more importantly, who can he actually trust?

This is the second book in a series by the team of Preston and Child, more famous for their Pendergast novels.  While there are some similarities between Gideon Crew and Aloysius Pendergast, the two protagonists are quite different.  While both main characters share a troubled background, like fine dining, and a have a knack for solving difficult cases; Crew is younger, rougher, and more likely to venture outside of the law and morality.  Crew’s partners and love interests tend to either die or not stick around; reinforcing the idea that crew is a bit of a loner, one who would rather live in an isolated cabin and go fishing than interact with others.

In the end of this volume, Crew has apparently made peace with the idea that he is dying, and resolves to use his remaining time to help others by working for Eli Glinn and Effective Engineering Solutions, perhaps saving the world.  While this speaks well for his character, I was a little disappointed to have the diagnosis verified.  After all, Crew is a young man (character) with a great deal of potential if allowed to live, and have more adventures.  Besides, I could see Glinn using the “death sentence” as a hoax to get his own way.  I guess I’ll just have to keep reading the series to find out which is true.

I award this book four stars for incredible action and plot twists, as well as developing an antagonist who achieved some amazing influences on the government and military without being a member of either.