Fans of Preston and Child’s bestselling Aloysius Pendergast novels (Relic, etc.) may want to take a pass on the unremarkable second Gideon Crew thriller (after 2011’s Gideon’s Sword), whose lead could be cut-and-pasted into any number of books by less gifted genre writers. A rare medical disorder has left Crew, a private contractor for the shadowy Effective Engineering Solutions, with just 11 months to live, but he can’t resist an opportunity to defuse a hostage situation in Queens. The hostage-taker, Reed Chalker, had worked with Crew at Los Alamos, and the FBI hopes Crew can calm Chalker, who believes the government is beaming rays into his head. The resolution of the standoff leads to fears that Chalker provided a weapons-grade nuclear core to Islamic terrorists. The unexciting action sequences that follow, including a duel with chain saws, fall well short of the authors’ usual high standard. Agent: Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)
"Gideon, an engaging fellow from the get-go, lives up to his initial promise, demonstrating an intelligence and resourcefulness that should endear him to adventure fans."
David Baldacci on Gideon's Sword
"A rollicking tour-de-force. The eponymous Gideon Crew would be equally comfortable smack in a Ludlum tempest or striding onto the set of the Ocean's Eleven franchise. Preston and Child have crafted an electrifying, riveting thriller on which I could continue to heap praise, but instead I will just offer this: Read the book! And we can all look forward to the next appearance of Mr. Gideon Crew in the not-so-distant future."
"Like Michael Crichton, Preston and Child weave their stories at a thrilling pace...Preston and Child never fail to entertain. And GIDEON'S CORPSE is a thriller that ranks high among their many co-authored offerings to date."
New Mexico Magazine
"Preston and Child deliver a tight, literate thriller...The writing is fast-paced and cinematic."
"Ever timely and provocative, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have given us yet another one of their taut page-turners in GIDEON'S CORPSE...The issue is never if he'll escape, but how. It's the thrill of the ride that counts, and GIDEON'S CORPSE gives the reader a front seat."
In the duo's second apocalyptic thriller (after Gideon's Sword), Gideon Crew scrambles to find Reed Chandler, a Los Alamos colleague who recently converted to Islamic extremism and was poisoned with massive amounts of gamma rays from a stolen nuclear bomb. The FBI soon learns that the jihadists plan to detonate the nuke in Washington, DC, in ten days and that an unknown collaborator framed Crew as the mastermind behind the scheme. Crew leads a bizarre chase from New York to the Southwest to find the actual perpetrator, while the FBI searches for Crew as well as the missing device. VERDICT The scattered plot twists, the exaggerated story line, and the misdirected chase scenes resemble a zany cops-and-robbers farce. As with their earlier title, the authors' high standards have fallen short in this series.—Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA
When a scientist from Los Alamos' nuclear weapon Stockpile Stewardship Team endures a nasty divorce, converts to a jihad religion and then takes hostages in the borough of Queens, it should be no surprise that he's radioactive. That nightmarish scenario opens the new Preston and Child (Gideon's Sword, 2011, etc.) action-adventure. Dr. Gideon Crews, a Los Alamos physicist reluctantly in service to the mysterious Effective Engineering Solutions, is quickly co-opted into the multi-agency investigation attempting to locate the nuclear weapon supposedly built by the rogue scientist. The ESS's shadowy head, Eli Glinn, assigns Crews to work with Stone Fordyce, a cappuccino-swilling FBI agent liaising with NEST, the federal Nuclear Emergency Support Team. The mismatched pair examine the radiation-poisoned stand-off scene, eavesdrop on radio chatter, discover the site where a bomb was apparently assembled and then escape New York City ahead of the nuclear terrorism panic. They head to Santa Fe and Los Alamos, with a side trip to the mountain lair of a Branch Davidian-like cult, a compound from which the two escape after a bizarre fencing duel involving cattle prods and chain saws. They meet an Italian-American iman, face deadly sabotage as they follow another lead, and then things come a cropper for Crews when jihadist rantings and compromising emails are discovered on his computer. Fordyce and the federal alphabet agencies now suspect Crews too is a terrorist. What follows is a cinematic chase around Los Alamos, with movie set pyrotechnics, hidden tunnels under the nuclear laboratory and outlandish mountaintop escapes from dogs and helicopters, with Crews one step ahead of his pursuers while dragging along Alida Blaine, daughter of a bestselling novelist, as hostage turned accomplice. Like the investigators "drowning in false leads, red herrings, and conspiracy theories," the novel is slow to get underway but once Crews is accused, the action zigzags like an out-of-control rocket toward a double-deceptive conclusion. With sufficient Crews back story to give new readers the low-down, the authors adhere to a winning formula.
From the Publisher
"The action zigzags like an out-of-control rocket toward a double-deceptive conclusion."Kirkus Reviews"
Gideon, an engaging fellow from the get-go, lives up to his initial promise, demonstrating an intelligence and resourcefulness that should endear him to adventure fans."Booklist"
A rollicking tour-de-force. The eponymous Gideon Crew would be equally comfortable smack in a Ludlum tempest or striding onto the set of the Ocean's Eleven franchise. Preston and Child have crafted an electrifying, riveting thriller on which I could continue to heap praise, but instead I will just offer this: Read the book! And we can all look forward to the next appearance of Mr. Gideon Crew in the not-so-distant future."David Baldacci on Gideon's Sword