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The Third Gate: A Novel

The Third Gate: A Novel

3.9 137
by Lincoln Child

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Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god- king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the


Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god- king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the greatest prize of all—Narmer’s crown—might be buried with him. No crown of an Egyptian king has ever been discovered, and Narmer’s is the elusive “double” crown of the two Egypts, supposedly pos­sessed of awesome powers.

The dig itself is located in one of the most forbidding places on earth—the Sudd, a nearly  impassable swamp in north­ern Sudan. Amid the nightmarish, disorienting tangle of mud and dead vegetation, a series of harrowing and inexpli­cable occurrences are causing people on the expedition to fear a centuries- old curse. With a monumental discovery in reach, Professor Jeremy Logan is brought onto the project to investigate. What he finds will raise new questions . . . and alarm.

In the hands of master storyteller Lincoln Child, The Third Gate breaks new ground and introduces a fascinating new protagonist to the thriller world.

Editorial Reviews

To find the tomb of King Narmer (c. 32nd century B.C.) would be a prize for any treasure hunter. For explorer Peter Stone, discovering the tomb of the pharaoh who united Upper and Lower Egypt would be a career-capping achievement, but his efforts to do so have hit a wall of stubborn obstacles. Rumors about an ancient curse were unnerving enough; a series of bizarre occurrences have left the archaeologist and hired diggers frightened and confused. Lincoln Child's latest thriller features Professor Jeremy Logan in his first full appearance; from the success of this venture, we expect many more. Easy to recommend.

From the Publisher
“Lincoln Child’s novels are thrilling and tantalizing.” 
 —Vince Flynn

"By mixing fact and fiction as well as science and the occult, Lincoln Child once again has created an offbeat thriller that is both exciting and thoughtprovoking."
—The Free Lance-Star

"Bestseller Child (Terminal Freeze) more than succeeds in making a mummy's curse terrifying in this superb supernatural thriller...Child evokes fear through understatement...Readers will hope to see more of [lead character] Logan in a sequel."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ample gadgetry, New Age soul-shifting, and pyrotechnics sufficient to employ a stable of stuntmen when brought to film: Child’s newest is the sort of thing to delight all those who got wrapped up in The Mummy. Think, a Dan Brown-ian adventure amongst Pharaohs ready with a pocket full of curses."

"Its characters are well drawn, and the mystery is nicely handled, keeping readers guessing as to whether something supernatural is going on here. Of the author’s solo novels, this could be the best so far."

Library Journal
Back in 3200 B.C.E, King Narmer united Upper and Lower Egypt. Now, deep in the Sudd, a nasty swamp in northern Sudan, explorer Peter Stone is directing an archaeological dig aimed at uncovering Narmer's tomb. When folks on the dig get worried about an ancient curse, Stone brings in Professor Jeremy Logan (you'll remember him from brief appearances in Deep Storm and Terminal Freeze). Looks as if we may be seeing more of Logan; meanwhile, this is obviously one of the big thrillers of the season.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jeremy Logan Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt


Three Years Later

Growing up in Westport, currently teaching at Yale, Jeremy Logan thought himself familiar with his home state of Connecticut. But the stretch through which he now drove was a revelation. Heading east from Groton—­following the e-­mailed directions—­he’d turned onto US 1 and then, just past Stonington, onto US 1 Alternate. Hugging the gray Atlantic coastline, he’d passed Wequetequock, rolled over a bridge that looked as old as New England itself, then turned sharply right onto a well-­paved but unmarked road. Quite abruptly, the minimalls and tourist motels fell away behind. He passed a sleepy cove in which lobster boats bobbed at anchor, and then entered an equally sleepy hamlet. And yet it was a real village, a working village, with a general store and a tackle shop and an Episcopal church with a steeple three sizes too large, and gray-­shingled houses with trim picket fences painted white. There were no hulking SUVs, no out-­of-­state plates; and the scattering of people sitting on benches or leaning out of front windows waved to him as he passed. The April sunlight was strong, and the sea air had a clean, fresh bite to it. A signboard hanging from the doorframe of the post office informed him he was in Pevensey Point, population 182. Something about the place reminded him irresistibly of Herman Melville.

“Karen,” he said, “if you’d seen this place, you’d never have made us buy that summer cottage in Hyannis.”

Although his wife had died of cancer years ago, Logan still allowed himself to converse with her now and then. Of course it was usually—­though not always—­more monologue than conversation. At first, he’d been sure to do it only when he was certain not to be overheard. But then—­as what had started as a kind of intellectual hobby for him turned increasingly into a profession—­he no longer bothered to be so discreet. These days, judging by what he did for a living, people expected him to be a little strange.

Two miles beyond the town, precisely as the directions indicated, a narrow lane led off to the right. Taking it, Logan found himself in a sandy forest of thin scrub pine that soon gave way to tawny dunes. The dunes ended at a metal bridge leading to a low, broad island jutting out into Fishers Island Sound. Even from this distance, Logan could see there were at least a dozen structures on the island, all built of the same reddish-­brown stone. At the center were three large five-­story buildings that resembled dormitories, arranged in parallel, like dominos. At the far end of the island, partly concealed by the various structures, was an empty airstrip. And beyond everything lay the ocean and the dark green line of Rhode Island.

Logan drove the final mile, stopping at a gatehouse before the bridge. He showed the printed e-­mail to the guard inside, who smiled and waved him through. A single sign beside the gatehouse, expensive looking but unobtrusive, read simply cts.

He crossed the bridge, passed an outlying structure, and pulled into a parking lot. It was surprisingly large: there were at least a hundred cars and space for as many more. Nosing into one of the spots, he killed the engine. But instead of exiting, he paused to read the e-­mail once again.


I’m pleased—­and relieved—­to hear of your acceptance. I also appreciate your being flexible, since as I mentioned earlier there’s no way yet to know how long your investigation will take. In any case you’ll receive a minimum of two weeks’ compensation, at the rate you specified. I’m sorry I can’t give you more details at this point, but you’re probably used to that. And I have to tell you I can’t wait to see you again after all this time.

Directions to the Center are below. I’ll be waiting for you on the morning of the 18th. Any time between ten and noon will be fine. One other thing: once you’re on board with the project, you might find it hard to get calls out with any degree of certainty, so please be sure you’ve cleared your decks before you arrive. Looking forward to the 18th!


E. R.

Logan glanced at his watch: eleven thirty. He turned the note over once in his hands. You might find it hard to get calls out with any degree of certainty. Why was that? Perhaps cell phone towers had never made it beyond picturesque Pevensey Point? Nevertheless, what the e-­mail said was true: he was “used to that.” He pulled a duffel bag from the passenger seat, slipped the note into it, and got out of the car.

Located in one of the central dormitory-­like buildings, Reception was an understated space that reminded Logan of a hospital or clinic: a half-­dozen empty chairs, tables with magazines and journals, a sprinkling of anonymous-­looking oil paintings on beige walls, and a single desk occupied by a woman in her mid-­thirties. The letters CTS were set into the wall behind her, once again with no indication of what they might stand for.

Logan gave his name to the woman, who in response looked at him with a mixture of curiosity and uneasiness. He took a seat in one of the vacant chairs, expecting a protracted wait. But no sooner had he picked up a recent issue of Harvard Medical Review than a door across from the receptionist opened and Ethan Rush emerged.

“Jeremy,” Rush said, smiling broadly and extending his hand. “Thank you so much for coming.”

“Ethan,” Logan replied, shaking the proffered hand. “Nice to see you again.”

He hadn’t seen Rush since their days at Johns Hopkins twenty years before, when he’d been doing graduate studies and Rush had been attending the medical school. But the man who stood before him retained a remarkable youthfulness. Only a fine tracery of lines at the corners of his eyes bore testament to the passage of years. And yet in the simple act of shaking the man’s hand, Logan had received two very clear impressions from Rush: a shattering, life-­changing event and an unswerving, almost obsessive, devotion to a cause.

Dr. Rush glanced around the reception area. “You brought your luggage?”

“It’s in my trunk.”

“Give me the keys, I’ll see that somebody retrieves it for you.”

“It’s a Lotus Elan S four.”

Rush whistled. “The roadster? What year?”

“Nineteen sixty-­eight.”

“Very nice. I’ll make sure they treat it with kid gloves.”

Logan dug into his pocket and handed the keys to Rush, who in turn gave them to the receptionist with some whispered instructions. Then he turned and motioned Logan to follow him through the open doorway.

Taking an elevator to the top floor, Rush led the way down a long hallway that smelled faintly of cleaning fluid and chemicals. The resemblance to a hospital grew stronger—­and yet it seemed to be a hospital without patients; the few people they passed were dressed in street clothes, ambulatory, and obviously healthy. Logan peered curiously into the open doorways as they walked by. He saw conference rooms, a large, empty lecture hall with seats for at least a hundred, laboratories bristling with equipment, what appeared to be a reference library full of paperbound journals and dedicated terminals. More strangely, he noticed several apparently identical rooms, each containing a single, narrow bed with literally dozens—­if not hundreds—­of wires leading to nearby monitoring instruments. Other doors were closed, their small windows covered by privacy curtains. A group of men and women in white lab coats passed them in the hallway. They glanced at Logan, nodded to Rush.

Stopping before a door marked director, Rush opened it and beckoned Logan through an anteroom housing two secretaries and a profusion of bookcases into a private office beyond. It was tastefully decorated, as minimalist as the outer office was crowded. Three of the walls held spare postmodernist paintings in cool blues and grays; the fourth wall appeared to be entirely of glass, covered at the moment by blinds.

In the center of the room was a teakwood table, polished to a brilliant gleam and flanked by two leather chairs. Rush took one and ushered Logan toward the other.

“Can I offer you anything?” the director asked. “Coffee, tea, soda?”

Logan shook his head.

Rush crossed one leg over the other. “Jeremy, I have to be frank. I wasn’t sure you’d be willing to take on this assignment, given how busy you are . . . and how closemouthed I was concerning the particulars.”

“You weren’t sure—­even given the fee I charged?”

Rush smiled. “It’s true—­your fee is certainly healthy. But then your, ah, work has become somewhat high profile recently.” He hesitated. “What is it you call your profession again?”

“I’m an enigmalogist.”

“Right. An enigmalogist.” Rush glanced curiously at Logan. “And it’s true you were able to document the existence of the Loch Ness monster?”

“You’d have to take that up with my client for that particular assignment, the University of Edinburgh.”

“Serves me right for asking.” Rush paused. “Speaking of universities, you are a professor, aren’t you?”

“Medieval history. At Yale.”

“And what do they think of your other profession at Yale?”

“High visibility is never a problem. It helps guarantee a large admissions pool.” Logan glanced around the office. He’d often found that new clients preferred to talk about his past accomplishments. It postponed discussion of their own problems.

“I remember those . . . investigations you did at the Peabody Institute and the Applied Physics Lab back in school,” Rush said. “Who would have thought they’d lead you to this?”

“Not me, certainly.” Logan shifted in his seat. “So. Care to tell me just what CTS stands for? Nothing around here seems to give any clue.”

“We do keep our cards pretty close to our vest. Center for Transmortality Studies.”

“Transmortality Studies,” Logan repeated.

Rush nodded. “I founded CTS two years ago.”

Logan glanced at him in surprise. “You founded the Center?”

Rush took a deep breath. A grim look came over his face. “You see, Jeremy, it’s like this. Just over three years ago, I was working an ER shift when my wife, Jennifer, was brought in by paramedics. She’d been in a terrible accident and was completely unresponsive. We tried everything—­heart massage, paddles—­but it was hopeless. It was the worst moment of my life. There I was, not only unable to save my own wife . . . but I was expected to pronounce her dead, as well.”

Logan shook his head in sympathy.

“Except that I didn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Against the advice of the assisting doctors I continued heroic measures.” He leaned forward. “And, Jeremy—­she pulled through. I finally revived her, fourteen minutes after all brain function had ceased.”


Meet the Author

LINCOLN CHILD is the New York Times best-selling author of Terminal Freeze, Deep Storm, Death Match, and Utopia, as well as coauthor, with Douglas Preston, of numerous New York Times best sellers, most recently Fever Dream. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.

Brief Biography

Place of Birth:
Westport, Connecticut
B.A., Carleton College, 1979

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The Third Gate 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 137 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many books by Child along with collaborations with Preston. Most are good, some very good. But even the prologue in this book makes me regret purchasing it. An author's rule of thumb: if you aren't familiar with a subject but wish to write about it, you must do meticulous research or seek expert advice, not simply look up impressive-sounding words, inserting them wherever. This type of writing really puts off those of us who work in the field which you're pretending to know about. p.s., paramedics neither type blood nor suture wounds. When blood type is not yet known, O-type blood is always used, usually O-neg, as it is the most compatible with all other blood types. Simply writing ideas without putting in the work is shoddy writing, and showing off how little you know about a subject in the first few pages does not make an author look good, even an established and successful one.
CCFL More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books with potential that doesn't produce. I straddle the fence on this, because I am a Lincoln Child fan, and I think the main character Jeremy Logan (an enigmalogist) will be one that would be fun to see again but in this book, the main character in this book doesn't have any character. He gets a great build up, solving the Loch Ness Monster mystery etc, but in this novel, you keep waiting for him to use his skills and he is more of a passive observer....other than feeling a malevolent presence -- he doesn't do much more than take air samples. I think down the road, he will be a fun character to follow but in this debut he gets over shadowed. I actually wanted to really enjoy this book -- the premise is perfect, the plot is feasible, there just isn't a payoff -- I kept reading and waiting for something to happen and nothing really does -- and the end doesn't really tie up the entire plot. Is the March character the one who was sabotaging the station? You assume that is thought Child wants you to have -- but it doesn't explain how or why he caused a generator to explode or why he electrocuted a staff worker -- and that's not the only question left without a definitive answer. Really, that is the job of the main character to pull together all of the loose ends and it doesn't happen. Plus, Logan is an individual with special skills, we never really see any of those on display -- he has misgivings, he has foreboding thoughts, but he never steps up and solves anything -- in fact, it's a minor character that comes up with the critical discovery -- while Logan is in the chamber doing nothing more than observing and again feeling that evil presence. It wasn't a bad read, it was just one of those books that left you with a "that's it?" feeling at the end, instead of a "that's good".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most accurate review is lots of potential with little payoff. Kept waiting for the crescendo but it didn't really happen. Too predictable at times and too impossible at other times.
MollyMW More than 1 year ago
I have read most of the Child and Preston books. This is without a doubt a triple-bogey ....don't waste your money....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Far-fetched plot. Uncompelling characters. Predictable outcome. Save your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write a book together, they create gold. When Lincoln Child wrote this book, he must have been very ill, and ingested way too many medications at once. This was, by far, the most boring, infantile, disappointing excuse for a book that I've had the displeasure of reading in years. The only reason I continued reading it until the end, was because I purchased it on my NOOK, (NOOK purchases cannot be returned) and I figured I'd get my money's worth. NOT AT ALL. If you are reasonably intelligent; if you enjoy a good, mentally-stimulating read; if you DO NOT enjoy being led along by the nose through scenes that a child would be bored with, please save yourself the time, the money .toward pl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was okay, but I expected more from the hype. To much non-detail and not enough story dialog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Preston and Child are favorite authors, and while the book was not poorly written, like the recent Gidein series, it was also not compelling like much of their other work. Lincoln Child has had solid solo effort and with this new character has the potentisl for some entertaining stories, but as has been said in other reviews, here the main character is little more thsn a passive observer. I hope Mr. Child will try again wuth thid character, but with more insight into hus unique skills.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great action and suspense! HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, i started getting into the story at about 220 pages in; the novel has 280 pages. The progression is very linear . No suspense. The only commendable thing was that he does paint a good picture. I means i was scared and had to turn my back against the wall. Didnt invest in the characters at all. So, yeah.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many potentially interesting plot lines and backstories that are never fully developed. Abrupt ending that is ultimately unsatisfying.
eagle3tx More than 1 year ago
Started OK, downhill from there. The underlying premise of an undiscovered Egyptian tomb sounded great. The few characters who were described in any depth were realistic and sympathetic and interesting. The wealthy and successful treasure hunter Porter Stone character especially was well-conceived and gave me hope something big was on the horizon. An 'enigmalogist' as a main character was a little off, but I easily identified with the two main female charaters who were the soul of the storyline. Unfortunately, as the book rattled toward the conclusion, the twist ending that was foreshadowed throughout was twisted beyond plausibility and became instead a distraction. Suspension of disbelief is not enough to get you through this book. I truly expected more from this author, who I have read consistently for years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable read. Captured the imagination. Highly recommend!
ALY259 More than 1 year ago
This book captured and held my attention from start to finish. Glad the ending fitted the story line. Hope this becomes a series!
Pookielani More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Lincoln Childs' new book "The Third Gate". He always takes the time to include factual information, which he skillfully blends with his fictional story, to create a truly captivating, and believable book. Mr. Child also writes with Mr. Douglas Preston and together they put out wonderful reading experiences both fact and fiction.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very good book with great story line. was sorry to see it end.
Anonymous 1 days ago
Love ALL these books whether written as individuals or by collaboration. These guys really cook! Thanks. P. Jan Hall
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
It's ok not the best
Anonymous 6 months ago
I was all ready to snuggle in with a Lincoln Child story on an ancient Egyptian king and instead got one on near death experiences at CTS laboratory. What gives?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was predictable, as other reviews stated. It didn't make it any less fun to read though. I don"t read these books for their historical accuracy either. Sorry for those with their panties in a twist over fictional story. But in the future, I'll stick to the Preston/Child novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be fun, but predictable in many ways. The characters were a little hard to keep track of, especially in the beginning, and it was a bit too obvious who couldn't be trusted. I had been looking for an archaeological thriller when I choose this one, and had previously read and enjoyed THUNDERHEAD by Preston & Child, so I thought this would be an excellent choice. Sadly, it didn't grab me like a thriller should. It was alright, it just took too long for things to really start to happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is well written and enjoyable. If you enjoy the subject matter you should enjoy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago