The Third Gate introduces Professor Jeremy Logan, an empathic medieval history professor who moonlights as a supernatural investigator (where does he find the time.)
He is invited by Ethan Rush, a brilliant doctor a self-confessed expert in near-death experiences to look into an ancient tomb disovered in 'The Sudd' a horrible uninhabited swamp that forms part of The Nile that hides a deadly secret.
Not too surprisingly the tomb is cursed, and its a particularly nasty scary curse.
Child combines elements of paranormal investigation with classic 'curse of the mummy' story elements, and for the most part does quite well. Especially the unusual relationship between Ethan and his wife.
SORT OF SPOILERS AHEAD...
I do have two problems however, while the idea of combining paranormal investigation with cursed Pharaoh terms is somewhat original, it is a little hard to swallow at times. Especially the idea that a group who believes in the paranormal and also know of a curse would go traipsing straight into said curse. The typical cursed mummy things tends to rely on sceptical archaeologists only discovering too late that the curse is true.
The second problem is the stakes of this story are just too low. The climactic ending was entertaining, however up into the last few pages, the only people in dire trouble were no-name extras who got picked off while the main characters enjoyed pottering around discussing their concerns in the meantime.
In the end, Third Gate is quite enjoyable as long as you don't take it too seriously. Certainly Child has not changed my book reading world with Third Gate, but I also don't regret the time spend reading it either. Apparently Prof Jeremy Logan is planned for sequels, he's probably going to need better luck with the ladies to keep our interest!