Susan Tunis's Reviews > Gideon's Corpse

Gideon's Corpse by Douglas Preston
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Mar 22, 2012

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A toss-up between entertainment and frustration

Gideon Crew is back. After a lukewarm reception from Preston & Child fans—and that’s putting it charitably—their new series here makes his second outing. Now, these gentlemen haven’t written a book I didn’t enjoy yet. Still, I do understand some of the frustration that other readers have been so vocally expressing. But first, a few words on the plot…

After reluctantly completing his job for Eli Glinn and Effective Engineering Solutions, Gideon wants nothing further to do with the man. Facing his own mortality, all he wants to do is head home for some R & R. Glinn has other ideas. The U.S. is facing “a national emergency of the highest order.” Reed Chalker, a former colleague of Gideon’s at Los Alamos has died violent and raving of radiation poisoning as the book opens. Per Eli, “It seems clear that Chalker was involved in preparing a terrorist attack with a nuclear device. During these preparations, something went wrong and the uranium went critical. Chalker was irradiated. It also appears likely to our experts that the remaining terrorists spirited off the bomb, leaving Chalker to die.”

Of course, Gideon is the only possible man to track down the missing nuke and disarm the threat. Except, Gideon doesn’t care. He wants a second opinion about his so-called terminal illness, and he doesn’t trust Eli as far as he can throw him. And he wants to believe that he doesn’t care about all of the endangered innocents, but he knows it isn’t true. He can’t turn his back.

And so another misadventure begins. I won’t reveal more because the fun is in the twists and turns within the plot. And Preston & Child are masters at plotting. Occasionally, there would be a stroke of genius. Unfortunately, almost as often, there would be some story element that would truly beggar credulity. There was a romantic subplot that just made me want to groan. Why? Why? Why do thriller writers shoehorn in ridiculous, utterly unbelievable romances into their novels? It’s painful. And there were other moments of frustration with the story-telling that can’t be discussed without spoilers. But these were balanced by a lot of fun, excitement, and a confoundingly convoluted mystery.

I still think that Gideon Crew is a character with potential, but I do wish the authors would hold his tales to the high standard of their other work.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 22, 2012 – Shelved

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