The world did not end in 2011. Some say 2012 may be the year. Ever timely and provocative, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have given us yet another one of their taut page-turners in GIDEON’S CORPSE, and this time it looks like Armageddon is just around the corner. Just like the doomsayers have predicted. Maybe.
"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."
Dr. Gideon Crew, first introduced in GIDEON’S SWORD, is propelled into a search for a rogue nuclear weapon. Why Gideon? Because he happened to know a scientist --- Reed Chalker --- who converted to Islam, went a little nutty, took his landlords hostage, and then after being taken down by a SWAT team, his lifeless body registered off the radiation charts. Add to that a nuclear cloud over New York City, and Gideon is enlisted by Effective Engineering Solutions head Eli Glinn to unearth the nuclear weapon the deceased scientist must have been working on and been exposed to before his untimely death.
After spotting a calendar with appointments that abruptly end 10 days after the fatal stand-off, Gideon quickly realizes that something big is on the very near horizon. And it’s not the fishing trip he had been counting on in the wake of learning he has an untreatable illness. Fearing that his former colleague Reed secretly built a weapon of mass destruction for a terrorist sect, Gideon teams with FBI agent Stone Fordyce, a liaison to the federal Nuclear Energy Support Team, on a hunt for the suspected group and the potential threat. They depart the city before panic sets in and flights out are impossible, and head to Santa Fe and Los Alamos, where Reed had been working.
In an unexpected twist, Gideon becomes the target of the search at one point when suspicious materials appear on his computer, linking him to the weapon. Like Michael Crichton, Preston and Child weave their stories at a thrilling pace, making me wonder all the time what this novel would be like on film. Without giving too much away, certainly the chainsaw duel with the cult figures, the tunnels and the helicopter escapes all lend themselves to the big screen. Tom Cruise as Gideon? I can see it.
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.
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara on January 12, 2012