Together Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have written --- in my
opinion --- some of the best thrillers of our time. Preston's solo
effort THE CODEX earns that same praise. And if you are a fan of
quest stories, you will enjoy this unique twist on a popular
Aging and ill, Maxwell Broadbent has devised a highly unusual plan
for the distribution of his impressive estate. An
archaeologist-tomb robber, Broadbent has spent his life amassing an
unparalleled collection of art and artifacts. His three grown sons
are disappointments to him, but he can change that by sending them
on the greatest adventure of their lives.
When the boys arrive at Broadbent's mansion to find it ransacked
and virtually emptied out, they think their father has not only
been robbed but kidnapped as well --- until they find the tape that
begins with Broadbent himself saying, "Greetings from the dead."
The eccentric millionaire has taken all his prized possessions and
buried them in a crypt in Central America, and left instructions
that the son (or sons) who find the treasure will inherit it. Oh,
and Broadbent has buried himself with the goods!
The adventure begins. Vernon, the hippie spiritualist in the group,
enlists his questionable guru for help. Philip, a professor, tracks
down his father's former expedition partner, now a P.I., thinking
who better to find Broadbent than the man who knew his past quests
best. And Tom, a vet, declines to search until a beautiful young
doctor convinces him that amongst the treasures is an item vital to
the future of medicine and the future of mankind: the Codex.
The Codex is a Mayan book that contains the medical applications of
the indigenous plants of Central America. When a failing
pharmaceutical company learns of its existence, the race to feed
greed and find Broadbent is on.
Thrilling, fast-paced and chock full of unexpected surprises ---
including one Honduran who has claims on the inheritance as well
--- THE CODEX is all that and more.
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara on January 21, 2011