GIDEON’S SWORD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child [Review]

 Like most fans of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, authors of the incredibly successful Agent Pendergast books, I was surprised and intrigued when they announced their plans to launch a new series featuring a character named Gideon Crew. Once an art thief, Gideon has seemingly left those days behind and established a career as brilliant physicist at Los Alamos National Lab. That is until his mother’s deathbed confession changes everything. Years ago, twelve-year-old Gideon had watched helplessly as his father was killed during a hostage situation. Now his mother tells him that his father was framed for a failed intelligence operation and that Gideon must avenge his death. Gideon devises a plan to clear his father’s name and get revenge against the man responsible. However, in the process, he attracts the attention of a powerful man with ties to the US government. This man (who will be familiar to faithful Preston and Child readers) is in need of someone with Gideon’s ingenuity and offers Gideon a boatload of cash for his help on a top-secret mission. So can Gideon complete this dangerous assignment? Or is he in over his head?

While reading Gideon’s Sword, I got the sense that Preston and Child had a lot of fun creating this character and writing this book. I think they were going for a James Bond type super agent, but there are elements of Aloysius Pendergast in Gideon too. Like Pendergast, Gideon is brilliant, resourceful, and has a taste for fine things, but he’s a little less polished and a little more bumbling. While he lacks that irresistible—almost supernatural—air of mystery that surrounds Pendergast, there is a twist with his character that promises to lead to some interesting places. Gideon has nothing to lose, which makes him a bit of a loose cannon. I also look forward to reading more about his backstory as an art thief, which wasn’t fully explored in this book.

Fast-paced and unpredictable, Gideon’s Sword is a strong first entry in a series. The action sequences, international locations, and suspense are highly entertaining, and I think readers will find themselves rooting for Gideon. It’s another great story from Preston and Child, and their fans won’t want to miss it.

Gideon’s Sword will be released on February 22, 2011.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Pages: 352 | Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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