Review – The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew #5)Effective Engineering Solutions has been inexplicably shut down and the head of the company, Eli Glinn, has all but vanished. Fresh off a diagnosis that gives him only months to live, Gideon Crew is contacted by one of his coworkers at EES, Manuel Garza, who tells him the two have mere hours to collect their belongings before the office closes forever. After years of dedicated service and several high-risk missions, theirs seems like the most ignoble of terminations-until Gideon and Garza happen upon an incredible discovery. After centuries of silence, a code-breaking machine at EES has cracked the long-awaited translation of a centuries-old stone tablet, the Phaistos Disc, that dates back to an otherwise completely unknown, ancient civilization. The mysteries of the message itself hint at incredible treasures, and perhaps even a world-altering secret. No one remains at EES to take on this most remarkable mission but Gideon and Garza. The two agree to solve the mystery of the disc’s message and split the spoils: the perfect parting gift their employer doesn’t know he has given. What lies at the end of the trail may save Gideon’s life-or bring it to a sudden, shocking close. As Gideon and Garza soon discover, some missions are more dangerous than others. But as Gideon has proved again and again, there’s no such thing as too great a risk when you’re living on borrowed time.

Genre: Mystery / Thriller
My Rating: *** (3 stars)

The Pharoah Key is the 5th (and final?) book in the Gideon Crew series.

If you’ve read my review of Beyond the Ice Limit, you know that as much as I love Preston & Child, I’m not really a huge Gideon Crew fan. I couldn’t resist the chance to read a newly released Preston & Child novel though, so I requested my copy through Netgalley and decided to give it a shot.

What I got was a decent, if slightly bland, adventure story. Garza and Gideon team up for one last adventure before Gideon heads back to his cabin in the mountains to await the inevitable. (If you’ve read any of the series you will know that Gideon suffers from a life-threatening medical condition.) The hope is partly to make themselves rich so they can live out their lives in comfort, and partly to get back at Eli Glynn, who has dismissed them and dissolved EES with no warning.

There are foes and friends both to be found along the way as they begin their search for what they believe will be a great treasure. There is enough action to keep the story moving along, and enough exotic locations and situations to keep you intrigued and reading to the end. It finishes up with just enough of a resolution for each main character’s story-line to satisfy most Gideon Crew fans. While missing the excitement of the Pendergast novels, this is not a bad story and a decent conclusion to the series.

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