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Gideon's Sword    by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child order for
Gideon's Sword
by Douglas Preston
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After spending the last ten years setting up and then dispatching the man responsible for his father's death, Gideon Crew is prepared to finally move on and begin living his life. What that life will entail he isn't sure - for the moment he's content to spend quality time relaxing at his remote cabin. When his quest to reel in a granddaddy trout he's been after for years is interrupted by a stranger, Crew isn't impressed.

Neither is he impressed when his visitor informs Gideon that certain individuals have been watching him for years while he plotted tirelessly to clear his father's name. And that these same individuals are now interested in Gideon's particular skills to carry out a rather delicate assignment. Gideon wants to refuse, but the pay-off for a few days' work is substantial, so he agrees to meet his prospective boss, Eli Glinn (previously introduced in the authors' Aloysius Pendergast series).

Glinn quickly outlines Gideon's assignment - bring in a rogue Chinese scientist who's carrying plans that could change the history of the world. Gideon agrees (but only after Glinn drops another bombshell) and it doesn't take long for his assignment to go totally south. Others are gunning for the scientist, literally, and it's Gideon that the dying scientist entrusts with a long string of numbers. What do they mean, and will Gideon have time to unravel the mystery before assassins - and other shady characters - silence him for good?

While I was initially disappointed that the hook outlined on the dust jacket was merely a tool to introduce readers to a dark and intriguing new player in the thriller genre, the main plot satisfied my expectations.

The action is non-stop (if sometimes Hollywood over-the-top), the plot intriguing, and the pacing swift. Secondary characterizations aren't unique - hooker with heart of gold, Chinese assassins, and nerdy computer hacker friend - but main character Gideon Crew, while clearly not fully fleshed out in this first of the series, is definitely his own man. He's an engaging modern hero, whose thorny assignment - and shocking motivator - will compel readers to come back for more.

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