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Gideon’s Sword
Douglas Preston, Lee Child
Grand Central Publishing 2011
Hardcover 352 pages

Gideon’s Sword, the first installment in a new mystery thriller by renowned authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, opens with a bang.  Twelve year-old Gideon Crew’s life is irrevocably altered when amidst the chaos of a SWAT team hostage situation, he watches in horror as his unarmed father is gunned down, the man’s cries for an investigation into multiple deaths, silenced forever.

Fast forward 16 years to his mother’s deathbed, where Gideon learns details of his father’s history working with top level US Army security; how critical errors were discovered, and Dad was stopped before he could blow the whistle.  Knowing who is responsible, Mom’s final wishes are for the shocked Gideon to even the score.

It is present day, and Gideon is ready.  Gideon’s Sword follows his quest to procure evidence of his father’s innocence, and exact revenge.  This mystery reads like a spy novel, with murder, espionage, cold war secrets, Soviet threats, classified information, and an unusually gutsy and smooth-talking and resourceful Crew, who dons disguises, and delves deep into danger.

His techniques are observed, and he is offered a lucrative job as a clandestine operative, to hunt down a potential Chinese defector who may be smuggling high tech weaponry into the US.  Someone is murdered, and Gideon scrambles to locate the plans that could change the world.  This is where the book takes off, and with nothing to lose, Crew becomes a renegade.

A lot happens in this increasingly complex and fast-paced mystery novel.  Earlier on, momentum waxes and wanes, but excitement builds as the authors inject imaginative plot lines, descriptive visuals and unexpected twists which maintain interest.  Moving into the last quarter, Gideon’s Sword is hard to put down.

With action and chase scenes-watch out for the backhoe-it is not surprising that Gideon’s Sword has been picked up for a movie deal.  It’s a good ride, so try both, and see what you like.

Check out the Agent Pendergast series also by Lincoln & Child