The Codex Douglas Preston


Half of the Preston and Cloud team that hbrought us such beauties as The Relic, Rip Tide, Thunderhead, and The Cabinet of Curiosities, Douglas Preston presents us with yet another thriller in a similar vein.

An old man dies and has himself entombed someplace in the world along with all his worldly goods. If his children want their inheritance, all they need do is go and find it. As that inheritance amounts to nearly half a billion dollars in pilfered and purchased art treasures and manuscripts, they dutifully begin the search. It leads them to the jungles of Honduras where they seek a Mayan city--one brother with the hellp of his guru, one with the help of the private detective, and one with the help of the chief of a local tribe.

Enough of the setup. The book is really quite compelling for the first 250 or so pages. AFter this it lapses into a kind of trance. Nothing new or particularly interesting happens. In the last quarter or so of the book Preston pulls so many rabbits out of hats that the already shaky premise begins to exhibit an extreme case of Parkinson's.

Suffice to say that the high point of the book is an oblique reference to ofttimes partner Lincoln Child's Utopia. The character conversions in the last fifty pages are so utterly implausibile and unprepared for as to make this half-baked sourbough fall flat as a matzah.

Nevertheless, it is probably worth a read if you want some fast-moving fairly enterteaining and undemanding story-telling. Forgive the writer his occasional lapses and you'll be zoomed along a fairly worn path with some nice exotic scenery to look at along the way--including anaconda attacks, jaguar attacks, Indian attacks, fever attacks, pirahna attacks, bad-government-officials attacks, stock market attacks, and conscience attacks.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 19, 2004 4:55 AM.

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