Preston and Child (Gideon’s Sword, 2011, etc.) sail Gideon Crew into his third adventure for Effective Engineering Solutions, a "company specializing in failure analysis" that's the brainchild of Eli Glinn, a banged-up ex-military genius who pilots his enterprise from a power wheelchair.
EES assigns Crew a simple Caribbean jaunt to find an exotic plant with near-magical healing powers. But first, he'll need to sneak into the Morgan Library in New York and steal part of Ireland’s priceless Book of Kells because the Phorkys Map, an ancient Greek text that points the way to the coveted plant, is on the reverse side. In spite of Swiss bank–level security, Crew’s now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t Kells caper takes no more time than he’ll need to sink a ship full of treasure-hunting Caribbean pirates. Thinking Crew knows the location of billions in bullion, the bad guys stumble upon him and his EES-assigned partner, Amy, a techno-type with Ph.D.s in classical languages and sociology. No meet-cute romance here for Crew and Amy; it’s eyes only on the map left by Odysseus, he of the legendary voyage. The authors crank up their descriptive powers when the pair meet Miskito Indians and then canoe offshore to search for the "lotus"—the healing plant—on deserted volcanic islands. Deserted because the census overlooked the last surviving Cyclops, "something out of a B movie, a huge muscled Neanderthal" who's "nine feet tall, with a massive head on a thickly muscled neck" and "a single glossy eye the size of a plate." The characters are static. The plot is breakneck violent. Geekery is prevalent, with Glinn employing QBA—supercomputer quantitative behavioral analysis, combining history, sociology and statistics which "can predict, to a certain extent, human behavior"—which works well except for the unforeseen murder and mayhem, betrayal and suicide.
Preston and Child keep an eye out for the legendary and introduce Cyclops, mystical humanoid, to stretch the boundaries of the action-adventure novel.