Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE THIRD GATE by Lincoln Child

THE THIRD GATE

By Lincoln Child

Pub Date: June 12th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-53138-2
Publisher: Doubleday

When setting out to investigate Near-Death Experiences, it’s best to employ an "enigmalogist."

In Child’s (Terminal Freeze, 2009, etc.) latest adventure, Dr. Jeremy Logan, Yale professor of Medieval History, has the right resumé, and his new client, H. Porter Stone, provides the enigma. Stone is the James Cameron of treasure hunters, and his current dig seeks the “holy grail of Egyptology,” the secrets of the tomb (cursed, no doubt) of Narmer, the Pharaoh who united Egypt and became its first God-King. Logan is the man for the job, having exorcised ghosts and discovered links to legendary treasures around the globe, and thus he has Stone’s respect and support. That means Logan is soon ensconced atop the Sudd, a vast primeval swamp beyond the far southern reaches of the Nile. There, Stone has constructed a fabulous floating exploratory complex, attempting to burrow 45 feet through a near-impenetrable mishmash of muddy water, “mire, and silt, and particulate matter, and foul decay as old as the oldest tomb,” to find the three chambers of Narmer’s legendary tomb. There are assorted characters in play, none beyond stock, including Jennifer Rush, wife of the head of the Center for Transmortality Studies. Ethan Rush is Logan’s former classmate and his contact on this escapade. Jennifer was returned from post-car crash dead after 14 minutes, apparently equipped to indulge a representation of the soul of Queen Niethotep, Narmer’s devious and ambitious consort. Niethotep speaks through Jennifer to apply the requisite curse. Stone and company defiantly access the funeral chambers, the quest for knowledge and fame outweighing superstition. There are drownings, deaths, methane explosions, and repercussions between Stone, the techno-types and the obligatory attractive young female Egyptologist. Ample gadgetry, New Age soul-shifting, and pyrotechnics sufficient to employ a stable of stuntmen when brought to film: Child’s newest is the sort of thing to delight all those who got wrapped up in The Mummy.

Think, a Dan Brown-ian adventure amongst Pharaohs ready with a pocket full of curses.