Recently, I was presented the opportunity to read the first in a new series of action/adventure/mystery novels, featuring a new action hero named “Gideon Crew.” Ever the trail-blazer, I acquiesced. The book: Gideon’s Sword by writing team Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Time for a strong cuppa tea and a comfortable spot in which to take in the authors’ opus.
The novel is a pretty quick read, and Preston and Child held my interest. Well, for awhile. The pace of the action is brisk, avoiding any drag spots, and the book is chopped up into short “chapters,” some only a couple of pages long.
Gideon Crew is out to avenge a wrong done to his parents (can you say, “Batman”?) but doesn’t have a bat cave or a loyal butler named Alfred. What he does have is the gift of spinning the bull to get in places where he shouldn’t be and around rules that are often pretty nonsensical to begin with. He also has a knack for disguises (à la “The Saint”). Pursuing his goal of vengeance is sort of a prologue for when the real action begins.
Sadly, the novel is full of unnecessarily crude language and gratuitous violence, sort of like they were trying to write this to be snapped up by Hollywood for a movie. (So, why not just write a script and start shopping it around to the agents?) For example, a big crash scene with several people dying and others severely injured need not have happened, based on the fact that the perpetrator of it all was an assassin trained in killing up close, which he does twice. Causing the crash was inconsistency of character and is very common in both novels and movies these days.
I reached a point in the novel about 7/8ths of the way through where the whole issue was revealed, the reason for all the mayhem. I stopped reading there. Life is precious. Time is precious. And I had just discovered that I had wasted both on this book. That reason was trivial, asinine, and scientifically wrong. Just as with a lot of the tripe coming out of Hollywood (both movies and TV shows), spouting political and ideological nonsense, this novel is truly disappointing. Preston and Child killed off not only a bunch of people (fortunately, just on the pages of their book) but several hours of my life.
On to something worthwhile, like trying another new tea.
Oh, if you are curious, the authors have a newsletter.