Douglas Preston, a regular contributor to "The New Yorke"r, has
worked for the American Museum of Natural History, and taught
English at Princeton University. With his frequent collaborator
Lincoln Child, he has authored such bestselling thrillers as "The
Cabinet of Curiosities, The Ice Limit, Thunderhead, Riptide,
Reliquary, Mount Dragon, "and "Relic," which became a major
Hollywood picture. An earlier solo novel, "Jennie," was published
by Tor Books and was turned into a television movie.
Half of the writing team responsible for Relic, The Cabinet of Curiosities and other adventure bestsellers takes a solo flight, as Preston's writing partner, Lincoln Child, did in last year's Utopia. Like Child, Preston flies high and fast, turning in a briskly involving science-based thriller. The titular book is a Mayan artifact containing the sum of that people's knowledge about the medical applications of indigenous plants. The information is worth billions to any pharmaceutical company, but the Codex, along with numerous other priceless objects, was taken deep into the Honduran jungle by dying legendary tomb robber Maxwell Broadbent, to be buried along with him in a secret crypt. Max left instructions to his three grown sons that the only way to get their inheritance will be for them to track him and find the tomb. Max, who viewed his progeny as "quasi-failures," reasoned that by accomplishing this daunting task, the three-a veterinarian, a hippie spiritual seeker and a second-rate professor-will have proven themselves as men. What follows is rip-roaring jungle adventure, outfitted with a nasty villain (a sadistic PI who's also after the treasures), a beautiful blonde (partner to the vet), two memorable Indian characters, hosts of wild animals, terrific atmosphere and cliffhangers galore. The novel's main weakness is its lack of a strong central protagonist-the characters work more as an ensemble cast-such as Preston/Child have presented in their wonderful series detective, Special Agent Pendergast. Yet as always, Preston delivers the goods in a first-rate beach novel that most readers will be enjoying-at least in hardcover-while looking at snow rather than sand. Agent, Eric Simonoff. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A fabulously wealthy man summons his three sons to the family mansion, but upon their arrival, they discover that their father is missing, along with all of his prized possessions. The only item remaining is a videotape that contains a cryptic message. Disappointed in the paths his sons have chosen in their adult lives, he challenges them to find him and his treasures. If they work together, they will have a better chance of success, but each decides to search on his own. One son is approached by a woman who wants to help him locate the treasure because of a Mayan medicine book known as the "codex," containing hundreds of herbal cures that will rock the medical and pharmaceutical worlds. It's soon determined that the treasure is hidden somewhere in Honduras, and the chase is on. Scott Brick does another outstanding job in creating real and believable characters by infusing them with distinctive personalities. Preston has come up with a surefire winner in this taut thriller; highly recommended.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The Amazing Race! A fast-paced,
clever adventure."--"Entertainment Weekly" (A-) on "The Codex"
"Preston keeps the adventure high, springing plenty of nifty surprises along the way."---"People" (3 1/2 Stars) on "The Codex"
"Fascinating characters, exotic jungle scenery, and surprising twists make this nonstop thrill ride well worth deciphering. For all fiction collections."--"Library Journal" on "The Codex"
"A fun dig with just a touch of Indiana Jones."--"Kirkus Reviews" on "The Codex"
"Preston flies high and fast . . . a briskly involving science-based thriller. Rip-roaring jungle adventure, outfitted with a nasty villain, a beautiful blonde, two memorable Indian characters, hosts of wild animals, terrific atmosphere, and cliffhangers galore. Preston delivers the goods."--"Publishers Weekly" on "The Codex"