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posted: 8/12/2014 6:00 AM

Stellar writing in clever 'Lost Island'

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  • Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child balance suspense with ancient history in "The Lost Island."

    Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child balance suspense with ancient history in "The Lost Island."

By Jeff Ayers
Associated Press

"The Lost Island," the third novel to feature master thief and brilliant scientist Gideon Crew, is another clever and compelling tale from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Gideon has a rare condition that will kill him within a year unless he finds a cure. He works for Eli Glinn, a mysterious man with unlimited wealth, who asks Gideon to steal one page from the priceless Book of Kells, an Irish tome on display at a New York library. The security system is beyond impenetrable, and it becomes the ultimate challenge for Gideon to obtain the one page.

Through deceit, trickery and sleight of hand, Gideon successfully grabs the page, and what is discovered on the parchment is a strange map that promises treasure and a possible cure. He reluctantly teams up with Amy, one of Eli's assistants, and together they embark on a journey across the Caribbean, following a map with cryptic symbols and descriptions. What they discover will shatter every belief they had about the history of North America and probably will kill both of them before they can discover where the treasure and cure are hidden.

Readers might be divided since regular series character Aloysius Pendergast is nowhere to be found in "The Lost Island." But the stellar writing that readers expect from Preston and Child is still in abundance, and they balance the line between page-turning suspense and ancient history. And when it gets a bit fantastical, they make it believable and completely plausible.

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