Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

For centuries, it has been rumored that Ragged Island, lying off the coast of Maine, is the resting place of infamous pirate Red Ned Ockham’s fabulous treasure hoard. For centuries, people have tried in vain to get around the deadly water trap that makes the treasure inaccessible. Every attempt has ended in failure. The island was bought by Malin Hatch’s grandfather; but Malin’s brother died on that island, and =he wants nothing to do with it.

But when treasure hunter Gerard Neidelman approaches Hatch with the diary of Ockham’s architect captive and a grand scheme, Malin agrees to allow one last attempt to retrieve the treasure. But there is more to Ockham’s treasure, including the famous weapon known as “St. Michael’s Sword”, than anyone realizes. And in this treasure hunt, ignorance can be fatal.

Preston and Child (or “The Gentlemen”, as they are known by us crazed fans) once again give us a heart-racing thriller with an amazing twist at the end. (Not of the Shyamalan variety, thankfully.) Their characters are fully realized and complex, from the enigmatic Neidelman to the intense, conflicted local minister. As usual, it doubles as a history lesson-we learn a lot about ancient code use in governments and spying as well as what goes into boating.

It was a thrilling adventure overall, with a wonderful (and rather creepy) solution to all the little mysteries in the book.

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