The Third Gate


There are many good points about “The Third Gate”, published by Lincoln Child in 2012.  Most important, of course, is that it’s a good read.   It’s an interesting genre, a  combination archeological/supernatural thriller, and I think Child has avoided the many possible pitfalls this involves.  He apologizes for liberties taken with various facets of life in ancient Egypt in service of his plot ( the search for a pharaoh’s tomb), but speaking as someone who likes this kind of thing, I think he’s accurate enough for the amateur reader.  He doesn’t apologize for one of the major characters whose near death experience produced amazingly enhanced psychic abilities.  An apology is due because during this experience her brain was starved of oxygen for fourteen minutes.  This would actually have given her the esp ability of a turnip.

Professor Jeremy Logan is a historian who has developed a sideline as an interpreter of the bizarre.  Explaining the impossible is a rare talent, so of course he’s much in demand and is sent to some interesting places.  I think this character is a great idea, providing Child with the opportunity to follow his obvious interest in various types of unexplained phenomena.  It’s also an interest of mine.  I’ve done my best to share what I have been able to find out about the subject of esp in The Wish to Kill .

Two Thrillers


I have just read two thrillers back to back, and they have a lot in common; the bad guys in both are fanatical Islamists, and both books are ridiculous.  The big difference between them is that only the good one is ridiculous on purpose.

Christopher Farnsworth’s “Blood Oath” postulates that America faces supernatural as well as human enemies, and that there is a vampire, sworn to obey the president, who is our secret weapon against the forces of evil.  This vampire has a strict code of ethics and although he keeps reminding the people he works with that he isn’t human, he is in fact more human and much more likable than the supposedly human protagonist of the second book.

According to the book’s cover Matthew Dunn, the author of “Spycatcher”, conducted approximately seventy successful missions during a career as an MI6 field officer.  This has given him the expertise to describe a lot of military hardware in what is no doubt authentic detail, but his hero is one of the least convincing or attractive  fictional  “humans” ever deployed by an intelligence service.

I hope I’m correct in believing that if American and British agents find that a French team is unwittingly intruding into an operation, they generally find a better way to solve the problem than murdering the whole French team.  But no fear – although Dunn’s super spy hero orders the elimination of the unfortunate French, he actually feels bad for a few minutes when he realizes that he has just killed a good friend.

The vampire is the nicer guy.