The Pharaoh Key: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Would you spend the last days of your life looking for a treasure in a place that might take your life even before you take your final breath? Gideon Crew received a death message when at the doctor’s office learning that he has an AVM or brain malformation and he now has only 2 months left to get his effects in order deal with his final resting place. Deciding that he and his friend, engineer Manuel Garza would now take on their former employer for taking away their income, losing their jobs and leaving them with no pay check. Effective Engineering Solutions would now learn just how resourceful, inventive and creative these two can be but first they needed some information that required approaching their former boss Eli Glinn and managing to dup in a unique way.
They manage to get the information as to where this treasure might be buried but would anyone that has little or no time left chance going to a place that is forbidden? Learning that there is a computer in the office where they worked that has been working for 43 thousand hours . Manuel Garza and Gideon need to find a way to get the information on it so Garza sticks a USB drive in the computer revealing a secret project that would send both of these men on a journey that might cost them and others their lives. The ancient Phaistos Disk is what they want to learn more about and decipher and the information is now on this drive and Garza wants to find the treasure and sell it if they find it but what would Gideon need with more money than you could spend in a lifetime? After reading what’s on the disc they learn that the place where this treasure might be lodged is the Hala’ib Triangle in southeastern Egypt. But, that’s just the tip of the very hot desert scorching iceberg because once they commit to doing this events will test them to their limits, cause Gideon to wonder about his sanity and trust and deceptions will play a strong part as they bargain with camel dealers for what they need in order to make this dangerous and scorching trek across hot terrain, deserts, rocky surfaces, cloudless skies and waterless days and nights.
After bargaining for the camels a women named Imogen outbids them and the camel dealer convinces her to take them along as assistants. But, not everyone is who or what they seem and she claims to be a geologist and checking the terrain and Gideon’s story is he’s a reporter for National Geographic and Garza is his photographer. But, imogen is not fooled and realizes no films are taken and after days in the scorching sun and not much water or food they get blindsided when they wake up to no water supplies or food and their camels are gone. Inventive in their own way they had to find a way to wake up a well that is down deep in the ground in order to survive so why does Imogen come back and this would be the start of a truly unholy alliance.
An oasis must overtakes them and then the trek continues and the unthinkable happens and they are captured by a preislamic tribe of you might say barbarians who enslave them. Guards that are brutal, an old crone , a young maid and a chieftain all having different roles and agendas. As the three overcome some odd rituals and become part of their chain gang of worker slaves, Garza Gideon and Imogen are flashed back in time to a place so prehistoric and yet in some ways modern. Gender roles are equal jobs fit their abilities but since these three are insignificant at first they had to gain trust and status through actions not words. Authors Preston and child created a plot that reflects issues of status deceit betrayal Trust sacrifice
Friendship loyalty fear hope and despair. Desperate time yield desperate measures as Imogen Garza and Gideon have to face a harsh reality that they may never reach their destination and never be freed from their captivity.
Hot, primitive, daggers would fly if they could understand their words and possible actions as Garza and Gideon decide how to create a weapon of choice to possibly free all three of them. Status ranges from lower ranking people to upper and even the way food is served is quite different. Everyone does something and now with little time left, Gideon needs to find what is hidden within this disk that started it all and then hopefully return home before his days are gone. Remembering how this all started and the ferry ride that took many lives, finding out Garza survived even though he could not swim and then deciding that this journey was essential, the authors give readers and Garza and Gideon much pause for thought as to just how far someone would go to get rich, have it all and yet spend the last days of his life in danger hunting for something that might not even exist.
Events happen lives are challenged and Gideon and Garza tell Imogen the truth behind their quest to find the secrets behind a hidden door and the treasures they hope it yields. When the chief dies after Garza saves his daughter from the one eyed leopard, they proclaim him chief but not before the chief gives his hand in marriage to Mary Jelena. Perspectives change allegiances are challenged and Imogen Garza and Gideon enter a world that dates back to Egypt and the tomb might belong to a pharaoh from the past. But honestly prevails as Imogen states she wants to record and document what they find but Gideon and Garza want treasures and riches. When the lies are revealed and someone in the tribe challenges Garza, will he survive? Gideon and Imogen form a pact when a hidden truth comes out and it all leads back to the beginning but how? An ending that only Preston and child could create taking us back in time to a primitive village with people loyal to each other and a leader who might just take them into the present. A civilization that just wanted to remain isolated and able to govern itself and be devoid of what the modern world in the present offers. The midday heat scorches your body, a simple crossbow could help you escape your captivity but your word, your honor and your loyalty to people that enslaved you and then excepted you changed your perspective forever. Loyalties are shifted, Illusions are created and friendships are severed and fates are sealed.
So vividly depicted and graphically told the reader lives the story along with the characters and the heat of the scorching desert burns you skin and the fear of the unknown prevails keeping you alive.
Surviving a horrendous dust storm, finding a mist oasis, dealing with villagers in a tribe that wanted to behead and kill them and becoming an important part of their family you might say, authors Preston and Child create some scenes that you make you smile, wonder and rethink what is really important in life: Money: Riches: Revenge, Retribution or Happiness, Friendship and Trust? What is Gideon’s fate? What happened to Garza? What is the fate of the disk? Can you be in the present and live in the past?
What is the fate of the Phaistos Disk? What is the secret of the Pharoah Key?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine/Mj Network Blog Talk Radio