The #MINI Book Review: The Lost Island by Preston&Child

I had high expectations when I settled back into my airline seat and cracked open The Lost Island, Preston&Child's third Gideon Crew novel. I mean, why wouldn't I? I have read--and enjoyed--all of their previous Pendergast novels, and the first two installments of the Gideon Crew series did not disappoint in any way. But high expectations can be a curse: think John Grisham after The Pelican Brief; Zune; Windows Vista; MicroSoft WordPerfect (still having PTSD after buying that); Caddyshack2; Jaws2. Not to worry here, though: when the wheels touched down in Denver I wanted to ask the pilot to park on the tarmac for a while so I could continue reading. 

How is it, you ask, that these guys (Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child) are able to grab hold of the reader and pull him in to the story each and every time? Preston&Child do it by creating--in my opinion--the best plots in thrillerdom: original, well-researched, SF/F type plots that they ground so well in real science that you are sure it could really happen. Take The Lost Island for example. Gideon is asked to steal an ancient text from a museum in NYC, only to discover that the real treasure is a map to a lost island that is etched on the vellum underneath. As the book unfolds, Gideon is tasked by his employer, the brilliant but ruthless and overly-calculating Eli Glinn of Effective Engineering Solutions, to use the map to locate the island and uncover the secret it harbors--a lotus so powerful it has the ability to heal any injury or malady.

But the plotting genius of Preston&Child is not done there; along the way, Amy, the mysterious woman who is paired with Gideon for the trip, discovers that they are on the same search as Odysseus, Homer's classic Hero, whose travels and adventures are written up in The Odyssey, one of the greatest books of all time.

In the interest of not being a spoiler I won't say anymore (and this is the #MINI) but suffice it to say that Preston&Child aren't done yet, and their pacing remains electric throughout. Above all, however, is the research that goes into a P&C offering; as with any other of their 20 novels, The Lost Island  is educational, thought-provoking, and fun--a difficult combination to achieve.

cheers, peter

Peter Hogenkamp is a physician and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; and The Intern, a serialized novel based loosely on Peter's internship, published bi-weekly on #Wattpad. Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog,PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of Prose&Cons; a frequent contributor and reviewer at ReadWave; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous), and LinkedIn (Tweets, Novels and Blogs); and a Beta-reader at StoryShelter. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. He can be reached at or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at


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