My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have a mixed review for Gideon’s Corpse. The story began right where Gideon’s Sword left off, updating a bit for those who might not have read the first. But after a few chapters, there was a huge information dump of basically all of Gideon’s backstory, even of information they’d already given the reader. And it went on and on. I found it annoying, not so much because I knew the information from the previous book, but because it repeated info we’d already gotten in this book. Plus it was all dumped in one block. Very unlike the authors.
One problem with the first half of the book: the scenario was there was an Islamic terrorist. I thought, Really? You couldn’t be more original? It’s the easiest and most overdone idea in crime fiction these days. And then the cliché ramped up—Islamic terrorists with a nuclear bomb. Yawn.
Eventually there were clues that the cliché setup of the radicalized Islamic convert-turned-terrorist was some sort of red herring, and I began to have hope for the story. But I would have been happier to get some of those hints earlier, if only to avoid the feeling I was reading a cliché, cookie-cutter storyline.
I was not amused by the chainsaw fight, though. It was too horror-flick like, bordering on the ridiculous. And I have a high tolerance in fiction. If you establish something as acceptable, I’ll usually go along with it. Perhaps that was the problem. Gideon was supposed to be kind of average, if more intelligent than most. Nothing in his background said he’d be able to swing chainsaws with a cult nut.
However, midway through the story, with a sudden and unexpected plot twist, the story became suspenseful, unpredictable, and more interesting. Many times I could not guess how Gideon would get himself out of the situation he’d gotten into. It was strange. The second half of the book was the caliber I’d come to expect from Preston and Child. Not sure what happened for the first half. The only problem I had after that was the closing chapter. It was rather hokey and sentimental, and I felt, unnecessary. I kept expecting a paragraph to be the last line, and then there was more (I listened to the audiobook).
So, a mixed, ambiguous review. Not even sure how many stars to give this one. The first half is about a two star, but the second half would be at least three and a half, maybe four.
Overall, I have to say, can’t wait for the next book in the Pendergast series.