While Crichton's later work typically involved the grim consequences of combining human hubris and technology, he was also able to thrill while maintaining a lighter touch, as in The Great Train Robbery. Humor and suspense are again mixed harmoniously in this third novel he wrote under the John Lange pseudonym, featuring a team of plotters scheming to steal millions from the Egyptian government. The idea comes from an unlikely source, Harold Barnaby, a 40-something associate professor of archeology in Chicago specializing in deciphering hieroglyphics. While doing research in Cairo, he finds that a papyrus pertaining to "the procurement of firewood for the queen's hot baths" is actually a record of a previously unknown pharaoh's tomb. Estimating that the tomb's treasures might be worth as much as $50 million, Barnaby reaches out to world-wise journalist Robert Pierce to help loot the tomb. Pierce assembles a team, and concocts a plan to carry out the robbery under the very eyes of the authorities. Fans of caper novels such as Eric Ambler's The Light of Day will be happy. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014 Release date: 10/01/2013 Genre: Fiction
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