cover image The Third Gate

The Third Gate

Lincoln Child. Doubleday, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-53138-2

Bestseller Child (Terminal Freeze) more than succeeds in making a mummy’s curse terrifying in this superb supernatural thriller. Yale medieval history professor Jeremy Logan has such a reputation as a professional “enigmalogist” (someone who investigates ghosts and mythic creatures) that wealthy treasure hunter Porter Stone recruits Logan to assist his team with a dangerous excavation in Egypt. Stone believes he’s found the location of the tomb of Narmer, a legendary pharaoh, but it’s in the forbidding area known as the Sudd, a huge inaccessible swamp. Stone’s expedition has been plagued by a series of bizarre events, from equipment failure to the disappearance of 200 pounds of meat, occurrences that may be the result of a warning Narmer inscribed in stone of the fate awaiting those who violate his final resting place. Child evokes fear through understatement, and his characters are much more than the paper-thin puppets of similarly themed novels. Readers will hope to see more of Logan in a sequel. Agent: Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor. (June)