Gideon's Corpse

After finishing his job for the mysterious Glinn, Gideon Crew hoped that he'd never see the man again and that he could spend his few remaining months fishing at his cabin. His hopes and wishes were not to be. Before releasing him, Glinn had one more request - please go visit Reid Chalker, a man Gideon used to work with at Los Alamos. Gideon has a PhD in physics. When Gideon worked with him, Chalker was a mild mannered scientist who had converted to Islam. Now he was holding 4 people hostage and claiming that someone had exposed his brain to harmful waves. As if this isn't enough for Gideon, he has to cooperate with the FBI in dealing with Chalker. With less than a year to live, Gideon would rather go fishing.

Stone Fordyce is the epitome of an FBI man, ramrod straight, suit and tie and no sense of humor. He is not happy to work with Gideon and feels that Gideon is holding back the truth about Chalker. Chalker converted to Islam after some hard times. He has apparently had a psychotic break which is a bad thing for someone who knows how to build nuclear weapons from scratch. Chalker is raving about conspiracy theories and threatening to shoot the hostages. Gideon is not dealing with the situation very well as his father was killed in a standoff with the FBI. Gideon is afraid the same might happen to Chalker.

Then Chalker just dies. His body registers high doses of radiation - could his ravings be the truth? Gideon thinks Chalker had gamma radiation poisoning which would result in all the symptoms Chalker was displaying. But where and when would he ahve been exposed to the radiation? An even more bizarre discovery is found on Chalker's laptop - ties to a radical Islamic group. Is there a dirty bomb on the way to Washington, D.C? Is the cult in the southwestern US in on the threat?

The plot in this book just moves right along - terrorists, conspiracies, double crosses and double agents all abound. Preston and Child write thrillers and Gideon Crew is a new character for them. Not the typical lone wolf, ex-special forces guy, this is a PhD wielding physicist who has other skills that are worth paying a lot of money to get access to. Yes, Gideon comes with some skeletons in his closet, but they give him the reasons and skills to fight another day. This is a fast paced thriller with an interesting main character.

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