Last Updated on August 23, 2023
The Third Gate is the third book in the Jeremy Logan series by Lincoln Child, the author who is also well known for his collaborative work with Douglas Preston on the popular Pendergast FBI thriller series (click here to see all the Pendergast novels in order of reading if you want to start with that series).
If there is any series that I truly love, it is the Pendergast series, I’ve read literally every single one of the so far 13 published books. However, I’ve also read pretty much anything that the two authors have also put out separately. One book that was still on my TBR shelf was The Third Gate. Finally, after a year of sitting idly on my shelf, I got a chance to read it, and here is my review.
The Third Gate is quite the archaeological adventure novel, some might say at times even bordering on horror. The story starts innocently enough: Jeremy Logan, a professor of medieval history and a self-proclaimed “enigmalogist” is asked by his friend Ethan Rush to embark on an expedition to an undisclosed location. He will only be told the actual location once they board the plane. Logan agrees and much to his surprise, the journey takes him to the Sudd, a large swamped area that forms part of The Nile in Southern Sudan which has some deep secrets and a serious curse that it won’t let go of easily – or without sacrifices.
While the excitement can be initially felt all around the expedition participants, eventually all goes south-ways when it turns out that the hidden tomb is cursed with a curse so deep that many people will die in horrible ways before the tomb will reveal its dark secrets.
The book started relatively slow, building up to a heck of a story that you simply can’t put down – at least I couldn’t. Granted, this is a bit slower going than the Pendergast novels, but the rewards will be there if you can wait until the action really starts.
I really liked the slightly paranormal elements of the investigation that the author added to the book (no wonder Logan was recruited for the mission) and this reminded me a bit of the first few Pendergast novels where the paranormal was also a part of the FBI investigation – with the exception that this story plays out in the swamp, mud and deep water instead of the deep recesses of a museum. You will find lots of mysterious lights, phenomena and disembodied voices, which give it that close-to-horror paranormal appearance.
H. Porter Stone is the wealthy man – big time archaeologist – who ordered the expedition, knowing that it is extremely dangerous for anyone involved. He really doesn’t care about the costs as long as the mission is complete. Ethan Rush is also the character with a secret about his wife, who is also present on the ship. For this aspect make sure you pay attention to the very first chapter of the book (the prologue) regarding some near-death experiences, as it will tie in with the rest of the story at some point.
While the book is written in 3rd person, it is all seen through Logan’s eyes, so in a way, he is the narrator of the story. While things are happening all around, Logan keeps his calm and analyzes everything, while trying to be the voice of reason when so many things start to go wrong during the expedition. Jeremy realizes just why he was needed on this expedition in the first place – because he is supposed to deal with all these paranormal happenings due to his ‘enigmalogist’ side-kick hobby/interest.
For example, the very first “accident’ that happens on the ship is a weird fire ending in a horrible explosion of a generator that costs the team a casualty, which is then followed by several other seemingly freak accidents that only Logan can figure out that they’re no accidents in the first place.
Of course, neither the rich and vain Porter Stone, nor the doctor focused on NDE phenomena take his warnings of turning back home seriously, which leads to the horror that will happen along the way. By the time anyone realizes the that the danger is serious indeed, they’re all way too deep in.
Overall I loved this book. It had action, archaeology, suspense and a touch of paranormal blended together with a really good penmanship that is so true to Lincoln Child. Some might say that the Pendergast books are the best, and I do agree with them, however, this particular book should go up there with the best.
Sure, it’s not based on real facts – the actual facts are even distorted to suit the storyline, but like with every work of fiction, you need to suspend your belief for a while and just go with it – and get entertained for an afternoon or two with a fun, fluffy yet deeply engrossing story.
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child
Series: Jeremy Logan #3
Published by Doubleday
Genres: Adventure, Archaeological Mystery
Also by this author: White Fire, Extraction, Blue Labyrinth, The Forgotten Room, Crimson Shore, Beyond The Ice Limit, The Obsidian Chamber, Full Wolf Moon