A Conversation with Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager |

This month, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child return with their third Gideon Crew novel, The Lost Island, which sees the brilliant scientist and master thief facing his own mortality and undertaking the impossible task of stealing a page from the priceless Book of Kells on display in New York City, where it is protected by unbreakable security. Preston and Child have been writing together since Relic, the first in the Special Agent Pendergast series, the most recent of which was last year’s White Fire. We caught up with one half of the writing team, Lincoln Child, following the release of The Lost Island.

The Lost IslandThe Lost Island is your third novel starring Gideon Crew. Given the immense success of the Pendergast novels, what was behind the initial decision to introduce a new series? And was Gideon created with a series in mind, or was he initially destined for a standalone?
We wanted to create a very different character from Pendergast, somebody younger, hipper, less gothic, but in his own way just as interesting. The Gideon Crew novels are quite different than the Pendergast novels. They are more linear, faster moving, more action oriented.

Gideon Crew’s life is very much on the line in The Lost Island. He’s got less than a year to live, and his next mission, if it doesn’t get him killed, may hold the key to his salvation. From the beginning of the series you’ve dangled this ‘one year to live’ threat over Gideon’s head, and here it seems you finally tackle the issue head-on. What made you decide to cast this long, dark shadow over the character?
It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Each Gideon novel takes place over approximately one month, and in each book, the fact that Gideon has a fatal condition complicates and colors everything he says, thinks, and does. We thought it would make for an interesting twist.