The Codex Review
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Fans of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft will thoroughly enjoy Douglas Preston's novel The Codex. Maxwell Broadbent accumulated his massive wealth from raiding ancient archeological sites and tombs. Now 40 years later, he is dying of cancer and has decided to be buried with his treasure.

His three sons are shocked when they arrive at their father's New Mexico estate to find their dad and all of his artwork missing. After calling the local authorities to report the burglary and possible murder, a video tape is discovered in the library.

The tape features Broadbent disclosing his funeral plans. He also tells his offspring that if they can find his tomb that they can lay claim to their inheritance. He also stipulates that they must work together.

When the sons cannot agree on how to proceed, they all go in separate directions, and it becomes a race against time to find what they consider to be rightfully theirs. The story takes all of them into the untamed jungles of Honduras, and they all discover the truths of their father's past.

The title of the book refers to the main catalyst of the story. The Codex is an ancient Mayan book offering a catalog of all the herbs and plants that the Mayan people used for medicinal purposes.

It is a priceless treasure that pharmaceutical companies would pay a fortune for. It is that prestige and greed that motivates some of the shadier characters in the novel, but there is also the scientist Sally Colorado who wants to bring the Codex home for the goodwill of the planet.

Anyone who has been in an equatorial country like Honduras will certainly appreciate the vivid descriptions and well-researched terrain that Preston writes about. The characters are equally rich in their multi-textured layers. Fans of the collaborative work of Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston will enjoy a smile during the scene that Preston drops the name of Child's solo novel Utopia, which is another great novel for a different review.

The Codex is a fast and extremely enjoyable read. It makes for a great summertime and/or free time read, and the ending is very satisfying.

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