A Book Spy Review: ‘The Himalayan Codex’ By Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch


Set in the 1940s, following last year’s Hell’s Gate, zoologist R.J. “Mac” MacCready is at work in his office at the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History in New York when Pat Hendry stops by to present Mac with an unusual set of jawbones that is believed to be from a dwarf mammoth.

According to Hendry, the dwarf mammoth is said to be from the frigid mountains of Tibet, found in a secret area known as the Labyrinth. The previous book featured Mac exploring the jungle, and this year’s novel once again takes MacCready out of the office–this time to the Himalayas–where he soon discovers there’s something far more interesting than jaw bones residing in the Labyrinth. 

Aside from the dwarf mammoth, Mac learns that the location may also be home to a codex written by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, who detailed his encounter with a mysterious creature that could hold the answers to human evolution.

If the rumors are true–that Pliny the Elder uncovered a new race of humans–the potential for bad is just as great, if not greater than, any good that could come from such a discovery.

Tasked with heading into the unknown in order to seek the necessary answers, Mac and his team battle harsh winter elements, unfavorable terrain, and multiple terrifying creatures while following Pliny’s codex into the dangerous Labyrinth.

R.J. “Mac” MacCready is a fun, Indiana Jones-like character who is quickly setting himself apart from others in the genre. The post-WWII setting comes to life, as the authors do a phenomenal job nailing even the smallest details that help transport readers back in time. Likewise, they go to great lengths to keep the really sophisticated science both simple and entertaining, striking a great balance and making everything easy to understand.

The story reads fast, and there’s plenty of action to go along with the top-notch suspense. Thoroughly explaining both the good and bad of such a startling discovery, the authors will have readers conflicted on which outcome they hope for–but keep them flipping fast and furiously to see how it all plays out. In the end, things are tied up with a satisfying, well-thought-out conclusion that is explained further during a lengthy author’s note that follows the final page.

While Hell’s Gate was a brilliant start to this terrific new series, Schutt and Finch top themselves with this nerve-wracking, heart-thumping thriller that is perfect for fans of Michael Crichton and James Rollins.

Book Details

Author: Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch
Series: R.J. MacCready #2
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0062412558
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 6, 2017 (Order Now!)

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