The Third Gate is a supernatural thriller. Jeremy Logan is a professor who studies paranormal activity. He is asked to join an archeological expedition to lend his expertise. The expedition had been experiencing odd events, and talk of a curse was starting to make the rounds. Dr Logan is supposed to determine if more than the harsh conditions and isolation of the dig are to blame.
Wildly successful archeologist, Porter Stone, believes he has found the tomb of the first pharaoh of a unified Egypt. It is located in the midst of the nastiest swamp on the planet. The entire expedition is housed on enormous interlocking pontoons floating on the surface of the swampy muck. Divers go down through a hole in the floor called "the Maw" into near zero visibility conditions searching for the tomb.
The dig is plagued by communications glitches, equipment malfunctions, fires and accidents. One of the scientists on the staff is married to a medium, and together they attempt to channel any lingering spirits that can help them. One of those spirits tells of a particularly nasty curse guarding the tomb. Many of the mishaps seem to echo the phrases of the curse. Dr Logan and the senior staff work keep the dig moving along and the problems to a minimum.
Finally their efforts begin to pay off. A skeleton is found, then a group of them corresponding to the number of the pharaoh’s bodyguard, and then an immense pile of the bones of the workers who built the tomb. Just a bit further on is the entrance to the tomb itself.
Once inside, it is apparent this is no ordinary Egyptian tomb. But the floating compound will be inflames and the staff fleeing for their very lives before they realize just how different it really is.
I like Lincoln Child (and his sometime writing partner, Douglas Preston). This was a good example of his work. It is not his creepiest, but was fine entertainment!