Posts Tagged With: Lincoln Child

The Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Date of Publication: 1995

Synopsis: “A monster on the loose in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History provides the hook for this high-concept, high-energy thriller. A statue of the mad god Mbwun, a monstrous mix of man and reptile, was discovered by a Museum expedition to South America in 1987. Now, it is about to become part of the new Superstition Exhibition at the museum (here renamed the “New York Museum of Natural History”). But as the exhibition’s opening night approaches, the museum may have to be shut down due to a series of savage murders that seem to be the work of a maniac-or a living version of Mbwun. When the museum’s director pulls strings to ensure that the gala affair takes place, it’s up to a small band of believers, led by graduate student Margo Green, her controversial adviser and an FBI agent who investigated similar killings in New Orleans, to stop the monster-if the culprit is indeed a monster-from going on a rampage. Less horror then action-adventure, the narrative builds to a superbly exciting climax, and then offers a final twist to boot. With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that’s blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills.” -Publishers Weekly

Review: This intensely exciting thriller is the beginning of Preston’s and Child’s series featuring FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, the tall, ghostly-pale Southern gentleman who is half MacGyver half Oxford professor. Pendergast is one of the best characters I’ve ever read, and certainly the best law enforcement character. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed in the other characters either, especially the sardonic New York cop, Vincent D’Agosta and the tenacious grad student, Margo Green, who join Pendergast in his search for the truth. The premise of the book is not only breathtakingly frightening, but also breathtakingly believable. I gladly return to this book again and again, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the authors’ continuation of these characters in the rest of the series.

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Sarah

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The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Date of Publication: 2007, Warner Books

Number of Pages: 385

Synopsis:

“FBI Special Agent Pendergast is taking a break from work to take Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give her closure and a sense of the world that she’s missed. They head to Tibet, where Pendergast intensively trained in martial arts and spiritual studies. At a remote monastery, they learn that a rare and dangerous artifact the monks have been guarding for generations has been mysteriously stolen. As a favor, Pendergast agrees to track and recover the relic. A twisting trail of bloodshed leads Pendergast and Constance to the maiden voyage of the Britannia, the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner—and to an Atlantic crossing fraught with terror. ” ~from Amazon.com

Review:

I had been eagerly anticipating this book all year, since I read the last book in the Agent Pendergast series, The Book of the Dead. Although this is obviously not a continuation of the Diogenes trilogy, there are some signs that Diogenes’s evil legacy is alive and well, especially in the fragile character of Constance Greene. She keeps her secret until the very last page of the book, which leaves a very welcome opportunity for another sequel. This book is different from many in this series, as it does not take place in New York City, so many of the regular characters are missing. But, like Still Life With Crows, it remains very much connected to the overall story of Agent Pendergast and stands very well on its own. There is also a further exploration of the mind-bending meditation practices that Pendergast uses, and it becomes the central theme of this book: when you leave your mind open, what evil is allowed to enter? And once it’s there, how can you conquer it?

In the “basics”, this book has intriguing characters, some of whom I hope to see in future novels, and a climax that kept me riveted to each page. The setting on board the Britannia is wonderful and gives an eerie sense of how isolated the characters are. The Wheel of Darkness reads quickly (I read it in two days), which is a shame, because it’s one story you wish would just go on and on. There are many surprises in store, even for readers experiencing the partnership of Preston and Child for the first time. For long-time fans, like myself, this books was a superb introduction to life after Diogenes. The only thing left to do now is wait impatiently for the next one!

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Sarah

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The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Date of Publication: 2006

Synopsis:
“M
ost of the action of this gothic tale of Gotham takes place in the remote galleries of the “New York Museum,” a thin disguise for the American Museum of Natural History at Central Park West and Seventy-ninth Street. But that’s plenty of real estate, considering that the fictional museum includes thirty-four interconnected buildings with more than 2 million square feet of space and more than eighteen miles of corridors. Most of the collection has never been seen by the public, including (according to Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child) the Tomb of Senef, a colossal Egyptian monument imported stone by stone in the 1800s, but sealed off for more than three-quarters of a century.
Archaeologist Nora Kelly is in charge of renovating the tomb for a new exhibition, partly to burnish the reputation of the museum, which has been shaken by a recent murder and the theft of its entire diamond collection by archfiend Diogenes Pendergast. But there is much more bloodshed to come, as the master criminal unfolds his plan to terrorize the rich and powerful of New York City at the official opening of the new exhibition. Only one man can stop the impending catastrophe: Diogenes’ older brother, F.B.I. Special Agent Aloysius X.L. Pendergast. Alas, Aloysius is locked up in a federal maximum security cell, framed for a murder his brother committed. Is all hope lost? Not to worry. Agent Pendergast, whose crime-fighting skill makes Sherlock Holmes look like Inspector Clouseau, has his own plan. With the help of a group of lower Manhattan irregulars, he busts out of stir just in time to stop the massacre of the innocents and to track down his evil sibling.” -Laurence A. Marschall, Bookshelf, Natural History Magazine

Review:
This is the latest book in the series featuring Agent Pendergast, and the final book in the Diogenes trilogy. As I’ve said before, Pendergast, in my opinion, is one of the greatest literary heroes ever created, and I certainly was not disappointed in The Book of the Dead. In fact, Pendergast, having been through so much in the previous book, Dance of Death, becomes an even more complex character and actually shows his more vulnerable side. Secrets are finally revealed about his relationship with Diogenes, and we finally find out about the “Event”, a memory that Pendergast has long suppressed, and something that absolutely chilled me to the bone. It remains the best book I have read all year. For fans of Preston and Child, this is a can’t miss book, but for new readers, it’s still a thrilling tale worth reading.

Rating: An enthusiastic 10/10!

Reviewed by Sarah

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