Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple. As he stalks his wife's betrayers-a chase that takes him from the wild moors of Scotland to the bustling streets of New York City and the darkest bayous of Louisiana-he is also forced to dig further into Helen's past. And he is stunned to learn that Helen may have been a collaborator in her own murder.
Peeling back the layers of deception, Pendergast realizes that the conspiracy is deeper, goes back generations, and is more monstrous than he could have ever imagined-and everything he's believed, everything he's trusted, everything he's understood . . . may be a horrific lie.
Nothing is what it seems.
This book will be available on August 2, 2011.
In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are thirty-six bodies -- all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.
FBI Special Agent Pendergast is in New York City on unofficial business. He is deeply interested in a crime scene that is over 100-years old, yet he refuses to tell anyone why. Once again he enlists the help of someone who works at the Museum of Natural History to aid him in his rogue investigation. Like the first two books in the Pendergast series, Agent Pendergast is a unique man. He is almost like a more bookish James Bond. Unlike the first two books in the series, in The Cabinet of Curiosities Agent Pendergast is acting very much on his own behalf and receives little to no help from the NYPD.
Pendergast has always marched to the beat of his own drum, but in this book he really has gone rogue. His intentions are not always clear and his messages are more cryptic than ever. This book focused more on him and his work, so maybe that is why there was a different feel. If that is all it takes to change my opinion of this series, please let Agent Pendergast take a step back. He seems to make a better supporting cast member than lead.
I am about to make a statement that even I think sounds ridiculous. The story in this book was a little too far-fetched for me. Yes that means that I had no problems with a reptile/human hybrid creature that terrorized a museum feasting on any hypothalemus it encountered. All I can say was that was within my limits, but this story was not. Some sci-fi works for you and some does not. This sci-fi did not work for me.
And I thought the conclusion to this conflict to be quite poor. The entire book we wonder what this antagonist's great life purpose was. And when you find out the entire story falls flat on its face. I am not saying that I can do any better than the two men who authored this book. Ultimately all I am saying is that I recommend only the first two books of the Pendergast series. I will not keep reading these books.
Hidden deep beneath Manhattan lies a warren of tunnels, sewers, and galleries, mostly forgotten by those who walk the streets above. There lies the ultimate secret of the Museum Beast. When two grotesquely deformed skeletons are found deep in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green is called in to aid the investigation. Margo must once again team up with police Lieutenant D'Agosta and FBI agent Pendergast, as well as the brilliant Dr. Frock, to try and solve the puzzle. The trail soon leads deep underground, where they will face the awakening of a slumbering nightmare.
A year and a half after the museum beast came to New York, two bodies are found on a routine police dive for a package of heroin thrown off a bridge. No one suspects the museum beast is involved since it was killed and transported away, but Margo Green and Dr. Frock are once again asked to help if they can identify these strangely misshapen bodies.
While it is their work to find out the identity of the bodies, it is up to the police to find out where they came from and how they made it to where they were discovered. This portion of the story was the most interesting to me as it described (how accurately I cannot say) the vast network of tunnels beneath Manhattan and the communities of homeless people who live there.
While I really enjoyed this book, it is not one I can recommend broadly. I consider Reliquary to be a guilty-pleasure sci-fi thriller. It had wonderful suspense that would probably leave most readers on the edge of their seats, but there were enough murders and far-fetched scientific "discoveries" to limit the number of readers who would enjoy this book. And at times there was almost too much going on. I was content with the complexity of the story, but they lost me with one particular subplot which continued (seemingly) only to keep one of the recurring characters involved.
I don't think I am the only one who is skeptical of sequels. I think that can be evidenced by Reliquary being labeled as "sequel to the New York Times best seller Relic" and it not being a bestseller on its own. I thought Reliquary was just as good if not better than Relic. Don't be afraid to pick up this sequel.
Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...
But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.
Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who -- or what -- is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?
A very long time had passed since I last read a book like this. This was the type of book that pretty much got me hooked on free-reading nearly 12 years ago. Back then I would entertain my brain with as many Michael Crichton books as I could get my hands on. His earlier works were more on parallel with Relic in terms of similar story. I was taken back to a time when I could not wait to read the next Crichton. I read Congo, I read Sphere and of course Jurassic Park. I love those books; they will always have a place on my bookshelf. I would not even know which way to turn to find a book similar to them, however. That was the case anyway, until a friend suggested I read Relic.
A publicity quote on the cover of the paperback edition touts Relic as better than Jurassic Park. I happen to disagree, but that may be my biased "my dad can beat up your dad"-feeling interfering.
This was the first book I have read by either Douglas Preston or Lincoln Child, and not so surprisingly the first I have read by them both. I would have to do a bit more research before picking up one of their books to see what it is about, hoping it would be along these same lines. Relic was a very quick read, even for someone like me who is not the fastest of readers.
I liked the suspense created by the writing itself, but also the cliffhanger chapter endings. I liked the setting inside the old museum; it was perfect for this type of story.
Never underestimate the recommendation of a friend. This was not by any means the best book I have ever read, but it was quick, fun and exciting. And I would have never read it had a friend not suggested it. So my thanks to him.
(The movie came out so many years ago that I have forgotten the details and cannot comment on their similarity.)