The Cabinet of Curiosities
Warner Books, June, 2002.
Hardcover, 466 pages.
When the reamains of thirty-six, 130 year-old murder victims are discovered in the basement of an old New York building being renovated, there is not a great deal of outside interest until Special Agent Pendergast arrives on the scene. Pendergast is known for his avoidance of protocol, his large inheritance and his appearance in investigations that tend to be both mysterious and scientific in nature. Pendergast manages to charm busy museum archaeologist Nora Kelly into investigating the incident and the two visit the ancient murder scene. The project developer, a rich and powerful man in New York City, uses his many contacts to minimize this outside activity, but before Agent Pendergast and Kelly are kicked out, they manage to ascertain that the people were horribly murdered. The victims were surgically mutilated while they were still alive and their spinal cords were severed during these cruel operations. When a murderer starts reenacting these ancient crimes, Nora Kelly wonders if she is in way over her head -- and if her boyfriend, New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr., can be trusted with any information without writing it up in a news story.
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have become very reliable at writing exciting and unique thrillers laced with interesting science-fiction themes. The Cabinet of Curiosities is no disappointment -- it is full of surprises, shockers, scientific oddities and fabulous characters. In addition to FBI Agent Pendergast, who was first introduced in The Relic, two likeable characters from Thunderhead return: William Smithback Jr., a New York Times reporter, and his girlfriend, archaeologist Nora Kelly. In addition to great characters and a compelling murder mystery, readers will love the creepy and puzzling curiosities found in the rarely-visited basement levels of the New York Museum of Natural History. The Cabinet of Curiosities is an excellent tale that thrills from start to finish.
The Cabinet of Curiosities is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the October - November, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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