Saturday, August 12, 2006

[Book Review] THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

FICTION/Genre: Horror

Alice Kendall reviews THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Warner Books, 2006):

For those of us who have followed Aloysius Pendergast’s career starting with his first appearance in Relic, this is a must read. For those who have not, do not read this book until you have read Dance of Death. All of the books by these two authors are stand-alone works of fiction, but these last two are so closely linked, they should be read in order.

Few authors have achieved what Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have; books of horror that fly off the shelf. Their characters are interesting, able and sympathetic. If the evil that needs to be fought is unbelievably powerful, the forces of good are equal to the task. In these last two novels, FBI Agent Pendergast is shown to be (slightly) human; not the unequalled intellect we have come to expect. This only heightens the delicious suspense and adrenalin rush as he and his companions seek first to discover the horrific threat and then to stop it. Along the way, we learn more about the Pendergast family and the people they touch in the course of their lives.

For years I avoided the horror genre. I avoided horror movies (except Hitchcock, of course) and horror books, until I had to read one. Relic was recommended by several friends as one of the best horror books they had read. Following their advice, I read it and have been reading horror ever since. If, like me, you avoid this genre, I recommend any of the books by Preston and Child. They are inventive, action-packed fast reads with nary a nightmare. Can’t ask for more than that.

Alice Kendall, Parkway Village Branch

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