Friday, October 13, 2006

[Book Review] RELIC by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


Barbara Bailey reviews RELIC by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Forge, 1995):

Following an expedition to the Amazon by researchers from the New York Museum of Natural History (ending in the deaths of all involved), the story picks up years later with mysterious and gruesome deaths at that institution. Just before the opening of a major exhibition called "Superstition," which includes objects discovered on the earlier trip, two children are found dead in non-public areas of the museum. These deaths are followed by many more, all caused by the unmistakable slashes of a three-tined claw. Many bodies are also missing their heads! Panic ensues among the staff as the police, FBI, and museum administration try to find the beast lurking in the labyrinthine storage areas. Tension is heightened as the administrators try to suppress public knowledge of the horrors in order to continue work on the expensive new exhibit. Grad student Margo Green; Dr. Frock, her mentor; a mysterious FBI agent from New Orleans; and Smithback, a newspaper man commissioned to write about the museum, persist in trying to locate the monster, discover its primal need, and convince the museum leaders of the continuing danger.

Why you'll love it!: set in an ancient museum with hidden storerooms, exotic exhibits, miles of back hallways and with an overlay of administrative politics and scientific discovery, an air of stuffy mystery pervades this book. Clearly defined characters are easily slotted into "good" and "bad" categories. Identities are clear and some, such as Special Agent Pendergrast of the New Orleans FBI, are memorable. The story movies quickly and tension is unending, piling terror upon terror.

Barbara Bailey, Cordova Branch Library

Also on interest: Parkway Village's Alice Kendall reviews THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


I had a great time reading this book several years ago. Throw in scary, funny and great characters for a wild witch’s brew and I guarantee you will have a fabulous read for Halloween!
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