In seven bestselling novels (from Relic to The Ice Limit), Preston and Child have delivered a body of science-based thrillers that for high excitement and robust scientific imaginings rival those of Michael Crichton. Their eighth outing is another richly entertaining tale, about the hunt for a seemingly immortal serial killer at work in New York City. Preston and Child revive characters and settings from earlier novels, often a red flag that authorial imagination is tiring; but in this case, all comes together with zing. There's FBI Special Agent Pendergast (from Relic), pale, refined and possessed of a Holmes-like brain; dogged New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr. and his fiery erstwhile girlfriend, Nora Kelly of the New York (read American, where Preston used to work) Museum of Natural History (both characters from Thunderhead with the museum the setting for Relic). The action begins when groundbreaking for an apartment tower in downtown Manhattan reveals a charnel house of murder victims from the late 19th century. Enter Pendergast, who for unexplained reasons taps Kelly to study the remains before the site is stripped by the building's developer, a Donald Trump-type who, with the mayor's backing, will accept no construction delays. As Kelly calls on Smithback for investigative help, the city is struck by killings that duplicate the earlier murders, with the victims' spinal cords ripped away and clues pointing to a 19th-century scientist who sought the secret of immortality. Featuring fabulous locales, colorful characters, pointed riffs on city and museum politics, cool forensic and paleontological speculation and several gripping set pieces including an extended white-knuckle climax, this a great beach novel, at times gruesome, always fun: Preston-Child at the top of their game.
Adult/High School-FBI Special Agent Pendergast needs the talents of Nora Kelly, an archaeologist, and William Smithback, Jr., a researcher and reporter, to track down a serial killer whom he is sure has been stalking his prey since the late-19th century. When a real-estate developer demolishes a building and finds victims of a murderer who killed by tearing out their spinal columns, the three team up to pursue the evil behind the acts. Along the way, they nearly lose their lives as they relentlessly track the killer who, indeed, is still alive at the beginning of the 21st century. Pendergast stands out as a unique character, mysterious in his own right, with almost superhuman strength and endurance, and encyclopedic knowledge, and the human emotions and abilities of his two assistants intensifies interest in them. The authors again weave facts from New York City history with a thriller plot to produce an adventure filled with fast-moving events, gruesome scenes, and enough scary moments to keep the pages turning quickly. Fans of Preston and Child's Relic (Tor, 1996) or Reliquary (Forge, 1997) will enjoy this title as well.
FBI Special Agent Pendergast needs the talents of Nora Kelly, an archaeologist, and William Smithback, Jr., a researcher and reporter, to track down a serial killer whom he is sure has been stalking his prey since the late-19th century. When a real-estate developer demolishes a building and finds victims of a murderer who killed by tearing out their spinal columns, the three team up to pursue the evil behind the acts. Along the way, they nearly lose their lives as they relentlessly track the killer who, indeed, is still alive at the beginning of the 21st century. Fans of Preston and Child's Relic or Reliquary will enjoy this title as well.
I loved this book. The storyline was great, Agent Pendergast a true mystery man, unique and alluring, the characters strongly developed and a great read. Kept me turning the pages and always a unexpected twist when I did so. Looking forward to more of these authors. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good mystery/suspense.
Edge of seat Thriller ! A real Nail Biter !
Pendergrast investigates a mass murderer who uses the corpses to find a solution to extend his life.
This book has suspense, is riveting and gives us a large glimpse into the background of the usually secretive Pendergrast.
Agent Pendergast series. Nora Kelly from Thunderhead works at the Museum. There's a grisly murder a hundred years ago. Creepy story, lots of action, surprise ending.... what an entertaining read should be. Fun!
Nora Kelly and Special Agent Pendergast come together again at the New York Museum of Natural history to solve a series of past and present murders. Preston and Child keep you on the edge of your seat.
The writers have done a fantastic job, because this feels real and surreal at the same time, its part Indian Jones, part Anatomy 101, part hide and seek and pray you're not found by the psycho killer, and part unraveling mystery that you have to sit back and get sucked into. Enjoy the ride, it's a heart pounding, fast and not nearly long enough for me! I feel sad having come to the end, but I will always look back on this story and remember how much pleasure I got from reading it and making it come alive in my head
A horror/mystery about a serial killer who may have discovered the secret of immortality.... A very Dr. Jekyll/Frankenstein aesthetic, brought into a modern-day milieu - but I *really* enjoyed this book for its over-the-top, tongue in cheek portrayal of the Scary Dangerous city that is New York, and especially the portrayal of the Oh-So-Spooky! Natural History Museum (where I worked for a 9-month internship).
The book is dedicated to "librarians," which gives a clue that the totally ridiculous portrayal of the archivist and library in the museum is very intentionally so... and it is FUNNY! In that watching a bad 70's exploitation film kinda way....
However, reading the reviews on amazon.com, I dunno how many people picked up on that... they don't seem to get it. But I'm 95% sure it was supposed to be funny...
I did disagree with the ending moral, but it was very classic...
I really enjoyed this book. It's a fast-paced thriller that leads you through dark corridors, past creepy people and even creepier "collections". If you liked Relic and Reliquary, you'll like this book. I'll be reading more Preston and Child.
What a fascinating story. I listened to the audiobook version on CDs. The story was abridged but I don't think there is an unabridged version available.
This is the first story that I have listened to by Douglas Preson and Lincoln Child and I have to say I now want to hear all the rest.
This is the third book that has Agent Pendergast as one of the main characters. According to Wikipedia, Pendergast first appeared as a supporting character in their first novel, RELIC, and in its sequel RELIQUARY, before assuming the protagonist role in THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Pendergast is a special agent for the FBI. He has some special supernatural-like capabilities that may be from his upbringing from his family of magicians, snake-oil salesmans and those who practiced mesmerism.
While digging a foundation for a new building in New York City, the crew discovers a hidden vault where a human skull is discovered. Nora Kelly, an archaeologist at the New York Museum of Natural History, is brought to the site by Agent Pendergast. They discover the remains of multiple victims and the gruesome fact that these vitims were surgically dissected while they were still alive. While they are investigating these old murders, several new murders occur in New York City. They appear to have been committed in the same way -- and while the victims were still alive. Why? Who is doing this? I stayed up late to find out. Again, this was a great story, quite fascinating.
... this book had me riveted from the beginning. I couldn't put it down. There were some parts of it that didn't make sense to me but I'm just going to chalk it up to creative writing as I really enjoyed this one.
Well, this one got off to something of a slow start... and I was a bit angry to discover that while this is the third book in the Pendergast series, the interim books written by this pair (or at least _Thunderhead_) involve characters in this one, making me feel like something was missing. I just hate to read books out of order! But, once I got over that, and the story was underway, I was absolutely absorbed into its plot. What a fun and unpredictable book! I enjoyed this one just as much - if not more - than _The Relic_. I especially enjoyed that more of Pendergast's story is being revealed. I can't wait to read the next book!
Jennifer W. reviewed The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, Bk 3) on
An interesting read if you are into mystery with a touch of science fiction. The main character (Agent Pendergast) is one of the most unique characters I've read about in a long time. I'd give it 3.25 stars out of 5.
Third book in the Pendergast series. Great character development throughout the series. Great detail. I recommend you read the series in order so you don't miss the nuances in these books. Interesting, creepy. Love it!
An enjoyable read! From the back cover: "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" I found the plot fairly predictable, but the characters were strong (including a strong feminine lead) and I particularly enjoyed the fact that I know the part of Manhattan where the book's action takes place. I would recommend - great for taking along on the plane or to have for summer reading.
The third book envolving Agent Pendergast, and what a unique character he is. Personally I would start at the beginning of the series with Relic, then Reliquary and then go for this one. You will not be disappointed.
Wow, this was an excellent thriller. Well-written, great plot, a nice little history lesson, fabulous characters, thrills and chills galore - need I say more? I liked this so much that I requested every other book these authors have written!
In an old tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies--all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago.
While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terorize the city.
The nightmare has begun . . . again.
This latest foray into mysteries involving the New York Museum of Natural History by super FBI Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is a fascinating and twisty-turny journey that is the most personal conflict yet for the enigmatic sleuth, and involves one familiar character (William Smithback) and a new heroine: Dr. Nora Kelly. Highly recommended for Pendergast fans or any reader who enjoys a good mystery/thriller.
I have been following Agent Pendergast and Lieutenant D'Agosta for quite some years now and this installment in their crossing paths was one of my favorits. Preston and Childs spin a most enthralling tale that truely has the reader coming back for more! ENJOY!!!
In nineteenth century NY, the public flocked to collections of strange and grotesque oddities. Now, in Manhattan, a modern apartment tower is slated to rise on the site of one of the old cabinets. When the excavators break into a basement, they uncover a pit of horror: the remains of 36 people murdered over 130 years ago by an unknown srial killer. Enter Special Agent Pendergast!
One of the scariest books I've ever read!
Very good book, loved the aspect of the cabinet of curisoities even if was not that much or true, but as the owner and operator of Professor Yeti's Cabinet of Curiosities I felt I had to read this book and I was not dissappointed.
This book was okay. It had some pretty scary parts, but sometimes the descriptions seemed to drag on. I also didn't really like the endingI think it could have been a lot spookier with a different ending!
Another gripping and exciting read from Preston/Child. This is the 3rd in the Pendergast series and, so far, the best! This one also includes appearances by Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback. Kelly made her first appearance in the non-Pendergast novel, Thunderhead, which I also thought was a great read. And of course Smithback, the newspaper reporter, played key roles in Relic, Reliquary, and Thunderhead. Curiosities is a great thriller reminiscent of Poe (in fact Poe is mentioned late in the novel). It begins when over 30 skeletal remains are found in the subbasement of a building that is being demolished. Pendergast is on the case from the beginning and enlists Kelly as an archaeologist to work on unearthing the secrets of the hidden bodies. It turns out the bodies were the work of a 19th century serial killer who was looking for a means to extend his life. Then, apparently a copycat killer emerges based on a newspaper story Smithback wrote about the serial killer. But is it really a copycat killer or someone tied to the old murders? Perdergast and his crew work their way through the morass of clues which leads to danger for all of them. There is a surprising twist to the story near the end and overall a great read from Preston/Child. High recommendation!