This is the perfect Halloween read.

My review of Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

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Relic, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s thriller that introduces FBI Special Agent Pendergast

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?

5 Stars

Awesome. One of the best SF novels of the last quarter of the 20th century. The pacing is wonderful. It starts off fast and ends at a break neck speed. The main characters are great. The suspense is terrifying at times. After the first time I read it I imagined I smelled something goatish every time I had to walk through my garage at night (for some reason the only light switch was on the opposite end from the door). My one quibble is the sheer number of characters that are introduced, most never to be heard from again after the chapter they were introduced in. Overall, this is a great read.

While this is listed as the first of the Agent Pendergast series, it’s less about him and more about doctoral student Margo Green. Reporter Bill Smithback plays a prominent part here, and is the only main character from this work to appear in Thunderhead. Lt. D’Agosta makes appearances with the other characters in Reliquary and then also in a couple of later books in the series. Pendergast is certainly the most intriguing of the bunch, and is a logical choice to build a series off of.

The way the suspense builds and scenes play out reminds me of the way Alfred Hitchcock directed his movies. There are lots of hints at what’s going on, but the creature is never really revealed until the end. Most of the gore is just lightly touched on, it’s the reactions of the characters that emphasizes the gruesomeness of the scene.

I’ve read this book several times now. The first time I borrowed a friend’s paperback. Later I bought my own copy in hardcover. This time I read it in eBook form. The eBook was formatted well with no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

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