The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincon Child

24 Jun

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Things are jumping at the New York Museum of Natural History.

 

When a mysterious package arrives addressed simply to The Rocks and Minerals Curator, it sets off a chain reaction of events so stunning that no one could have predicted it. The package is leaking a small amount of brown powder that looks strangely like Anthrax. It isn’t Anthrax.

 

It is diamond dust.

 

A mysterious criminal known only as Diogenes Pendergrast was kind enough to return the diamonds he stole previously; albeit not in their original form. Suffering in jail for the crime is FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. With Diogenes free to continue his spree of terror, he sets in motion his most diabolical plan yet.

 

Posing as a museum employee, he gains access to The Tomb of Senef. To counter-act the bad press from the diamond heist and their subsequent return, the New York Museum of Natural History decides to re-open an old exhibit long since closed.

 

The decision causes some outcry. There are some who say that the exhibit, a complete Egyptian tomb including sarcophagi and Mummies, is cursed. There are some who say that any who come in contact with the old tomb are doomed.

 

Diogenes plans to use this to his full potential to kill as many people as possible. The only person who can stop him is his brother, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. There are those coming to his aid but they may be too late.

 

By the time he is released from prison, the whole world may be in jeopardy….

 

I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Being that I’m a huge fan of Preston and Child’s books (especially when they write together) I really wanted to delve into The Book of the Dead and be swept away by a fast paced story line and a fantastic race against time.

 

That didn’t happen.

 

Though the usual well developed characters appear in The Book of the Dead, and the plot has been thought out down to the last detail, everything just kind of fell flat for me. Characters that before seemed so full of life now seemed like nothing more than talking heads. The plot, which before had been planned to such perfection, now seemed silly and asinine.

 

I really wanted to love this book. In fact, I had been looking forward to it. It is the last in what is an unofficial trilogy, the previous two books being Brimstone and Dance of Death. Though many reviewers insist that you can read The Book of the Dead on its own, you can’t. I found myself flipping through the other two novels so that I could remember what the authors were referring to in The Book of the Dead.

 

That’s not to say that it wasn’t a good book. It was. It just wasn’t a great book. While a little flat and a lot dry, it’s a good book to read if you’ve read the first two books and want to know how everything ends. Other than that, though I wouldn’t waste your money on this one in hardcover and would wait for the paperback.

 

It’s an unfortunate end to what could have been a fantastic trilogy. Don’t take my word for it, though. It’s still a good read, just not as good as it could have been. Here’s hoping that, for their next book, Preston and Child try something new instead of dusting off the same old characters.

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