When a team of archaeologists is savagely massacred in the Amazon Basin, all that survives are several boxes of relics and plant specimens. From boat to boat, from port to port, the battered crates drift. They finally reach New York City – only to be locked away in the basement of a museum, lost and forgotten.
But the black heart of the Amazon never forgets. Just days before the Museum’s massive new exhibition opens someone or something other than tourists and school children is roaming the echoing halls and dusty galleries. And people are turning up savagely murdered.
Forensic evidence points to a killer of terrifying strength and ferocity. Rumors of a “Museum Beast,” never far from the surface, rise again among the Museum staff. But then Margo Green, a graduate student working in the Museum, uncovers a link between the killings, the failed Amazonian expedition, and an odd figurine that will be displayed for the first time. Will she be able to put the pieces together and stop the deadly menace before terror strikes again?
This book is the first collaborative work of Preston and Child, and also the first in the Pendergast series. Unlike most of the books in this series it cannot be read as a standalone and is followed on by Reliquary; the other two books that must be read in order in the series are Dance of Death/Book of the Dead. But I digress, I’m reviewing Relic not the entire, to date, 14 book series. I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend and, not knowing what to expect, was taken by surprise; it is the first book written by these two Authors I have read.
I found the characters both intriguing and infuriating at the same time, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the aforementioned Pendergast was not actually the main protagonist in this book, rather took a secondary place to another. I thought this was a great way of introducing a character that would eventually become the focus of a lengthy series, rather than having him leap out of the pages at the reader full-bore and in your face. It actually is one of the reasons I will probably continue to read more in this series, he intrigued me and made me want to find out more about him. In creating the characters in this book, the Authors supplied enough details about them to allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks or speculate as to what might follow. It is not only Pendergast that the Authors decided to just give ‘tasters’ to the character personality, they applied this to all the characters in the book and, while I found it an interesting way to lead into a series, I would have preferred to have more background on some of those characters who were probably not going to make it out of the end jacket alive, and this is the reasoning behind my 4 thumbs review.
It is a fast paced book, full of twists and turns that I really didn’t see coming. This edge of the seat action kept me turning the pages until to my surprise I had finished the book in a day. The idea of the entirety of the story line taking place in a Museum, and the suspense this brings with it makes this a book a would recommend to anyone who enjoys a book full of twists, turns and a little humour in places.