The New York Museum of Natural History receives their pilfered gem collection back...ground down to dust. Diogenes, the psychotic killer who stole them in Dance of Death, is throwing down the gauntlet to both the city and to his brother, FBI Agent Pendergast, who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison. To quell the PR nightmare of the gem fiasco, the museum decides to reopen the Tomb of Senef. An astounding Egyptian temple, it was a popular museum exhibit until the 1930s, when it was quietly closed. But when the tomb is unsealed in preparation for its gala reopening, the killings--and whispers of an ancient curse--begin again. And the catastrophic opening itself sets the stage for the final battle between the two brothers: an epic clash from which only one will emerge alive.
Readers caught up in the two previous adventures of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, will leap right into this audio conclusion of the three-part series by Preston and Childs. Smartly abridged, this concluding volume is read with a lively and literate excitement by veteran actor Auberjonois, who can capture a surly museum guard, a snooty curator and a shrewd villain (Aloysius's evil brother, Diogenes) in the flicker of a vocal cord, but who saves his most ironic tones for Aloysius himself. Even listeners who are new to the series will find lots of thrills and chuckles. Everything from priceless diamonds ground to dust to murder and bloody mayhem is treated with zestful underplaying by Auberjonois. But listeners who will probably most appreciate the extensive tying up of loose plot threads this time around are the ones who were there when those threads first began to unravel. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 24). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Great Book!!
Posted February 19, 2010 by Michia , DoverI picked this book up in a rush and grapped it because of the title and picture. Had no idea what I was getting myself into. It turned out to be a really good book. Alot of twists and turns. A real page turner.
2 . Great blend of fact and fiction.
Posted December 11, 2009 by Brian , BristolIf you do not know Agent Pendergrast start out with Relic and catch up. One of the most interesting characters to follow. A truly pleasurable blend of science and imagination this book is sure to leave you turning pages and losing sleep.
Grand Central Publishing
June 16, 2006
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Excerpt from The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston
Early-morning sunlight gilded the cobbled drive of the staff entrance at the New York Museum of Natural History, illuminating a glass pillbox just outside the granite archway. Within the pillbox, a figure sat slumped in his chair: an elderly man, familiar to all museum staff. He puffed contentedly on a calabash pipe and basked in the warmth of one of those false-spring days that occur in New York City in February, the kind that coaxes daffodils, crocuses, and fruit trees into premature bloom, only to freeze them dead later in the month.
"Morning, doctor," Curly said again and again to any and all passersby, whether mailroom clerk or dean of science. Curators might rise and fall, directors might ascend through the ranks, reign in glory, then plummet to ignominious ruin; man might till the field and then lie beneath; but it seemed Curly would never be shifted from his pillbox. He was as much a fixture in the museum as the ultrasaurus that greeted visitors in the museum's Great Rotunda.
Frowning at this familiarity, Curly roused himself in time to see a messenger shove a package through the window of his pillbox. The package had sufficient momentum to land on the little shelf where the guard kept his tobacco and mittens.
"Excuse me!" Curly said, rousing himself and waving out the window. "Hey!" But the messenger was already speeding away on his fat-tire mountain bike, black rucksack bulging with packages.
"Goodness," Curly muttered, staring at the package. It was about twelve inches by eight by eight, wrapped in greasy brown paper, and tied up with an excessive amount of old-fashioned twine. It was so beaten-up Curly wondered if the messenger had been run over by a truck on the way over. The address was written in a childish hand: For the rocks and minerals curator, The Museum of Natural History.
Curly broke up the dottle in the bottom of his pipe while gazing thoughtfully at the package. The museum received hundreds of packages every week from children, containing "donations" for the collection. Such donations included everything from squashed bugs and worthless rocks to arrowheads and mummified roadkill. He sighed, then rose painfully from the comfort of his chair and tucked the package under his arm. He put the pipe to one side, slid open the door of his pillbox, and stepped into the sunlight, blinking twice. Then he turned in the direction of the mailroom receiving dock, which was only a few hundred feet across the service drive.
"What have you got there, Mr. Tuttle " came a voice.
Curly glanced toward the voice. It was Digby Greenlaw, the new assistant director for administration, who was just exiting the tunnel from the staff parking lot.
Curly did not answer immediately. He didn't like Greenlaw and his condescending Mr. Tuttle. A few weeks earlier, Greenlaw had taken exception to the way Curly checked IDs, complaining that he "wasn't really looking at them." Heck, Curly didn't have to look at them ' he knew every employee of the museum on sight.
"Package," he grunted in reply.
Greenlaw's voice took on an officious tone. "Packages are supposed to be delivered directly to the mailroom. And you're not supposed to leave your station."