Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Relic: Review

Something nasty is lurking in the basement hallways of the New York Museum of Natural History. A nasty, primeval, ferocious something...that kills swiftly and mercilessly and Special Agent Pendergrast, Lieutenant D'Agosta, museum researchers Margo Green and Dr. Frock need to find out who or what it is before everyone connected with the museum falls victim....

The museum is due for a grand opening of a new, spectacular exhibition by the name of "Superstition." The directors of the museum are determined that nothing will happen to either delay the extravaganza or tarnish the museum's reputation. So, when odd disappearances occur and rumors of a "Museum Beast" start to circulate, Winston Wright and Lavinia Rickman tighten security and clamp down on the rumor-mongers, but refuse to even think about putting off the grand opening. And not even a dead body or three are enough to change their minds.

Pendergrast and the researchers slowly gather evidence that points to a doomed expedition undertaken by associates of the museum several years earlier. Whittlesey, one of the leaders of the expedition, had gone to the Brazilian rainforest in search of the lost Kothoga tribe--a primitive group who worshiped a strange god named Mbwun who was half-man, half-lizard and who was said to be the offspring of a Satan-like demon. A relic which is said to represent Mbwun was found among the crated items sent back by Whittlesey and will be the centerpiece of the new exhibit. With murderer leaving a trail of clues that eerily call to mind descriptions of Mbwun, could the rumors of a "Museum Beast" be more firmly rooted in fact than anyone would like to believe?

This is a hair-raising, edge-of-the-seat thriller.  Weighing in at 468 pages, I managed to finish this book in less than 24 hours--and that's allowing time for sleeping last night and working a full 8 hours today. That's not meant as a brag. I'm simply underlining the fact that, despite thrillers being NOT my thing (and only reading this one because I had to have something in the horror-line for a challenge), I only put the thing down when I absolutely had to. Preston and Child know exactly how to reel you in and keep you reading even when you're being scared out of your wits. Seriously creepy and quite, um, bloody--but not gratuitously so (and I managed to skip the worst descriptions without losing any of the storyline....I'm a weenie when it comes to blood and gore).  I learned with Cabinet of Curiosities that I can take a bit of horror now and then, provided that it's well-written and delivers a good story with interesting characters. Preston and Child come through again with this ★★★ outing.


fredamans said...

It must be good for you to finish it that quick and while working a full day!
I read, no listened to an audiobook by them. I felt like I needed to read it to get the full gist, but still found it quite exciting and suspenseful.
Great review!

Marce said...

Bev, this is one of my favourite Thrillers, Preston and Child did a great job.

I'm excited you read it even though you enjoy the classics and less intense gory ones :-)

Unknown said...

I haven't read this one but I recently listened to Douglas Preston's Non-Fiction, The Monster of Florence, about a series of unsolved murders in Florence, Italy which he wrote while living there. It was really fascinating. A movie is being made of it with George Clooney playing the part of Douglas Preston.:)

Ryan said...

I know you have already told me the movie is very different, so I may give this book a try.

Yvette said...

I know I read this years ago, Bev. AND I've been meaning to reread it because it's the book that introduces Pendergast of whom I've grown quite fond.

To tell you the truth the only thing I remember about this is that it was set in a museum and that it was very creepy. Thought I had a copy somewhere on my shelves, but so far no luck.

Time to get it out of the library.