The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child



The cabinet of curiosities The Cabinet of CuriositiesDouglas J. Preston; Lincoln Child; Warner Books 2002WorldCatDr. Nora Kelly has a new position at the New York Museum of Natural History. She is able to carry on her anthropological studies that she had been researching in Utah. She is able to live close to her boyfriend, Bill Smithback. Bill is a reporter for the New York Times. They met on her disastrous dig in Utah. Now she just wants to be able to continue her research.

Nora is having the normal administrative problems in the museum when a strange man appears in her office and shakes her life up. Agent Pendergast, an FBI agent out of New Orleans, wants her to examine a historical site that was just uncovered during some New York urban renewal. A charnel house full of century old skeletons was discovered and quickly demolished. Nora and Pendergast had less than a hour before they were kicked off the construction site. Then the charnel was destroyed. They had time enough to discover the old bodies had been dissected in the back before their deaths.

This is the beginning of a series of events that leads Pendergast, Nora, Bill, and NYPD Sgt. Patrick O’Shaughnessy to following a gruesome serial killer. Bodies start appearing around New York City, bodies of people who had been surgically dissected into their spinal columns. The newspapers are screaming “copy cat killer”, but is it? Or has a century-old secret come to life once again? What is the secret of “The Surgeon”?

Preston and Child have brought another scientific fiction thriller to their audience. The Cabinet of Curiosities is based enough in science to make the plot devices plausible, even possible. It is chilling enough to hold the reader’s attention. The human interactions are believable, the characters realistic. I kept telling myself that “nothing can happen to (fill in a name) because he/she is one of the major protagonists.” But Preston and Child don’t let that ruin their story. Being a protagonist doesn’t protect any of the characters.

This is a chilling novel that keeps from going over the edge into horror. It’s well written and holds your interest. Just don’t let your imagination identify too closely with the characters, or you will be in pain.

Special Agent Pendergast series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by Douglas Preston
More books by Lincoln Child

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