A year and a half earlier a creature came out of the lowest levels of the American Museum of Natural History and started killing people. Margo Green and Bill Smithback were two of the people who came face to face with it. Now there seems to be a related threat. She is an anthropologist and is called upon to investigate the new occurrences from the scientific angle. Meanwhile, he begins to smell a story and is ready to write more newspaper stories on what is happening. Who knows, perhaps Smithback will finally get to finish his book as well.
As more people are disappearing and bodies are found without heads, FBI Special Agent Pendergast also returns to New York City to investigate. Green had helped save them both the last time and now he trusts her to help uncover this new threat.
The search leads them to the New York City underworld. There is a vast underground city below New York where many homeless have made their homes. They are nicknamed mole people. They are the ones mostly being killed, although not always. Then when a night subway is attacked and everyone on it is killed with their heads ripped from their bodies, the whole city goes up in arms.
Reliquary is a fast paced suspense thriller with a surprising (to me, anyway) leading bad guy. Green has matured since Relic and is a solid character. Smithback is well defined in his wise guy journalist persona who reacts with the necessary real fear needed at the end, dropping his normal act. Pendergast is still aloof but is allowed to be approachable. The air of mystery that surrounds him in later books is still forming in this novel.
I was especially impressed with Preston's and Childs' descriptions of the New York City underground world and the mole people. The reader gets a distinct feel for the life underground and is able to understand it somewhat. They used extensive research to bring the area to life and succeeded in their intent to show what it is like.
The underground killing creatures were unreal to me and hard for me to swallow. Their leader, when revealed, is quite believable with unexpected motives.
Reliquary is a thriller that keeps the reader's attention. Hurray for Margo Green and Bill Smithback bringing in the proper "normal" humanity needed to make this book fresh and real.
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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