Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child


I picked this book totally at random from the airport bookstore because I ran out of reading material due to a long flight delay. I chose this one over the others because Megan said her friend had read it three times and liked it.

This book was okay. My biggest gripe is that nowhere on the cover or in the introductory pages does it say that this is book #7 in a series of thrillers centering around FBI Agent Pendergast. Several of the Pendergast books are stand alone, but this one is the last of a story arc spread over three books. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read the previous ones.

My second gripe is this is one of those books where new characters are introduced so fast and their parts in the overall plot are so complex that you feel like you need to take notes to keep them all straight.

A museum decides to re-open a long closed exhibit of an Egyptian tomb where mysterious deaths occurred in the past. A diabolical killer is manipulating this opening with the intent to kill and/or drive insane as many people as possible. The one man who can stop him (Agent Pendergast) is locked away in a prison known to be escape-proof. Pendergast's friends develop a very complex plot to break him loose in an attempt to save the day. There is also a sub-plot concerning a mysterious and creepy backstory (developed in the previous books) about a young woman who is much older than she seems.

I liked this book okay, even not knowing what had happened in the earlier books, but I definitely think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read the books in order. There was quite a bit of serious swearing by a few of the characters. Some graphic violence during the prison escape and some blood and guts gore resulting from a few murders. There was some implied sex and sensuality, but nothing very graphic.

As far as thrillers go, this one was pretty good. It kept me guessing through most of it. If I get a chance, I'll probably go back and read the earlier books, but they won't be a top priority--and I'll check them out from the library instead of buying them.


Josi said...

Good to know--and don't you just HATE it when they don't tell you it's part of a series. I've picked up a few books like this and just scratch my head. Doesn't the publisher WANT people to know it's part of a series in case they are following it? And wouldn't they want people to start in the first book instead of later on when the results of those earlier stories are now known? Makes no sense.

Anna Maria Junus said...

From the title I was expecting a Satanic or Witchcraft book. I'm relieved that it's not.

And you would think that the publisher would mention that it's part of a series.

I like it best when they put that information right on the cover.