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The Cabinet of Curiosities
Cover of The Cabinet of Curiosities
The Cabinet of Curiosities
Pendergast Series, Book 3

In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are thirty-six bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are thirty-six bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

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About the Author-
  • The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
    Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 13, 2002
    In seven bestselling novels (from Relic
    to The Ice Limit), Preston and Child have delivered a body of science-based thrillers that for high excitement and robust scientific imaginings rival those of Michael Crichton. Their eighth outing is another richly entertaining tale, about the hunt for a seemingly immortal serial killer at work in New York City. Preston and Child revive characters and settings from earlier novels, often a red flag that authorial imagination is tiring; but in this case, all comes together with zing. There's FBI Special Agent Pendergast (from Relic), pale, refined and possessed of a Holmes-like brain; dogged New York Times
    reporter William Smithback Jr. and his fiery erstwhile girlfriend, Nora Kelly of the New York (read American, where Preston used to work) Museum of Natural History (both characters from Thunderhead
    with the museum the setting for Relic). The action begins when groundbreaking for an apartment tower in downtown Manhattan reveals a charnel house of murder victims from the late 19th century. Enter Pendergast, who for unexplained reasons taps Kelly to study the remains before the site is stripped by the building's developer, a Donald Trump–type who, with the mayor's backing, will accept no construction delays. As Kelly calls on Smithback for investigative help, the city is struck by killings that duplicate the earlier murders, with the victims' spinal cords ripped away and clues pointing to a 19th-century scientist who sought the secret of immortality. Featuring fabulous locales, colorful characters, pointed riffs on city and museum politics, cool forensic and paleontological speculation and several gripping set pieces including an extended white-knuckle climax, this a great beach novel, at times gruesome, always fun: Preston-Child at the top of their game.

  • AudioFile Magazine When archaeologist Nora Kelly is called to a building site where a long-buried body is found, she little expects to be embarking on the path of a mystery that will lead back to the last century, with danger reaching into the present. This is an intense and interesting story, entwining the quest for eternal life with the history of America, New York, and present-day politics and influence. Rene Auberjonois crafts his narration with great care; each word is voiced with perfect tone, pitch, and emotion, and each character is provided with a fitting personality. The result is narration that flows beautifully while providing insight into the story and those who inhabit it. Satisfyingly imbued with thrills and suspense, the prose is fully realized in Auberjonois's performance, and he even manages to make some of the more fantastic aspects seem reasonable. A totally engrossing experience. M.A.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2002
    Adult/High School-FBI Special Agent Pendergast needs the talents of Nora Kelly, an archaeologist, and William Smithback, Jr., a researcher and reporter, to track down a serial killer whom he is sure has been stalking his prey since the late-19th century. When a real-estate developer demolishes a building and finds victims of a murderer who killed by tearing out their spinal columns, the three team up to pursue the evil behind the acts. Along the way, they nearly lose their lives as they relentlessly track the killer who, indeed, is still alive at the beginning of the 21st century. Pendergast stands out as a unique character, mysterious in his own right, with almost superhuman strength and endurance, and encyclopedic knowledge, and the human emotions and abilities of his two assistants intensifies interest in them. The authors again weave facts from New York City history with a thriller plot to produce an adventure filled with fast-moving events, gruesome scenes, and enough scary moments to keep the pages turning quickly. Fans of Preston and Child's Relic (Tor, 1996) or Reliquary (Forge, 1997) will enjoy this title as well.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

    Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2002
    This absolutely terrific thriller brings together a lot of old friends from previous books: FBI Special Agent Pendergast and New York Times reporter Bill Smithback (Relic and Reliquary), archaeologist Nora Kelly (Thunderhead), and the New York Museum of Natural History (Relic). This time, the historical shenanigans center on a serial killer who operated 130 years ago out of a "Cabinet of Curiosities," a scientific sideshow of sorts that was the 19th-century precursor to natural history museums. With the help of Smithback and Kelly, Agent Pendergast determines that the killer harvested parts from living human beings and distilled them into an elixir that would, in turn, allow him to live forever. It was a gruesome business in 1870, and it is no less terrifying when "copycat" killings start anew in 2002. Could there really be a murderer on the loose for 130 years? This adventure has all the elements of the perfect summer read: the wonderfully spooky atmosphere, the dogged reporter smitten with the lovely scientist, and the mysteriously prescient FBI agent. Authors Preston and Child have been hot since Relic, and here they score another big winner. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN

    Copyright 2002 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2002
    This best-selling writing team specializes in fast-paced thrillers with an element of fantasy (e.g.," Relic, "1995;" Riptide, "1998;" "and" The Ice Limit", 2000). Construction of an apartment building in Manhattan is halted when excavators discover the remains of 36 dismembered bodies, the apparent victims of a serial killer who operated more than a century ago. Archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI agent Pendergast (both have appeared in the authors' previous books) team up to track down the identity of the long-dead killer. The authors' most successful novels are set in the world of museums (Preston draws upon his experience at the American Museum of Natural History) and feature sharply drawn characters, snappy dialogue, and plenty of action. This is one of their best, primarily because it features Pendergast in a leading role; he's the most interesting character the pair has created--smart, erudite, and no-nonsense. This one doesn't contain the heavy doses of fantasy readers have come to expect from the duo, but its mix of suspense and archaeology is sure to please the thriller crowd. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

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Pendergast Series, Book 3
Douglas Preston
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