I’ve read their individual novels, but I never read one by both Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They have been writing the FBI Agent Pendergast series. Well, the best place to start a series is at the beginning so I got Relic from the local library. The book was written in 1995, and told the story of the Museum Beast. The Beast lived in the sub-basement of New York City Museum of Natural History. As the museum was setting up its Superstition exhibit, looking at various religious superstitions throughout history, two children visiting the museum are found disemboweled and headless. Agent Pendergast had investigated a similar killing in New Orleans, and he came to NY to help NY Police Lieutenant D’Agosta with the investigation. Dr. Flock, one of the museum associate directors, and his graduate student, Margo Green, found themselves investigating the murders and the possible Beast. Of course, political pressure in the Museum came to bear on Pendergast, D’Agosta, Flock, and Margo, but they steadfastly continued their investigation. When the jerk FBI agent, Coffey, allowed the Superstition exhibit to open with fanfare, I just knew that the shit was going to hit the fan. It did.
I found myself engrossed in the book. Yes, there was a good deal of gory description, but the thrills and excitement of the investigation and the horror of the Beast, kept me turning the pages. I was barely a quarter of the way through the book before I requested the next in the series, Reliquary. The gore didn’t bother me as much because it was supernatural gore. This wasn’t the horror of a human serial killer; it was the horror of a Beast, the Beast who hides in the dark down the hall and the dark corners of all of our minds. The end was especially good. Preston and Child gave a twist that left me gasping in wonder. Relic is a great suspenseful thriller, and I highly recommend it.