I have read some of the Pendergast books written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and I have read the pair's standalone thrillers. However, I thought it was time to I read some of the standalone books that the pair wrote together. I started with Thunderhead. The novel was about Nora Kelly, archaeologist, whose father vanished when she was a child. Recently, her mom had died, and she and her brother, Skip, still had the family ranch home, which was now abandoned. When Nora got a call that there were kids using the house as a meeting place, she went to investigate, and instead was attacked by two half man, half wolf beings who asked where the letter was. Nora didn't know what they were talking, but fortunately, she was rescued by neighbor, Theresa, who scared off the creatures with a rifle. As Nora was rushing from the house, she knocked over a set of old mailboxes, and found an old letter from her father, dated 16 years before. That started Nora the search for Quivira, a lost city of the Anasazi that was rumored to full of gold. Nora managed to convince the head of her university, Ernest Goddard, to sponsor her search for the city. With a small group that included Goddard's daughter, Sloane, and Bill Smithback, from the Pendergast novels. Will the group find the lost city? Or will they be overtaken by the skinwalkers, the evil beings that attacked Nora in her family ranch house?
I really got engrossed in the story, and couldn't put down the book. Preston and Child have a way of getting the reader on the edge of his or her seat, wondering how the group will get out of the current predicament. Nora Kelly was a likable character, and I found myself rooting for a relationship to develop between her and Smithback. The tension really started to roll in the last third of the book, and it didn't look as if Nora and Smithback would survive the skinwalkers' attack. I definitely recommend the book, and I cannot wait to read more Preston and Child.