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The Book of the Dead    by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child order for
Book of the Dead
by Douglas Preston
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After the fiasco caused by Diogenes Pendergast's theft and then destruction of the New York Museum of History's prized and priceless diamond collection, its directors conceive a plan they are certain will distract the press and museum patrons from the horrific loss. An unnamed benefactor has come forth and offered millions to cover the cost of unsealing the mysterious Tomb of Senef. The exhibit has lain dormant in the basement of the museum since the thirties, after various strange occurrences in and around the tomb were attributed to an ancient curse. Curator Nora Kelly and a renowned British Egyptologist are assigned to head up the exhibit's grand re-opening. They have one month to organize what all hope will be a spectacular show.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast has been consigned to solitary confinement in a high security prison after being framed for murder by his psychotic brother Diogenes. But neither the FBI agent nor his close friends and associates have been sitting idle. They know that Diogenes' revenge is far from over. Detective Vincent D'Agosta and a small group of trusted experts have been working tirelessly to spring Pendergast from prison. But precise planning and timing are everything. Certain that his hated brother is out of the way, Diogenes is free to carry out his crowning achievement. A master of disguise and deceit, he lures in and claims one victim after another, including Aloysius' extraordinary, yet very fragile young ward, Constance. Then, when all hell breaks loose at the Tomb's opening gala, and the celebrity guests begin falling victim to the tomb's supposed curse, Pendergast, D'Agosta and Captain Laura Hayward have only minutes to stop the chaos and the rising body count.

The rivalry between the brothers Pendergast began in Brimstone, escalated in Dance of Death, and comes to a breathtaking and chilling conclusion in The Book of the Dead. Their final showdown is unnerving and edge of your seat stuff - leave it to these two clever authors to add even more unexpected twists as the story races toward its gripping conclusion. The brothers' longstanding and deadly enmity, which was only ever hinted at in previous installments, is convincingly (and chillingly) explained. The cause is a horrific event, that elicits a certain amount of sympathy for Diogenes and shows why he so thoroughly hates his elder brother. The return of many recurring characters and the tying off of various plot threads adds continuity to what has become a gripping, well written and thoroughly engaging series. It will leave fans demanding more.

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