Thursday, July 13, 2006

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, The Book of the Dead.

The sequel to Dance of Death, it was nice to return to this quick read (less than 24 hours, one late night, but no reading during my work day). An enjoyable yarn, totally implausible, but making me remember far too much of when I wanted to be an Egyptologist. At any rate, this one may be the last of the Pendergast novels; I think it’s a decent though far too obvious an ending.

Short version? Picks up right where Dance of the Dead left off: Pendergast in prison, D'Agosta working to bust him out, the evil brother Diogenes up to no good--and of course, all set at the American Museum of Natural History (wikipedia summary of museum here). The stories those walls could tell--how many murders, beasts, evil spirits, etc., have wandered through those 46 acres of downtown New York in the world of Preston and Child? Ah well. The story revolves around an exhibit being opened to restore the Museum to the good graces of the public: an exhibit of the tomb of Senef, supposedly a vizier to and regent for Thutmose IV. I can't actually think of anything else about the plot to write without giving things away.

Entertaining, overly contrived, but a fun bit of pulp. The most fun thing about these books is the imagined exhibits themselves; Preston and Child should go into the museum curator business. They populize well.