Book Review: Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

This book is the first of the Pendergast series, and it was initially published in 1995 by Tor Books. According to several sources, this book has sold over a million copies to date.

This book isn’t just about Special Agent AXL Pendergast of the FBI New Orleans Office. There’s a small cast including a Journalist for the Times, a graduate student working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and several others. I especially like Lieutenant Vincent “Vinny” D’Agosta of the NYPD and the very interesting Pendergast.

The story is about an ill fated expedition into the rain forests of the Amazon Basin where one of the researchers was looking for a tribe said not to exist. Finding signs of them, he and several of his party members followed the signs and, things didn’t go as planned.

Fast forwarding to the present, the American Museum of Natural History is preparing for a huge exhibit called “Superstition” to open in grand style. Unfortunately, two young boys are found dead in one of the many stairwells in the museum, and the place is locked down by Lt. D’Agosta. Not long after, a very singular man appears dressed in a black suit, and he eventually introduces himself as Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI.

With a distinctly Southern accent and gentlemanly manners more suited for the late 1800s than for modern New York, Pendergast is interesting, amusing and irritating in turns – both to the reader and to his fellow cast in the story.

“You see, when someone says “it’s impossible,’ I have this very bad habit, I can’t help myself, I immediately contradict that person in the most positive terms possible. A very bad habit, but one that I find hard to break.” – Special Agent Pendergast The Relic.

I won’t spoil the book for you – I have better manners than that. I do recommend this book highly, and I ask that you don’t take my word for it. Check the book out at the library or find a copy cheap at a thrift store(you can always donate it back or give it away later) and read it for yourself.

This is a well paced story with the right blend of thriller, horror and murder mystery with some history thrown in to spice things up a bit. The cast of characters have their own little side stories as well, and I think this adds to the story rather than detracting as many critics have claimed. There is a reason for all the little side trips, but I’ll leave that for you to figure out for yourself.

I give this a 5 out of a 5 rating.

Also, this book is available in all forms including audiobook so I hope you find a way to enjoy it.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Travel Inspiration

I have been having fun visiting the blogs of some of the travelers who have so nicely begun following my own blog though mine is not about traveling per se. Thank you all by the way, each and every one of you wonderfully talented and unique people who are following me! I wasn’t expecting such richness when I began my blog. It’s more me just writing what I want to share, or it was in the beginning. However, I digress. This post is about traveling.

Looking at all the pretty pictures and reading all the lovely stories has me inspired to do some writing. I can’t, obviously, go very far – thank my job mostly for that – but I do want to get out and do a bit of driving! I love to drive – just hit the road and go! Being the person I am, I can’t just go without a plan though. I need to find a place to go to, or a general vicinity. I had once planned just to go to a town about 20 miles away and for once, I decided to take a loop that was supposed to take me closer to where I wanted to go – in theory anyway. I took the wrong exit and ended up in little town I’d never been in before. Best thing to happen to me in a long time!! Their little cafe has the best buttermilk pie I have ever tasted and some of the best catfish in a non coastal town!

Again, I digress but only a little bit this time. My apologies.

As luck would have it, I have a three day weekend coming up this very weekend! I’ll be traveling to visit my gentleman friend and then, I plan to visit a town closer to home called Groveton. It’s a little town, but I’m hoping there’s a library so I can try to get some history on the place. I love visiting places, finding out their history and checking out any old architecture there might be about. I’m doing this on Monday so if there is a library, it’ll be open. It should be anyway, but you never know in a small town.

I’ll be taking pictures I promise! I’ll also be writing about the visit – no matter how it turns out.

All this because of the other travel writers here in my little corner of the blogsphere sharing their own travels with me! Thank you all so much!! I feel so excited and can’t wait to get going!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

Read a new book by an author I’d never heard of thanks to a friend of mine whose reading tastes are similar to my own. 🙂

My copy of this book is a trade paperback produced by Dell Books Copyright 2015.  The story itself is approximately 431 pages long.  There’s an Acknowledgments page which is needed for all the research that went into creating this fantastic story, and there’s a teaser for the next book in the series.

This book is a snapshot in time as a great deal of it is based on fact.  The murders, the cops, they’re figments of the writer’s imagination, but the rest of it is fact.  I like how the writer was able to weave these two things together into such a compelling tapestry.

I have to admit to not liking the story at first – it was slow, to me.  However, I kept reading, and the story got better.  Characters began to flesh out and become more like people than just descriptions and dialogue.  Scenes began to flash and take on color, to move faster.  It was a fabulous ride!

Our story begins with Kate Murphy’s first day on the job at Atlanta PD in 1974 – a time when women were just beginning to get into “men’s jobs”.  A cop has been killed, a cop who was the partner of the brother of Kate’s first partnet, Maggie Lawson.  The only thing the two women have in common is their gender – Maggie is from the poor side of town, and Kate is from a wealthier Jewish family.

Still, as the two women find a way to help track down the cop killer despite all the male testoterone trying to keep them from it, the two find ways to connect.

I can’t tell you much more than that without giving away the story so, I’ll stop here.  Read the book for yourself, don’t listen to me and my opinion.  Think for yourself and maybe, you’ll enjoy yourself.  I know I do!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  Keep an eye out for a black 67 Impala too!  There’s always an adventure waiting when you see it!

Crimson Shore – Preston & Child

This book is written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  They have written 15 novels featuring Agent A.X.L. Pendergast.   It is published by Grand Central Publishing Copyright 2016.  My copy is a trade paperback with about 395 pages of story in it plus an About The Authors page that is almost a full page.  They have a Facebook page and a website: PrestonChild.com

As I said in a previous post, I had read an earlier book by the pair featuring this FBI agent, and I wasn’t too thrilled with it.  Now, years later however, I am actually liking the guy and his methods of doing things his way – helps when you’re seriously rich I guess.

Anyway, in this book, our erstwhile hero and his assistant/ward, Constance Greene, are asked to look into the theft of an entire collection of wine from the cellar of the former home of a lighthouse keeper – said lighthouse being under the care of the US Coast Guard – but the house not, in Exmouth, Massachusetts.  They find all is not what it seems!

This story is full of lots of wonderful twists, turns and the general sneakiness of good mystery stories.  Agent Pendergast is someone who reminds me of Hercule Poirot, without the accent or the moustache!  He keeps his thoughts close to the vest, asks leading questions of Constance to get her quick mind to work and is quite the showman when he needs to be.

Constance is a shallow person to me so far.  She’s a secondary character who is more sidekick than anything else.  I have only caught glimpses of her backstory in the two books I’ve read so far.  I am looking forward to going back to the beginning and starting this journey the right way.

I highly recommend this book!  It’s lots of fun, and I actually read it in one sitting as I couldn’t set it down even to get some sleep!  As always, don’t take my word for it – peruse the book yourself and decide whether it’s worth reading.  Form your own opinion about it as well.  After all, who am I to tell you what to think and what to feel?  That’s your job.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and screwdriver!