Book Review: The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast is back in this riveting follow-up to Dance of Death, which picks up with the mysterious delivery of a package leaking a brown powder. Careful analysis proves the powder to be the pulverized remains of the New York Museum of Natural History’s stolen diamond collection, all 6,042 carats worth. Why would someone go through all the effort of pulling off such an amazing heist just to grind the priceless gems to dust? Pendergast isn’t in a position to investigate as he is incarcerated at a maximum-security prison for killing a number of people, crimes he was carefully framed for by his younger brother Diogenes.

If ever there was a time the museum needed a gala event to boost moral and public support it would be now and as it so happens, a rich count is willing to donate significant funds to the restoration and reopening of the Egyptian Tomb of Senef closed since the 1930’s. It was a career maker for several museum staff members, too bad the Tomb reopening would also be their deaths, as whispered memories of an ancient curse appear to be coming true. One by one members of the restoration team suffer hideous deaths or succumb to utter madness although thorough testing indicates there are no viruses or toxic agents present within the tomb.

Pendergast’s friends work on an elaborate escape plan while his brilliant, yet tragically flawed brother begins putting into motion the final pieces of a cunning plot for revenge. The two will find themselves pitted against one another in a chess-like showdown with a satisfying although not unexpected twist. This one will leave readers wanting more.

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