The first in the long-running and possibly still going Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.
The New York Museum of Natural History is built over a subterranean labyrinth of neglected specimen vaults, unmapped drainage tunnels and long-forgotten catacombs.
SOMETHING IS DOWN THERE…..
I remember watching the 1997 film adaptation of this book back in the day but despite having the same title (obviously) I didn’t connect the two, and therefore was able to come to the story relatively fresh. It’s an enjoyable, fast-paced thriller with a reasonable amount of blood and guts and a protagonist who is clearly extremely clever but manages not to be annoying.
Ask me if I still feel that way if and when I get to volume 21.
So the NY Natural History Museum is hosting an exhibition called Superstition with artefacts from many cultures including a relic (hence the name) found during a disastrous expedition to South America where nearly everyone died in various ways while still managing (eventually) to get their finds back to New York. But, did something dangerous come back with them?
Why yes of course it did.
Following the discovery of the mutilated bodies of two young boys in the museum’s basement, our hero, Pendergast himself, arrives from New Orleans to investigate because something similar happened down there. Is there a serial killer, or something more sinister?
If you voted for sinister you would be correct.
Is there a cover-up by arrogant senior museum officials who eventually get their comeuppance? Yes.
Is there a local arrogant and incompetent FBI agent who (a) doesn’t like our hero; (b) won’t listen to advice & (c) also gets what’s coming to him? Yes.
Is there a more than competent young woman researcher going through personal stuff who is dismissed by almost all of the men around her but is key to unravelling the mystery? Yes
Charming but cranky professor in a wheelchair? Check.
Does the mystery get solved by our team? Partially (but worry not, there is an epilogue).
I enjoyed this greatly, despite unfortunately positive mentions of big game hunting, which YUCK, so much so that I seem to have obtained the next five books in the series. What can I say, these things happen.
This was my first completed read for #20BooksofSummer22