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The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, Book 3) Hardcover – June 3, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
During the excavation for the construction of a sixty-five story residential tower in lower Manhattan, a charnel house of murder victims is discovered. The 36 victims were destitute youths, residing along the crime-ridden waterfront of 1870s New York City. They were buried beneath what was then known as Shottum's Cabinet. Cabinets of curiosities housed strange & diverse collections of artifacts, and were the precursors to the natural history museum.
FBI Special Agent Pendergast enters the story to investigate this most heinous of American serial murders. He calls upon Dr. Nora Kelly, archeologist, conservator and researcher at New York's Museum of Natural History, for assistance in his investigation. Dr. Kelly, in turn involves her fiance, New York Times investigative reporter William Smithback.Read more ›
It would be difficult for me to describe the story without spoiling the plot, but I can safely say that "The Cabinet of Curiosities" is a diabolically twisted thriller. What starts out as a seemingly standard, albeit very creepy, serial killer mystery rapidly develops into something far more bizarre, and vastly more sinister. I read a lot, and it is rare that I am caught completely off guard by plot twists, but with one hundred pages to go I was hit with not one, but two! The authors deftly throw the reader off guard at a key moment, which makes the concluding chapters absolutely breathless.
As I alluded to earlier, the writing in this novel is outstanding; "The Cabinet of Curiosities" is much more thoughtful than their earlier novels, and significantly darker. While still showing their roots in the "techno-thriller" genre, Preston and Child have branched out into considerations of love, madness and morality. Whereas their earlier novels certainly told a great story, and contained tragically flawed characters, this novel makes an excellent stab at exploring the heart of darkness in a much more methodical, dare I say, literary, way.
Of particular note in this regard is the character of Pendergast. For those readers who are unfamiliar with "Relic" and "Reliquary", he is an FBI agent with remarkably refined tastes, and equally unorthodox methods.Read more ›
In this not-quite-contemporary setting (only one person has a cell phone, for instance), New Orleans FBI Special Agent Pendergast is inexplicably interested in the recent discovery of a charnel beneath a New York construction site. He builds a team of assistants: Nora Kelly, Utahan archaeologist determined to make a go of her once-in-a-lifetime chance at working at the world's greatest natural history museum; William Smithback, reporter aching for a Pulitzer (and a suit worthy of the acceptance ceremony); Patrick O'Shaughnessy, a sergeant in the NY Police Department, fifth generation cop at the mercy of a cruel and petty precinct captain; Proctor, his invisible and indispensable chauffeur.
These main characters, excepting Proctor, are well fleshed out and engaging, while Pendergast himself is an intriguing variant on the Sherlock Holmes-style detective. (These characters appear in other books by the same authors.) A healthy field of minor characters are also three-dimensional. Settings are vivid and evocative. Dialogue flows naturally. And bonus -- I even learned a little about urban archaeology and the scientific/fantastical collections of the title.
Very well done. I'm anxious to read more from these authors and to read more about these characters. If you are interested in an intelligent thriller rooted in NYC history, you will probably enjoy this too. If you like Caleb Carr, Iain Pears or Jack Finney, you will likely appreciate this masterful and gripping mystery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very much worth the read. Keeps your interest. Now I want to read the series.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
I am so happy I happened across these authors at my Public Library. I've been reading them ever since. Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and 007. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Bonnie J. Serra
It has been awhile since I've read any Preston and Child novels. i have to say the coming back to their collaborations and the character of Pendergast has been very enjoyable. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Slicers
Daughter will read any Preston and child book especially one with agent Pendergast in it!Published 19 days ago by Matt B.
I couldn't put it down or sleep for days. This is a top notch thriller with a intriguing villain and compelling characters.Published 1 month ago by Morgan Barker