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on January 4, 2017
I keep trying to figure out why this book isn't grabbing me. There's lots of action. There's a very evil bad-guy maniac. He's blowing up the world, or at least the museum. The moody/broody heroine is languishing around, falling into temptation and generally being mysterious. I can't explain why Diogenes and Constance don't interest me. They should. All the elements of intrigue are there, but Constance in particular has always bored me. When the bad guy and the heroine (or whatever she is) don't work for you, it's fatal.

As for the action side of things, there's a heck of a lot going on, but I'm still finding it a hard slog. I'm 82% of the way through the book, and I'm not sure I'll finish. Even with all the flash-bang-dazzle going on in the Tomb, I seem to be reading it from a distance, not really engaged. And please - no more virtual reality day-trips through his own mind for Aloysius! I won't be buying any more books in this series. It's been beaten to death.

Preston & Child have raised the stakes so high (over and over again, with the same characters), that the payoff is beginning to be a let-down. Maybe it's time to move on to a new gang of oddball characters and blow up something else?
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on November 6, 2016
I thought the story was too convoluted for my taste. Some parts of the plot were tied together feebly in my opinion. The book started out well enough. There was an ancient Egyptian exhibit set to open at a museum and then strange events and deaths occurred that seemed to suggest to some that a curse was attached to this exhibit. Then the story introduced several subplots that were spun out with inadequate background information so they seemed contrived. I was disappointed in the book. So l would rate the book as a little below average as a piece of entertainment.
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on September 8, 2015
Preston & Child are architects of prose. I can imagine them structuring this book, three stories overlapping and integrated in the final chapters. As in other books I've read, there's all the drama anyone could ask for. The Museum of Natural History, New York is again a central part of the venue. These authors have that unique skill of lifting a reader to levels of concern, uncertainty, disbelief and fear growing to a sustained level for long periods, pitching adrenaline so high that the reader must take a break to recapture reason. As in the other four books I've read, they are masters of suspense! This is a Can't Put Down book.
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on October 21, 2016
I recently reread this because it was suggested by the authors. Their new book "The Obsidian Chamber" has Pendergast's brother Diogenes reappearing.

This book is the third book in the "Diogenes Trilogy". I had forgotten a lot of it, and was glad to reread it, so I am all ready for when the new book shows up for me.

This is also a good book in its own right.

Why not five stars? By this seventh book, you already know most of the tricks the authors hold in their sleeves.
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on September 6, 2015
This book holds reader's attention and focus with every page from beginning to end. The plot while complicated, some might even say convoluted, was not at all difficult to follow and all aspects meshed together in perfect symmetry. There were no loose ends left hanging.

In short, I gave this book a 5 Star rating because there was nothing about it I did not like. In fact it motivated me to purchase all the other novels in the Pendergast Series.

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VINE VOICEon January 18, 2012
I feel like all my reviews for the Pendergast series are starting to sound the same, I'm gushing as if in love about how fantastic the books are but its still true, this story is phenomenal and it makes you want to read another and another, this could easily have thirty volumes and I would still want to read them all, as usual this book reads smooth as silk while the action cuts like a knife.

The Book of The Dead is the standard great stuff that one would expect from the insightful and intelligent duo, their stories breathe a life of their own and to me they feel different than other novels. Our world is filled with books, one can find them everywhere but whenever I read a Pendergast novel I feel as if I was holding something of heft and value, there is knowledge in these pages; ancient cultures, science, architecture, folklore and mysticism, curses, artifacts and it all sounds real enough to touch and some of it is but I especially adore all the breathtaking characters both good and bad and some in-between, in my opinion they are invaluable to the books. I guess they speak to me, true love haha... Pendergast lives in my mind beyond the pages of the book, that's how great he is.

The third in the Diogenes Pendergast trilogy and seventh in the Aloysius Pendergast series ( I highly recommend starting with Relic, Pendergast#1) story continues on the wild hunt to catch and expose the elusive Diogenes who is conveniently presumed to be dead by everyone but the small circle of our heroes. The Queen of Narnia, The Heart of Eternity, The Indigo Ghost, Ultima Thule, The Fourth of July, The Zanzibar Green and of course Lucifer's Heart, all precious diamonds that were stole in the last installment are destroyed by Diogenes and arrive pulverized into a rainbow colored snow to the museum as a final act of madness and show of power. The previous book was simply fantastic and it exposed Diogenes' identity but only to the reader, the entire museum still has no idea that not only is Diogenes alive but his secret identity is walking right under their noses. To make matters worse, Aloysius Pendergast is in a top security prison and everyone that has always been jealous of him is gunning for the guy to go down, he deals with that brilliantly, boy that was fun! Even though Aloysius is locked up he is the only one who can match up against his evil and twisted genius of a brother, their journey takes them half way through the globe and back.

My personal favorite part of the tale was the prison sequence, well pretty much all of it, I don't want to spoil anything but what happens to Pendergast in the prison is nuts. I read all the parts while holding my breath, some I had to re-read because they were simply too good to only read once. Ingenious and stunning, no deus-ex machina way out of this puppy! Lots of stuff happens, there is also the museum exhibit with a tomb that appears to be cursed, madness and mayhem breaks out as usual, lovers of museum thrillers will have a ball with the Tomb of Senef and those who love Pendergast will gobble up everything he does and says. I was finally impressed with Constance, I never really gave her much thought before but through this book she became another strong contender for future stories and my dear Vincent D'Agosta, he was wonderful as was Laura Hayward. For some reason Laura Linney ( the actress) kept popping into my head when Hayward's scenes came up, she was something, the woman can hold her own.

This was such a tremendous journey with the two brothers that I'm not sad to see it over because I'm really looking forward to the next chapter, the next book sounds quite potent and meaty and I might need a bit of a break to let my brain prepare for another greatness of Preston and Child. I don't read them back to back on purpose as much as I really want to, after all it's not good to eat dessert three times a day, same with books, I save the good stuff to be savored when I'm really in the mood for greatness.

- Kasia S.
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on December 11, 2017
suspense, yell at the book, scary, intellectual, intelligent, knowledgeable, romantic, a learning experience, sexy, piss me off, bursts of laughter, wonder, empathy, sympathy and anger. Dear Authors, who, I feel are my friends after all of these years, thank you for your ability to draw me in and make all of my journeys simply the best, time after time. More please. Lisa west
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VINE VOICEon June 25, 2006
Reading the first few pages of The Boook of the Dead was like slipping on a pair of comfortable old shoes. It was as if no time at all had passed since last year's Dance of Death, to which this is the third in a trilogy that began with Brimstone. Despite what Harriet Klausner says, this book is not to be read as a stand-alone, a fact to which Preston and Child allude about as strongly as their publisher would allow (so as not to negatively impact sales) in their closing comments.

By the end of the book the authors have, as expected, tied up all the loose ends (well, they did leave one or two dangling, pun intended) with Pendergast, Vinnie and Laura, Smithback and Nora, Margo, Menzies, and of course, Diogenes. Like all their books, the pacing is fast, the writing crisp and easy, and as usual the book is difficult to put down. I read it in two days while on vacation at the beach.

I laughed out loud with pleasure at the end of chapter 3 when the identity of the suspected biohazard delivered to the museum in chapter 1 was revealed. There is a lot to enjoy here. But as this was the final book in the Pendergast-Diogenes trilogy, some of the suspense was lost as the final outcome was more or less pre-ordained. Thus only 4 stars not 5. Nevertheless, Diogenes still managed to come up with his share of perfidious and insanely clever evil deeds.

A must read for all Preston-Child fans, but not the one to start with.
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on July 27, 2013
I am a devoted fan of the Preston/Child team, so I was dismayed at the relatively poor (relatively, that is!) first two books in the Pendergast Trilogy. They used numerous contrivances such as having characters do things that they would not ordinarily do (just because the author needed them to do them), extreme coincidences, deus ex machina, et cetera. But the authors relied on theses 'cheats' much less in The Book of the Dead. Moreover, the plotting that resolves the situation is solid Preston/Child magic, with nail-biting tension, detailed research, and constant forward motion. It was worth putting up with the sloppiness of the first two books just to get here.

And by the way, don't even think about reading this without reading the first two. You will be lost.
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on January 19, 2016
What first thing that came to mind reading this book is how well I could relate. I too have a good memory and can remember back before my younger sister could walk or talk and we are only 18 months apart. I never gave repressed memories a second thought until I realized it happened to me and I was with my sister when the event occurred. It is a shocking feeling.

The second was - Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. Even an extremely intelligent, psychopath, mass murderer has reason to be afraid.

And the Saracen’s are ancestors on my father’s side.
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