Tuesday, March 12, 2013

156. Thunderhead (Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child)

Archaeologist Nora Kelly is adrift in her career and her personal life when a violent, inexplicable incident leaves her in possession of a mysterious letter. Written sixteen years before by her father, who vanished without a trace in the remote desert, the letter points to a mythical place hidden in the redrock canyon country of southwestern Utah: Quivira, a city of gold and wonder, the lost city of the Anasazi Indians. Convinced that her father found Quivira before he disappeared, Nora puts together an expedition. Supported by the head of a well-funded archaeological institute, Nora will take a team up Lake Powell to the mouth of Serpentine Canyon. What lies ahead in the harsh labyrinth of canyons and slickrock desert is more than she could ever have expected. It is the answer to both her greatest hopes and her deepest nightmares. For hidden in the shadows of the sunbaked cliffs are untold treasures; the answer to the greatest riddle of American archaeology--and implacable, suffocating death. From the colossal fury of a savage desert storm to the sunlight penetrating a mass grave for the first time in a thousand years, THUNDERHEAD is a tale for anyone who has ever searched for clues to the past. … an epic tale of discovery, human deceit, and a desperate struggle for survival in a place that has guarded its extraordinary secret for centuries--and will not let go without a devastating fight.

Meh. To be honest, this has been one of my least favourite books written by two of my standby/goto authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and yet, I can’t really point to anything in particular that was wrong with the book as the reason why. I found the story interesting and action packed (as usual with most of their books) and yet, with every chapter, I kept wishing it would just hurry up and finish already. It had all the components of some of my favourite fiction reads: action and adventure, archaeology, deceit, betrayal, a touch of the supernatural and characters driven to desperate acts for their own gain or revenge. Sounds great, right? Again…Meh.

I can’t not recommend it but I can’t heartily endorse it either. Perhaps Thunderhead just wasn’t what I wanted to read at the moment or I’ve read too many of their novels too close together. I don’t know but I think I’ll take a break from these guys for a while.

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