The Book of the Dead Review
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It was bad enough that the Museum of Natural History in New York had its entire collection of diamonds stolen. But when the thief returns the collection to the museum—crushed to bits of colored dust—the museum officials have a PR nightmare on their hands. Fortunately, a million-dollar donation comes just in time. If the museum can reopen the Tomb of Senef—an exhibit that’s been closed for decades—as quickly as possible, they’ll be able to get the positive press they need to return to the city’s favor.

Unfortunately, the tomb is famously cursed—and the mysterious deaths that are taking place in the museum aren’t helping the museum’s image.

Captain Laura Hayward finds herself on the case, investigating the strange and horrifying murders. The more she investigates, however, the more she suspects that it may somehow be related to another case that still haunts her. Nearby, FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast is serving time in a maximum-security prison for a crime Hayward is sure he didn’t commit. And somewhere, his brilliant but devious brother, Diogenes, is still on the loose, planning what he’s called The Perfect Crime.

The Book of the Dead is the final book in Preston and Child’s Pendergast trilogy. While the story is meant to stand on its own, readers who have read the previous two novels will have more of an understanding of the story and its characters. Though I started the trilogy at its end, I still managed to find myself caught up in this haunting and often gruesome story. (Incidentally, if you tend to read while eating lunch, as I do, be warned that it’s often quite graphic.) While there seem to be a number of unrelated plotlines running throughout the book, they come closer and closer together as the story continues—until they eventually merge into one.

Though I recommend picking up the first two books in the trilogy before reading The Book of the Dead, even those who start with this last book, like I did, will be mesmerized by the suspense and the stomach-turning action. And once you finish, you’ll be compelled to read the rest of the trilogy—to see what you’ve missed.

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