Book 3 in the series. In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.
©2012 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2012 Hachette Audio
The description "formulaic but fun" pretty much covers all of Preston & Childs, but that's fine--I don't listen to these expecting to be challenged, just entertained. My one complaint here has to do with the narration. Fine as Rene Auberjenois's work has been in the others of this series I was not put off when I saw that there was a new narrator for this entry, but it was not until I was some "pages" into this one that I began to question my purchase.
Mr Marosz has a very distracting habit of arbitrarily, and so far as I can tell illogically choosing to end some sentences on a rising tone, which I found increasingly annoying as the narrative progressed. Without a printed text in front of you, a rising tone suggests a comma or question mark not a period, so this verbal tic ends up constituting a series of syntactical miscues randomly strewn about the text that the listener has to keep stumbling over. I'm not sure what he imagines it adds to the listening experience--variety maybe?--but I found it irritating at best and at times it actively interfered with comprehension.
Dear Mr Marosz: make life easier on your listeners--when you come to a period, please let your inflection drop like any normal reader would!
The problem is most likely I've listened to all the subsequent Pendergast installments, then went back and listened to this one. If they'd been listened to in order, it would probably have been much better.
It was nice to hear from some old friends and discover how Pendergast met Nora. I was disappointed that Constance wasn't included in this book more. I had assumed that this book explained more of how they met and they discovered each other. But, it wasn't there. Is there another missing installment??
Anyway, I was "grossed-out" at some of the situations, but I still couldn't stop listening. It was really gruesome. Even more so than others of this series. I suppose I can take death.. but suffering bothers me.
I was worried about the narrator. This being the 3rd in this series, but Mr. Marosz did a fantastic job. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to his books again.
Yes, I'd recommend it to all die-hard P&C fans, but understand, it is disturbing!
I love to read, fly and play tennis. I always have a book and an audible book going at the same time. I'm a mystery/thriller junky.
This is the third in a series by Preston & Child with FBI Special Agent Pendergast and the NY History Museum. It is just as riveting as the first two. This one can be read as a separate book vs the first two (The Relic and Reliquary) need to, or should, be read together. In this one we learn the cool and debonair Pendergast has some very unusual skills past what has ever been known before. He has a fantastic way of remembering everything I think he's ever known. As usual, there is a lot of suspense, murder and deception. These guys have some very vivid imaginations. Over all, everything ends happily...the guy gets the girl, some of the police are shown for their incompetence, the bad guy loses all and NY is safe again. I do like these series of suspense stories and will continue to listen to more. Jonathan Marosz does an excellent job of reading and keeping all the various voices unique.
Say something about yourself!
When the Audible abridged version of this book was released in 2002, I was excited because I had read the print version and knew it to be a wonderful story. It is one of my favorite Pendergast novels. Really enjoyable due to the excellent narration of Rene Auberjonois. However, I knew it lacked somewhat because of the abridgement.
A lot of us were really disappointed that we had not been offered an unabridged version--but here it is. I was a little hesitant because they are using a new narrator, Jonathan Marosz. I went for it anyway, and am glad I did. He isn't Rene, but he does a good job of creating the individual voices, and I found his subtle affect very pleasing after I got used to it.
THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is so much fun to listen to because it is classic Pendergast. He blackmails, manipulates, and smooth talks his way through any situation. A continuous thorn in the side of the "authority figures" he is a true friend to the regular folks, and has a huge array of contacts he can call on when needed.
Pendergast is attempting to solve the mystery of 36 people who were murdered and buried about a hundred years ago--their bones were found when a new building site is being cleared in New York. We go back in time to the world of the 19th Century -where some made money by putting strange oddities on display - and calling them Cabinets of Curiosities. Some were real, but some were contrived to make the displays as gruesome as possible (like sewing two lamb heads on one body.) The murderer had his own Cabinet at the time, which he used for more than one purpose---
One disappointment--In this book there is no D'Agosta- who I kind of missed. Pendergast does enlist the aid of another New York policeman, however, and also an Archeologist from the New York Museum of Natural History. Both good characters!
A reporter, Bill Smithback, is writing a story about the murder victims-with details about how they were killed-- and soon afterward, current day murders start occurring which are so similar to the old one's, they could have been committed by the same person. Except, of course, there is no way he could be alive today-or could he?? This story weaves us back and forth through the past and present, as Pendergast attempts to solve the mystery. However, the method of these murders is so unique, that it is hard to believe this is a "copy cat killer." To say more would spoil the surprise--
Truly an enjoyable book. Edge of the seat type thriller. Very recommended!
Baby Boomer in Raleigh NC. Faves include James Lee Burke, CJ Box, Baldacci, Flynn, Child, DeMille, Crais, Connolly, Thor, Coes, L'amour. Average two books/week.
I hesitated to start this series for several years thinking it was horror genre which I don't go for. In a sense I suppose it is "horror". But the unique character of Agent Pendergast is so entertaining I am now going thru the entire series. This was my 3rd.
Pendergast is a modern-day "Sherlock" for sure but with some Dirk Pitt and maybe even some Doc Savage mixed in. Definitely NOT "Reacher". There is no sex in this series, that I've found. Pendergast's eccentricities have carried each of the books I've read. P&C do go in for the ghoulish with regularity.
My narrator preference is Rene but the others are fine. There is some chronological order to the series but it is not critical. P&C treat each book as if the reader is just meeting "the man in the black suit" for the first time.
Pendergast is so unique I cannot imagine who might play him in as movie. You really should get to know him.... as much as anyone "gets to know Pendergast". :-)
The most negative thing I have to say about the book is that the "Pendergast smart, ranking police officer stupid and selfish" formula has definitely gotten old. There must be some competent individuals in the NYPD that wouldn't always work against Pendergast.
That said the plot line was interesting and kept me wanting to know how it would all turn out. Plus some of the strange bits of historical trivia were interesting. I know they are representative rather than actual historical but the "Cabinets of Curiosities" were an interesting attraction at one point in time.
There is a bit of a production problem where a sentence or two are repeated and that annoyed me but not enough to interfere with the storyline.
The book had an interesting premise and Preston and Child were very good at keeping our FBI agent Pendergast as quirky and enigmatic as ever. I did not like Jonathan Morosz's reading. It sounded like reading, with little difference in voices and Pendergast's southern dialect really poorly done. But the most irksome part of listening to this book was the numerous miscues with editing. Whole sections were read twice, which would jolt me from the story every time.
I enjoy Dick Hill's performances. Scott Brick also comes to mind. Don't know who edits these, but definitely needed a better editor!
Although fairly predictable, I enjoyed the story.
Yes, it's a good story especially if you like the Penderghast series.
Good characters and the bad guy wasn't immediately obvious.
Narration was horrible. This guy has an awful rhythm and cadence that almost made me quit listening.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I value the goosebumps that Preston and Child give me. This book doesn't do that, and I missed the chills. But ... it is a good mystery and it gives the reader the first hint that Pendergast's family has a deep vein of mental illness, and that this family illness is a driving force in his life's work.
I am always glad to see Smithback again, and his girlfriend was a positive addition.
I recommend it, and I recommend reading the series in order.
I really enjoyed learning a little more about who Pendergast is and where he came from. His origins are still mysterious and I'm guessing more will be revealed over time. I found there was a nice balance of a focus on the individual story as well as some development of Pendergast as a character.
My favorite was O'Shannessy. Although he was somehow the only NYPD officer who had some common sense, I enjoyed his quick retorts and sense of humor. He was probably the only NYPD character that you could really like so perhaps I was cornered into it but gladly so.
I'm not sure what it was, but I wasn't a huge fan. He was not bad by any means, but he wasn't amazing. Books like these need a strong narrator, which the first two in the series had. This performance on it's own is good but compared to the first two it feel short.
A few others mentioned it but thought I would too. The editing in this book is poor. There were at least 5 occasions were a line was repeated. It often came at times where there was a long character narrative which really threw me off. I can forgive one or two, but it is a little frustrating to have half a dozen in there.
Loved the previous books but the narration of this book leaves a lot to be desired. Had I not wished to follow this series I would have given up within 5 minutes.
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