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Publisher's Summary

The New York Museum of Natural History receives their pilfered gem collection back, ground down to dust. Diogenes, the psychotic killer who stole them in Dance of Death, is throwing down the gauntlet to both the city and to his brother, FBI Agent Pendergast, who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison.

To quell the PR nightmare of the gem fiasco, the museum decides to reopen the Tomb of Senef. An astounding Egyptian temple, it was a popular museum exhibit until the 1930s, when it was quietly closed. But when the tomb is unsealed in preparation for its gala reopening, the killings, and whispers of an ancient curse, begin again. And the catastrophic opening itself sets the stage for the final battle between the two brothers: an epic clash from which only one will emerge alive.

©2006 Splendide Mendax, Inc. and Lincoln Child. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2006 Time Warner AudioBooks. All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Another gripping, action-packed page-turner...with a tantalizing, ominous twist at the end." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    1,891
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    989
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    313
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    71
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    28

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    22
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    10

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Love this series!!!

I'm working my way through this series with relish. Hope the next one is as good but there is a narrater change so we'll see.

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  • Elle
  • Corning, NY
  • 07-28-14

Loved the Narrator

Would you listen to The Book of the Dead again? Why?

I probably would as I like to get next in series and usually if a period of time goes by, I go back and listen to a previous book that leads in to the next in series

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love Degosta as he is always in trouble. I think Smithback is an entertaining character.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the description of the tomb. I would love to tour one of the Pyramids.

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed several of these books in this series, but I have to say Scott Brick is one excellent narrator. Wish he narrated more.

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a good pendergast, not great

I've been re-listening to this series of DP & LC's every now & then for several years; they're great brain candy, take my mind off of the trials of life while I'm driving, gardening, whatever. I'd give this 3.5 stars for the story itself, if I could. It's not, IMO, the best of the series. The reasons I downgrade this particular book (all the judgement on this book --& the series-- is based on them being the aforementioned literary equivalent of cerebral gummy bears, not deathless literature):
1. The perfection of both Pendergast & his bro in all their endeavors stretches even my ability & willingness to suspend disbelief past the breaking point. These guys can do anything, be anything, & they know everything. They're masters of everything from hand-to-hand fighting to great literature (papyrus through Romantic poets to modern day), to gourmet food & wine, every science, computer programming, neurosurgery without a scalpel, morse & all other codes....these guys are incredibly proficient at absolutely everything. They can masquerade as someone else so successfully that people who've had close & extended contact with both characters remain totally clueless (despite the fact that another character notices that one of the brothers has an extremely unique 'personal scent', which goes unnoticed by other people who work with him for years & years).
The Superman-like abilities they have with absolutely everything just goes beyond absurd & reaches annoying this time out..

2. Some of the 2nd tier characters are simply loathsome, when (I think) they're supposed to be sympathetic characters. I'm thinking particularly of Bill Smithback here; he's arrogant, egotistical, devious, obnoxious, ethics-free, and a dreadful snob. Every time he appears in the books, since about 1/3 of the way through "Relic," I've been hoping somebody would kill him off & put him out of my misery. Several of the lesser characters, especially the cops/FBI guys, are so revolting & just so utterly, purely, total jerks that it even goes beyond my ability to believe (Capt Waxey [sp?] in the other book, Agt Coffey in this one).

3 This isn't the writers' fault, but this production has these really annoying, random moments of "mood music" that pops up at idiotic times. In several places they'll run up the music & stop the reader for a few moments, then let him continue, with the music playing under the narration. These gaps come right smack in the middle of scenes, not at natural break points. Far from enhancing the scary or thrilling mood, they totally kill it & aggravate the heck out of the listener. The director should quit audiobooks & go work in radio or movies, if what they really want to do is play with music. When they're working with audiobooks they should stick to audiobooks.

Scott Brick does an excellent job with this one. I wasn't wild about him the first time I heard him, but either he's gotten better or I've learned to appreciate him more. I just listened to his reading of "The Passage" (Justin Cronin), & thought he did an outstanding job, even better than any of his renditions of Preston & Child's books.

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  • linda
  • MORRISTOWN, NY, United States
  • 07-12-13

Good but not great..

If you could sum up The Book of the Dead in three words, what would they be?

Not their best

Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Great performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

I found my mind wandering at times. This is a first while listening to these fine writers.

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  • Kairiin
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 04-24-13

Wonderful

Really enjoyed the complexity of the story and the vibrant performance of Scott Brick. I got some excellent answers to some long-standing questions.

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LOVED LOVED LOVED

The complex plot, descriptive scenery, and compelling story made me wish the book was longer.

FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast (name fits him perfectly) is further revealed as the caring, intelligent, deep thinking individual that everyone would like to know in real life.
The psychotic brother, Diogenes lurks in the back of the mind as the story progresses. The revealed origin of his psychotic behavior in this book is so detailed it made the hair rise on my arms.

All of the cast from previous novels make an appearance in this novel and so there is a great deal of back story development. I loved this novel and Scott Brick did a masterful job narrating.

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Pendergast2 (squared)

Only three stars because of the somewhat silly scenes. There is a ridiculous jail break, a ridiculous explanation for Diogenes' breakdown and an even more ridiculous across-the-globe chase by a very unlikely pursuer.

However: This is an AX Pendergast novel and that alone recommends it. The above borderline inanities would only be suffered by a true fan. For a first time reader of the series, there is little to no explanation of some of the characters, their histories or their roles in this current episode. Like another reviewer, I regret that the thin white duke makes a late appearance, and one that stretches credulity too far. In the end, there is the requisite chase seen, this one up and down a mountain. The settings bring us back to Italy. We ride trains, visit convents, and traipse the wine country.

There is a disturbing sequence, one that reaches a degree of discomfort I have not encountered in these books thus far. There is a letter left in the aftermath of a devilish seduction. The letter is so heartbreaking, so grievous and so daring (to have put such things in words), that this character's words on the final page of the book, are sadly inevitable. In fact, this final statement made by a normally marginal character, invites a foreshadowing of future prestidigitation and charade among the regular players.

As in all P&C books, there is are lessons to be taught to the reader. We learn some history, a lot of geography, a little neuroscience and a healthy dose of chemistry. The books are veritable fonts of trivia.

By far, in all the scenes in the book, the planning and execution of the two "escapes" are the centerpieces. One precedes the other by very little time, and both are choreographed to deliver the same kinds of messages: The police (except for D'Agosta) are stupid, city government is stupid, academics are passably intelligent but failures outside their area of brilliance. Only Pendergast and D'Agosta -- and some of the help AXP employs -- are able to save the world. That's a superhero for you, or a Christ figure, or maybe a myth.

My usual 4 star rating is reduced for being a little silly and a little too long getting AXP into the action and the crossing the line of good taste in the deception visited upon the most innocent of all the characters.

Do not skip this book if you are a fan and are reading the Diogenes trilogy, but do not start your journey into the world of P&C and AXP with this tome; it might drive you insane.

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Another good one!

Would you listen to The Book of the Dead again? Why?

This is a key book in the series, and it ties a lot of things together.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Book of the Dead?

The prison sequences were vivid.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

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  • Nancy F.
  • Sierra Foothills, Northern CA
  • 12-29-12

Very Satisfying

I truly didn't want this trilogy to end. And PLEASE NOTE: this is a trilogy and should be read in order.

The first book had wondrously quirky characters, and a hint of the dark supernatural that often resides in Preston/Child's books. And it had an intriguing cliff hanger ending that caused me to immediately download book 2. Book 2 had lots of action and a building suspense, all featuring a nemesis that (finally) was truly worthy of our hero. And yes, it had one of those cliff hanger endings that immediately launched me into book 3.

This is my review of book 3: All the story lines and open questions (with one caveat) were very satisfyingly tied off. The world became "right" again and we were definitely headed toward a well rounded ending -- until, yes, there was one more cliff hanger. This one won't cause this reader/listener to immediately immerse herself in the next book. But it will leave an open question that will want to be resolved the next time I delve into the delicious world that belongs to Pendergast and his fascinating circle of friends.

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  • julia
  • SARASOTA, FL, United States
  • 12-12-12

WOW! MEET THE PENDERGASTS

Great listen! Preston & Childs made me feel like an invisible part of each Chapter. I finally understand the feelings of both brothers from their early years. So much history in the Pendergast line. I listened to this out of sequence, but, is a great performance by itself and talk about a "cliff hanger!" WOW! Plot was excellent. Lots of tense moments. If you are good at figuring out who is who I think this one might surprise you and I didn't figure out the mysterious "who" that we all were looking for. Good writing. The museum/temple scene is a real nail bitter. I highly recommend this intense listen to everyone, especially for any of us Pendergast "groupies"