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Publisher's Summary

Nora Kelly, a young archaeologist in Santa Fe, receives a letter written 16 years ago, yet mysteriously mailed only recently. In it, her father, long believed dead, hints at a fantastic discovery that will make him famous and rich - the lost city of an ancient civilization that suddenly vanished a thousand years ago.

Now Nora is leading an expedition into a harsh, remote corner of Utah's canyon country. Searching for her father and his glory, Nora begins to unravel the greatest riddle of American archeology. but what she unearths will be the newest of horrors.

©2000 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2010 Hachette

Critic Reviews

"Spellbinding as ever." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Oh my god

This is one of the best books Ive ever read. It has very well developed characters and the storyline never faulters. Every chapter was thrilling and without a doubt some were frightening. Once again these authors managed to piece togther a masterpiece with an amazing ending that strings together the plot so well that I couldnt believe it. Every loose end it tied up so well. If you want to really enjoy the horror side of this book listen to it while going to sleep! You will definately have some fantastic nightmares, I did!!

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Brain Candy

This story involves a search for the "Lost City of Gold" - it is situated in the desert areas of Utah. The writing evokes thrilling emotion, and stimulates the mind' eye with rich imagery. I've read several of the Preston Child novels; like the rest, this one is an action packed, fast-paced thriller. Unlike some of the rest, this one has a tight plot, that doesn't require overlooking little lapses of logic, or suspending disbelief in the face of wholly incredible plot elements. I started Thunderhead on a trip to Rochester MN, where I was scheduled to speak at a conference at the Mayo Clinic. This was a moment in my career, to be invited to speak at the Mayo. The best part: I was spared nervous anticipation - I could not tear myself away from the car, in fact. I had a presentation on Saturday, and one on Sunday; when I wasn't presenting, I was touring Rochester in my car, turning audible page after audible page. It struck me funny: you would think I would be back at the conference rubbing elbows; but no, I was right there with Nora in the deserts of Utah. (Okay, okay: this isn't War and Peace. Like I said, it's Brain Candy, the kind you can't stop popping, one after the other, into your head, until the box is empty. Then you upturn the box, shake it vigorously, and hope one more little treat rolls out, but alas, it's empty, over, finished. Bummer. There is cold-comfort in remembering that too much of this brain candy makes you intellectually fat. Still, a little of it after those protein-dense, peer-reviewed-journal-article-meals is good for what ails you. Click purchase, you won't be sorry.)

76 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Katja
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 10-22-10

Excellent listen!!

This book has more twists and turns than the canyons the characters have to travel through. A terrific adventure through our beautiful Southwest. Preston and Child are great together!! Enjoy!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous Mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely!!! This book was absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. All the i's were dotted & the t's crossed when it came to all the characters & story line. Getting to the bottom of the disapearance of the ancient Indian culture all the way to the search for the massive treasure this book never disappointed me as a reader. All of the characters were strong in thier presence which always lends a special gift & the narrator just made my day. Kudos to the authors for giving the ending a nice closure I wasn't expecting that. Preston & Childs really did their homework on this book & included tons of historical that!.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thunderhead?

Finding the hidden city.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any of the meal preparations by the chef

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very beginning of the search & the ending

Any additional comments?


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Aaron
  • Redondo Beach, CA, United States
  • 10-12-10

Great little entertainer

Loved it. Made my commute fly by.

Preston and Child write fun little techo-pop thrillers with enough background research to sound reasonably plausible but with enough wriggle room for some pulpy action-adventure.

Characters might be a little flat, and there are some plot twists that felt forced, but overall a very enjoyable read. Nothing terribly complicated or convoluted which made it easy to pick up where you left off.

Scott Brick.... well, he's decent, but he likes to make every character sounds like they're using a "half-whispered-husky-sexy voice."

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Very good read

Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and he did great justice to this book as well. From the first I was captured by this book. I can't believe I waited this long to 'read' it. I got caught up elsewhere but I loved this book ! You won't regret using a credit for this one !

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Liked the Story

I liked the story . It moved along well and the ending isn't what I expected . I would have like the story much better I think if someone else was reading it . I would have liked it read as a mystery adventure. I really didn't like the way it was read.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • carmen
  • OFallon, MO, United States
  • 09-12-13

Lincoln and Child always brings the suspense

This was a book about archeology and magic, no surprise there. What is so great about Lincoln and Child is that every word brings some kind of emotion. Thriller, suspense, shock, romance you name it. And although the story may be 17 hours in length you are engaged from word one. No fillers. Every bit of the story kept you in suspense. Plus I just love the way they combine modern technology with old school pirate tales. In addition, the archeologist go to digs to uncover a mystery but they end up unleashing something supernatural. It's a great exciting story that was hard to put down because at every turn your like oh no what is happening next. Also Scott Brick always a great narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good. Not great.

I enjoyed it well enough to get all the way to the end, but it's not a book I'd recommend. It's okay, but it's totally non-memorable. There are no fascinating characters or situations, no exceptional plot twists, no unusual characters. It's a pretty routine thriller, good enough to listen to, but unlikely to stick in your long term memory.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
  • 11-01-10

Adventure novel

I love a good adventure story that takes you on a journey. It seems all good adventures do that like Treasure Island or Wizard of Oz. This is an interesting story that has enough action to keep you listening. My only problem with it is the narrator. I am not fond of the over emotive Scott Brick. He is so popular that if you don't put up with him, you will miss some good books. So when he starts chewing the scenery and hamming it up, I throw up in my mouth just a little bit but I have decided to grit my teeth and bear it. I am glad I did in this occasion for the book is worth it. Well worth the credit if you can take Brick.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • 11-04-10

Fast Paced Suspense!!

This suspense thriller written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child jumped straight in with a fantastic beginning that made you realise this was going to be a rollercoaster ride of a story. It certainly didn?t leave you much time in between events to catch your breath at the begining!! Fast-paced and tense you felt you were right there with Nora and the rest of the expedition and felt the tension amongst the personalities rising as the expedition progressed. The arrogance and pettiness of some of the characters came across well and the naivety of Nora Kelly, the expedition leader, was painful to watch as you rooted for her to succeed.

I felt that some of the description of the landscape was too flowery and was unnecessary to the story line. You get that they were far from home and the rest of civilisation and you don?t need it pointed out continuously. However, although it annoyed me enough to contribute to the book losing one of it?s five starts it wasn?t enough to detract from the overall quality of the story. The narration from Scott Brick is always excellent! However, towards the end of the story I felt the actual storyline and narration started to slow down and was getting a bit monotone. If you are a Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child fan I would definitely recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • AJ, Preston
  • 09-30-12

Excellent nailbiter!

Superbly narrated by Scott Brick, who makes each chapter come alive. Exciting storyline and memorable characters. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-17

Not worth the time

Frankly a waste of time. Utterly predictable. Reasonably well read but a striggle to get to the all to obvious conclusion.

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  • JB
  • 01-14-17


Thrilling,moving, scary, engrossing - as Thriller AND Novel! Beautifully read - only needed Aloysius Pendergast!

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  • sianeflewog
  • 08-28-16

Exciting to the end.

Thoroughly enjoyable story line keeps you guessing to the end. Many twists and turns in the plot make this a story which is compulsive to listen to.