Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: Old Bones by Douglas Preston & Lincold Child

Authors: Douglas Preston & Lincold Child
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 2019

Nora Kelly, a young but successful curator with a series of important excavations already under her belt, is approached by the handsome Historian, Clive Benton, to lead an expedition unlike any other. Clive tells his story--one involving the ill-fated Donner Party, who became permanently lodged in the American consciousness in the winter of 1847, when the first skeletonized survivors of the party stumbled out of the California mountains, replete with tales of courage, resourcefulness, bad luck, murder, barbarism--and, finally, starvation and cannibalism.

Captivated by the Donner Party, Nora agrees and they venture into the Sierra Nevada in search of the camp. Quickly, they learn that the discovery of the missing starvation camp is just the tip of the iceberg--and that the real truth behind those long-dead pioneers is not only far more complex and surprising than they could have imagined...but it is one that puts them both in mortal danger from a very real, present-day threat in which the search for the lost party, and its fabled fortune in gold, are merely means to a horrifying end.

Old Bones is the first in a new spin-off series featuring archaeologist Nora Kelly.  Nora Kelly first appears in Thunderhead, which is a stand alone, and also appears in Cabinet of Curiosities, Book 3 in the Pendergast series. It's been a while since I read either of those books, but I remember I really enjoyed them.  In this first book, Nora is convinced to lead an expedition of find the lost camp of the Donner Party.  Rumor has it that there is buried treasure.  Once they get out into the wilderness, things quickly begin to go wrong.

I have always been fascinated by the Donner Party tragedy.  I thought this was a good take on the story.  The mystery was engaging and kept me guessing.  I was expecting more of a supernatural element, but it really isn't there.  I think if you go into this knowing that, you will enjoy it more.  I liked Nora as a main character.  She is definitely someone that  I would want to read about again in the future.  I do hope that she teams up with FBI agent Corrie Swanson again.  I liked how they played off of each other. 

Reading this book reminded me of how much I love this writing duo.  I really want to go back and read all of the Pendergast books.  There are a lot, so it will take some time to catch up.   For now, I do recommend this mystery.  I know fans of these authors will love this book. 

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