Thunderhead is the first archaeological mystery novel featuring Nora Kelly. Authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child aka Lincoln & Child mix their taste for the mystical with a strong story about an archaeological search and discovery. Thunderhead is definitely a page turner.
Associate Professor of archaeology Nora Kelly receives a sixteen-year-old letter from her long lost father. In it, he claims he has found the mythical city of the Anasazi tribe. Kelly talks a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab to look at the information her father left in his letter and use satellite imagery to find the road to the mythical city. She then convinces her boss, famed archaeologist Ernest Goddard to fund an expedition. His caveat is that his daughter join Nora Kelly’s team.
At the same time, strange man creatures try to steal the letter from Nora Kelly to prevent her from using the information in it to find the lost city of the Anasazi. These strange man creatures are the foundation for the more mystical aspect of Thunderhead.
The mythical city is found but it is not at all what Nora Kelly and her team expected it to be. It is both much more and much worse. Conflicts arise between members of the archeaological team as to what to do with the discovery. Some treachery puts the lives of team members at risk. There are final confrontations both with the mystical man creatures and with members of the team.
It takes a while for the narrative rhythm of the story to get underway and some readers might grow impatient at the time it takes Lincoln & Child to get Nora Kelly to the city of the Anasazi. This is a minor quibble though as Thunderhead does move at a good clip and the last quarter of this archaeological mystery novel moves at breakneck speed.
I was less convinced by the somewhat Hollywood ending regarding the closure Nora Kelly and her brother get regarding her late father but that is just me.
The Nora Kelly mystery novels by Lincoln and Child are not as solid reading as their Agent Pendergast series but they, and this one in particular, are quite fascinating and easy to get caught up in.
Lincoln & Child
A Nora Kelly mystery
Grand Central Publishing 2000
- The Scorpion’s Tail is the third Nora Kelly book. Old Bones being the second and Thunderhead the first. If you are a fan of Preston & Child, this one is, comparatively, a decent read. If you are not familiar with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child can do, it is a…
- Diablo Mesa by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child aka Preston & Child is the fourth Nora Kelly mystery novel. Preston & Child are great storytellers and Diablo Mesa features a very original plot and characters that keep the reader interested. Its weakness is one I commented on when reviewing the…
- Good thriller, better if you have read the first two books in the series.
- The Preston & Child Pendergast series can almost be divived in two categories. There are straightforward thrillers and there are the SF of speculative fiction books. Bloodless belongs to the latter. A very strong dose of willing suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy it. In addition, Bloodless is…
- True to other Preston and Child Pendergast Novels--this is their 21st--The Cabinet of Dr. Leng is an engaging adventure. It is not necessary to have read previous Pendergast novels in order to follow this one, although a familiarity with the characters would enhance your experience. In The Cabinet of Dr.…