The Cabinet of Curiosities

The Cabinet of Curiosities by American authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, is a thriller about FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast and is actually the third book of the series. It was chosen because the picker in our book club thought it was the first book of the series, and this was an unintended mistake. It’s possible that if we had started with the first book, we might have better understood some of the Pendergast’s sleuthing techniques. Pendergast typically solves murders of serial killers and in this case the murders started 130 years ago. He is helped by a strong female character, archaeologist Dr. Nora Kelly and she was my favorite character. The Nora Kelly character is actually based on Lincoln Child’s real-life grandmother who was an amateur archaeologist and writer.

The premise and parts of this book are intriguing, but there are some parts that aren’t plausible, like Pendergast’s thinking techniques that are supposed to transport him to different places. He’s just an odd duck all around. It’s possible one of the other books explains this a little bit better. Most things did not take me by surprise, although one of my favorite characters is suddenly murdered and this saddened me. There is a cabinet of curiosities in this book and throughout most of the book I was wondering when we would get to it. When we do, we find that not all mysteries about the cabinet are revealed.

This book definitely falls in the mystery, suspense and thriller genres. I would even lean toward the horror genre because this is a gory book with a lot of bloodshed, enough to where the book club made a conscious effort to choose a lighter book for the next one after this.

So when we read the Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, many of our book club members were excited about the next books in the trilogy series and several went on to read the next book on their own. But in this case, with The Cabinet of Curiosities, where we know there are other books in the series, no one has said anything about reading another one of these, and we read this the year before we read Fall of Giants.

If you’ve read the Pendergast series of books, then we’d like to hear what you think about these books and if answers are in other parts of the series. If you like mysteries, blood and guts, off-beat characters and having to read the series to get all the answers, then go to your quiet place and start reading or listening.


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