We must of course read scary books in October since it is the official, traditional, national celebration of terror . I reviewed 2 by Douglas Preston and Lincoln child in the Book Look column so here they arrrr abreviated. Enjoy some best selling li-terror-ature.
This monster story is set in the New York Museum of Natural History. It is a fictional setting with a basement that gives me the creeps. It has dark twisting hallways and mysterious cobweb draped storage rooms. There is a putrid dead thing odor swirling around the clammy corridors. Don't go down there! Why does the lovely Margo Green insist on working late in her subterranean office after all those murders? Can the dashing Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI save her from her own stupidity?
The monster on the loose is the reptilian beast named Mbun shipped in from a doomed expedition to South America many years before. The fiendish creature slashes his victims - and then suck out their brains. This public relations nightmare is happening on the eve of a grand opening for the "Superstition" exhibit. Will the museum directors still have the gala with the monster on the loose? Of course.
Relic has no romantic encounters to worry about but it has an abundance of violence. And remember what we all have learned from reading monster books - Don't go down there!
"Wheel of Darkness"
It all begins in a Tibetan monastery where FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast (I do so love the name of this character!) and his ward (do people really call themselves this anymore?) the brilliant, beautiful slightly damaged Constance Greene are recovering after their last traumatic adventure. The duo is asked by the monks to bring back a stolen relic with dangerous mystical powers. These powers could destroy the world! The quest sends them on the maiden voyage of the ship Britannia where the murderer is a passenger. But which passenger is the culprit, or could it be a crew member? The Britannia is no Love Boat. In the middle of the trans-Atlantic crossing crew and passengers begin dying at an alarming daily rate. The suspense builds with human and supernatural villains now roaming the decks.
This is a modern tale in living color and thus includes a lot of blood and gore. It is not for those who prefer an old fashioned black and white version where the murder victim expires with a gentle gasp and then falls conveniently to cover any seeping wounds.