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In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are thirty-six bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again. From Publishers Weekly In seven bestselling novels (from Relic to The Ice Limit), Preston and Child have delivered a body of science-based thrillers that for high excitement and robust scientific imaginings rival those of Michael Crichton. Their eighth outing is another richly entertaining tale, about the hunt for a seemingly immortal serial killer at work in New York City. Preston and Child revive characters and settings from earlier novels, often a red flag that authorial imagination is tiring; but in this case, all comes together with zing. There's FBI Special Agent Pendergast (from Relic), pale, refined and possessed of a Holmes-like brain; dogged New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr. and his fiery erstwhile girlfriend, Nora Kelly of the New York (read American, where Preston used to work) Museum of Natural History (both characters from Thunderhead with the museum the setting for Relic). The action begins when groundbreaking for an apartment tower in downtown Manhattan reveals a charnel house of murder victims from the late 19th century. Enter Pendergast, who for unexplained reasons taps Kelly to study the remains before the site is stripped by the building's developer, a Donald Trump-type who, with the mayor's backing, will accept no construction delays. As Kelly calls on Smithback for investigative help, the city is struck by killings that duplicate the earlier murders, with the victims' spinal cords ripped away and clues pointing to a 19th-century scientist who sought the secret of immortality. Featuring fabulous locales, colorful characters, pointed riffs on city and museum politics, cool forensic and paleontological speculation and several gripping set pieces including an extended white-knuckle climax, this a great beach novel, at times gruesome, always fun: Preston-Child at the top of their game. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From School Library Journal Adult/High School-FBI Special Agent Pendergast needs the talents of Nora Kelly, an archaeologist, and William Smithback, Jr., a researcher and reporter, to track down a serial killer whom he is sure has been stalking his prey since the late-19th century. When a real-estate developer demolishes a building and finds victims of a murderer who killed by tearing out their spinal columns, the three team up to pursue the evil behind the acts. Along the way, they nearly lose their lives as they relentlessly track the killer who, indeed, is still alive at the beginning of the 21st century. Pendergast stands out as a unique character, mysterious in his own right, with almost superhuman strength and endurance, and encyclopedic knowledge, and the human emotions and abilities of his two assistants intensifies interest in them. The authors again weave facts from New York City history with a thriller plot to produce an adventure filled with fast-moving events, gruesome scenes, and enough scary moments to keep the pages turning quickly. Fans of Preston and Child's Relic (Tor, 1996) or Reliquary (Forge, 1997) will enjoy this title as well. Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.