The Codex – By Douglas Preston

Maxwell Broadbent is a man who sets out on the last grand adventure of his life. A multi-millionaire who made his money robbing ancient tombs and desecrating ancient cities, and now dying of cancer, Max decides that his three grown sons don’t deserve to have all the riches he has “worked” hard to get just handed over to them. So he takes his most expensive and prized possessions with him into the jungles of Honduras where he will be buried with them in, what else, an ancient tomb. His plan is that his sons will have to rob that tomb, after they figure out where it is, in order inherit. This book is a wild ride through the dangerous jungles and winding rivers of Honduras.The three sons must battle lethal snakes and jaguars, not to mention nasty, vicious biting insects not known in America.

Add to the mix that several other people have gotten wind that one of the treasures, the Codex-an ancient Mayan book which details all the plants and animals in the jungle and how to use them to make medicine to cure almost every disease known to man-will also be buried with Max Broadbent.They, too, enter the race to see who will reach Maxwell’s tomb first and thereby obtain the priceless Codex.

I read this one in two days, unable to put it down until I found out how it ended. If you like adventure and stories of ancient treasures and tombs, you’ll enjoy this book.

The Cabinet of Curiosities By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have collaborated on
other books and they make a dynamic writing team. This particular book, taking place in New York City, is fantastic.

In this book Preston and Child bring back characters from other books; FBI Special Agent Pendergast and New York Times reporter Bill Smithback (Relic and Reliquary), archaeologist Nora Kelly (Thunderhead), and the New York Museum of Natural History (Relic). The adventure begins when the construction of an apartment building in Manhattan is stopped when excavators discover the remains of 36 dismembered bodies, the victims of a serial killer who operated more than a century ago. Of course, the builder knows the Mayor and construction isn’t stopped for long. The bones are removed and given a “proper” burial by the builder before Pendergast could get there to investigate. But this doesn’t stop Pendergast and the rest of the team from investigating. The serial killer apparently operated a “Cabinet of Curiosities” which was something like a circus sideshow, a small storefront which housed skulls, animal teeth, skins, whatever it took to get the people in off the streets and pay a few bucks to come in and see the “curiosities.”(The Cabinet of Curiosities, by the way, was the precursor to the natural history museums we now have.) With the help of Smithback and Kelly, Agent Pendergast learns that the killer harvested parts from living human
beings and distilled them into an elixir that would allow him to live forever. It was a gruesome business in 1870, and no less frightening when copycat killings started up
again in 2002. Could there really be a murderer on the loose for 130 years?

This novel kept me up reading late into the night. It goes from the Lower East Side of Manhattan all the way up to the Bronx, spreading a trail of terror and fear. I loved it!
Also, you may want to try some of Preston’s and Child’s other books. They’re all good. Enjoy!