Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Book #35 - The Cabinet of Curiosities

After reading the Blue Labyrinth, I had to go back and look through some of the older ones. Since I'd read Relic and Reliquary a few times, I decided to start with the Cabinet of Curiosities. It reads like less of a mature and smooth book like the later ones, but still great. It starts with a discovery of an old charnel, full of bones. Pendergast is there, pulling in Nora Kelly right away to investigate. She's upset with a loss of museum funding and the job she needs, but she can't turn away. Slowly she and Pendergast investigate what appears to be a serial killer from the late 1800s in NYC.

When a copycat appears now, the city is terrified, and of course, we have the impulsive Smithback writing stories and trying to stay a step ahead of everyone. He gets Nora in trouble, and is wary of Pendergast, but he knows there's something here.

The book is interesting, because we know little of Pendergast at this point. In fact, until this book, I wasn't sure who the main character was in this series. It almost seemed like D'Agnosta in the first two. However it's Pendergast and his mysterious investigation is finally revealed a little over halfway through. He suspects the killer is his great-uncle, who found a way to extend his life from the 1870s to the 1980s.

It's a wild ride, with us getting glimpses of the killer's mind (he gets a few chapters throughout) and Pendergast, as well as the continuation of Nora from the Thunderhead novel, and more of Smithback from the Relic and Thunderhead tales.

A good beginning to the later novels that reveal more about Pendergast, slowly over time.

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