Backlist Love is an informal series on “older” books that I hope you’ll find interesting. These aren’t so much reviews as quickie recommendations, so check out Goodreads or your favorite book review sources if you want more info.
Riptide by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Macmillan, 1998)
Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Macmillan, 1995)
Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…
But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?
For generations, treasure hunters have tried to unlock the deadly puzzle known as the Water Pit: a labyrinth of shafts and tunnels that honeycombs the heart of a small island off the coast of Maine. Reputed to be the hiding place of pirate treasure, the Water Pit possesses an inexplicable ability to kill those who venture into it, from professionals to innocent explorers. But now one man has made a startling discovery: The Water Pit is actually a carefully designed fortress, conceived for pirates by a renowned seventeenth-century architect who hid his plans in code.
A thriller of the highest order, Riptide is an extraordinary novel of obsession, courage, and adventure. With each nerve-racking page we are swept into the mystery and the challenge of Ragged Island and forced to face the haunting question: Is the Water Pit a gateway to limitless treasure–or to hell itself?
Why I liked them
Actually, I chose to feature these books today because my spouse really likes Preston & Child books, and today is his birthday, so I thought it would be fitting to tell y’all a little about how the other half reads.
I do like these two titles in particular, though. Relic is actually the first in a series of books that follow the thrilling adventures of investigator Aloysius Pendergast, but I think it stands well on its own. I loved the museum setting and, like, it doesn’t *exactly* involve dinosaurs, but it kind of does? No spoilers! Riptide really is a stand-alone, and I enjoyed it in particular because it involves pirates and a mysterious curse.
Preston & Child are masters of thrill and suspense. I was too keyed up to sleep properly after I started reading Relic the first time. And don’t let the double authorship turn you off — it’s really impossible to tell which bits are written by which person.
Who I’d recommend them to
These are great books for anyone looking for a contemporary (er, semi-contemp by now I guess), science-ish / paranormal-ish thriller. Relic is possibly the better of the two, but if you aren’t sure about starting a series right now you should definitely give Riptide a try. Like Michael Chrichton or Dan Brown? You should definitely try these books.