The First In The Groundbreaking Nora Kelly Series From Bestselling Authors Preston Child Blends The Legend Of The Donner Party With A Riveting Suspense Tale, Taking The Dynamic Duo S Work To New HeightsNora Kelly, A Young But Successful Curator With A Series Of Important Excavations Already Under Her Belt, Is Approached By The Handsome Historian, Guy Porter, To Lead An Expedition Unlike Any Other Guy Tells His Story One Involving The Ill Fated Donner Party, Who Became Permanently Lodged In The American Consciousness In The Winter Of , When The First Skeletonized Survivors Of The Party Stumbled Out Of The California Mountains, Replete With Tales Of Courage, Resourcefulness, Bad Luck, Murder, Barbarism And, Finally, Starvation And CannibalismCaptivated By The Donner Party, Nora Agrees And They Venture Into The Sierra Nevada In Search Of The Camp Quickly, They Learn That The Discovery Of The Missing Starvation Camp Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg And That The Real Truth Behind Those Long Dead Pioneers Is Not Only Far Complex And Surprising Than They Could Have Imaginedbut It Is One That Puts Them Both In Mortal Danger From A Very Real, Present Day Threat In Which The Search For The Lost Party, And Its Fabled Fortune In Gold, Are Merely Means To A Horrifying End The evil that men do lives after them the good is oft interred with their bones William Shakespeare And speaking of bones..Let s bring out our expert Dr Nora Kelly is one archaeologist on a grand scale with impeccable credentials She s based in Sante Fe and has had quite the experience unearthing bones and such from particular digs through the Sante Fe Archaeological Institute But this time it s gonna be different from anything she s been associated with before Very different.Dr Clive Benton, a head turning California historian from Stanford University, stands in the doorway waiting to enter into the office of Dr Jill Fugit Dr Fugit is Nora s boss Both women lean in as Clive lays out a proposition for them We, as readers, seem to be leaning in as well Clive wishes for the institute to become involved in the search for The Lost Camp And, oh by the way, this is on the trail of the Donner Party of 1846 who became lost on their trek out west in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah A little sidebar of sorts they resorted to cannabalism in their desperation with the majority of them not surviving.Just as Dr Fugit begins to refuse because of the cost to the institute, Clive ratchets up the ante One of the men, Jacob Wolfinger, had been carrying quite the fortune in Liberty Head gold eagle coins which had never been found.. than enough to supply the institute with one third of the cash and the other two thirds going to the state and the government The deal is done and the die is cast.If you ve ever read a book in the long list of bestsellers from the highly talented Preston Child, you know that this is going to be a worthy read They hit the ground running with a murder occuring within the first few pages We also will be introduced to Special Agent Corinne Swanson based out of Albuquerque who adds quite a bit of heft to this storyline filled with bone fragments, ghost stories, and unsavory characters This is the first offering in the newly presented Nora Kelly Series Our dynamic writing duo is on to something here I can just feel it in my bonesI received a copy of Old Bones through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and to Preston Child for the opportunity. I read this in one day, totally enthralled OLD BONES is the first in the new Nora Kelly series Long time fans of Preston and Child s Agent Pendergast Series will remember the feisty and strong willed Nora as a museum curator and archaeologist Now working in Santa Fe, Nora is approached by a historian who has discovered a long lost diary by the wife of George Donner, of the tragic Donner Party He persuades the Institute at which Nora is employed to search for the Lost Camp, an offshoot of the main Donner Party which became lost and snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.OLD BONES also stars Agent Pendergast s protege Corinne Swanson on her debut FBI investigation Her clashes with the equally strong willed Nora Kelly and the Institute s Director, Dr Jill Fugit, create a lot of fireworks For history buffs, there s a plethora and for thriller and mystery addicts, you ll stay riveted. My review of OLD BONES can be found at High Fever Books.When word landed that Nora Kelly, a character that made her solo debut in 1999 s Thunderhead and has since been a recurring character in several of the authors Pendergast novels, was to finally get a series centering her front and proper I was pretty damn enthused Given the propensity for the authors to pack in plenty of scientific rigor, twisty mysteries, and loads of adventure, I figured this was going to be some tasty brain candy Unfortunately, my high expectations just weren t met and the title Old Bones just feels way too apt for this sluggish non thriller.Nora finds herself recruited by historian Clive Benton, a descendant of the infamous and doomed Donner Party, to search for The Lost Camp where many emigrants to California met their end to cannibalism and madness While she and her team of archaeologists work with Benton to uncover these old remains, FBI rookie Agent Corrie Swanson is investigating a series of murders and desecrated graves that all point toward a common ancestor one of the doomed pioneers from that ill fated expedition west Fans of Preston Child will recognize characters like Nora and Corrie, both of whom have played supporting roles to the popular Agent Pendergast over the course of several of his novels Seeing them striking out on their own, however, isn t as rewarding as it should be Old Bones lacks the thrills and tension of prior Preston Child books, and it creeps along at a slow but determined pace Instead of thrills and high adventure, much of the book s narrative relies too heavily on repetitious details The authors start out with a bang, setting up what should have been an interesting mystery about stolen skulls and the race to find a murderer There s a promising idea at the core of Old Bones, but it feels like neither Preston nor Child knew what to do with it They spent a lot of time narratively spinning their wheels and treading water, going nowhere fast The bulk of Nora s side of the story involves uncovering a dig site, going back to camp for dinner and a ghost story, and recapping the details of the Donner Party, who killed who, and who survived Corrie s side of the story involves investigating a murder or a disappearance, making wild speculations, and being told by her supervisor to reign it in and that s she making the same mistakes every other rookie has made Rinse and repeat for damn near every chapter Eventually, the two stories intertwine, but by the time some additional murders and a dash of conspiracy and paranoia get tossed into the mixed, it s far too late to be of any real interest The reveal of the book s antagonist comes as no surprise at all, and the unwrapping of why such extremes were undertaken is too neatly resolved and with too little exploration, at that.While I was delighted at the chance to see Nora taking the lead on a book of her own, for the first time since 1999, I felt supremely disappointed that both her and Corrie s agency were severely undercut in the book s denouement Considering that much of Corrie s story element involves dealing with local yokels and good old boys who think they know better than this little girl with a badge, it s self defeating that both her and Nora need a man to solve one of this book s puzzles on their behalf I won t get into the details of it, but I will say it s ultimately a disappointing and ham fisted bit of fan service In fact, disappointing, ham fisted fan service pretty well sums up Old Bones as a whole Preston Child have shown countless times that they know how to write complex and engaging thrillers Sadly, Old Bones isn t one of them This one s slow and creaky, content to tell you the same little factoids gleaned from Google over and over and over While I do look forward to another expedition with Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson, Old Bones should have been left buried. Old Bones is delightful with a touch of frustrating We re going to talk frustrating first The book is Pendergast adjacent It s not a Pendergast book, though it features characters from his world I won t tell you if he ever does or doesn t make a cameo in the book I can just tell you that, if you re a long time reader of the series, it kind of has the feel of an almost Pendergast novel.That being said, though, it s actually very good and I do hope that the authors keep up with the Pendergast adjacent world Once I got used to it, I did like it I loved our two main characters two of my favorite from the canon in any case , found the mystery intriguing, and loved the adventure of it.In the end, though I missed our tall, pale dude, I found myself fully on board and wanting another book.Here s hoping there are many to come ARC via Net Galley Review to come upon release I am a big fan of Preston Child, and especially the Special Agent Pendergast series Seeing that a new series was being introduced with characters from previous novels, I was all excited.I must admit I found the beginning a little slow and tedious although the story line involving the fateful trip of the Donner Party and cannibalism did make for an interesting backdrop Finding the Lost Camp of the Donner Party and supposedly stolen gold may seem to be the incentive for Nora Kelly and her archaeological crew to begin the excavation, but something sinister raises its evil head and the ending makes the whole read worthwhile There may be even a visit from my favorite Special Agent Maybe This needs to be on your to read list This is a spinoff from the popular Pendergast series This introduction of a new series features Nora Kelly and Corrine Swanson both of whom we met several novels ago Nora is now a world class archaeologist living and working in the southwest Corrine Corrie has finished her FBI training and has been assigned to Albuquerque We see Corrie tackle her first case which leads her to work with Nora, neither of whom knows the other s connection to Pendergast.As always with the Preston Child s books, there is a lot of history to be gleaned and history to be researched fully That s one of the things I really like about these very well written books the fact that they make me delve deeply into the history covered.Good plot although a bit implausible often than not, good character development, good movement, good history It is a most enjoyable read I ll look forward to from these authors, as always and now books featuring Nora and or Corrie.I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 5 starsWhen Santa Fe archeologist Dr Nora Kelly is approached by historian Dr Clive Benton to look for the Lost Camp of the ill fated Donner Party, she is intrigued and goes with him to see her boss Dr Jill Fugit Clive is a direct descendant of the Breens who were also members of the party Reluctant at first, Clive tells the women that there is supposed to be a cache of 1,000 1846 uncirculated gold pieces in the camp somewhere that a member of the party had taken out of his bank Clive tells Dr Fugit that this could pay for the expedition She gives her assent It has been seven years since Nora s husband Bill Smithfield died, but she is still suffering She does, however, take a bit of an interest in Clive All kitted up with an archeological party of four and Clive and the roughnecks hired to be the guide, wranglers and cook, they head off into the sites where Clive s first hand maps show that the camp might be All goes well for a bit and then things go badly wrong When newly minted FBI Agent Corrie Swanson a protege of Agent Pendergast s as we learned in an earlier novel , learns that a member of the Lost Camp was named Parkin, she goes to the camp She has been investigating a case in which the Parkin family both alive and dead have recently been decimated by killers and grave robbers Almost immediately Nora and Corrie two strong willed women don t get along This is a great book I ve read quite a bit about the Donner party and this book fits nicely into the reality and near mythology of the tragedy As is the case with Lincoln and Child s novels, it is well written, plotted and researched I did not see any typos or grammatical errors Nora s character is great, while Corrie can be a little quick to anger at times I liked the other people in the book, too unfortunate in some ways for I even liked the killers I really liked the archeological descriptions in the book I have a minor degree in archeology, so I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that Agent Pendergast had a cameo in the novel This book has action, science, intrigue, deception and a big surprise near the end All in all I am delighted to see Nora get her own series I hope I want to thank NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. OLD BONES, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, connects two of the favorite characters from the Pendergast series, Nora Kelly, an archeologist, and Corrie Swanson, a rookie FBI agent Nora Kelly has been presented with the idea that there is to the Donner family tragedy than what has been recorded She is convinced by a historian, Dr Clive Benton, that there is an unfound campsite and potentially an unfound treasure When Nora, Clive, and their crew arrive, they slowly discover the truth about the site and many things that they weren t expecting Meanwhile, some gruesome murders and their hidden connection to each other lead Corrie Swanson to the same site with her own set of questions Preston Child s formula, while a little predictable and formulaic if you have read other books by them, is exciting and pleasantly familiar if you are a fan of them already Like the Marvel Universe created in the movies recently, they also throw in tidbits throughout the book that tie into other books they have written The suspense and thrilling nature of their writing, even without have the context of their other books, is well done and keeps the reader engaged and yearning to find out what happens next Another writing talent that they excel at is their ability to clearly describe the locale setting throughout the book They explained the desert topography very intricately and how the characters worked their way through it, but also they don t waste any words in the descriptions so that the reader doesn t get bogged down and starts to lose interest in the story While OLD BONES didn t blow my mind like the some of Preston Child s other works have, it is a well written book with an exciting finish and I am definitely interested in future books in this new series featuring Dr Nora Kelly Thank you to Grand Central Publishing, Douglas Preston Lincoln Child, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Old Bones by Preston Child is a new thriller series featuring Nora Kelly WOW, one of the best books of the summer Old Bones grabbed my attention and I was so engrossed with the subject matter of the book Nora is a top field archaeologist with the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute She is asked to lead an expedition to try and find the last lost settlement of the ill fated Donner Party from 1846 47 Nora will be accompanied by Clive Benton, a historian with ties to the Breen s, of one of the perished families Dr Benton stole a journal written by Tamzene Donner which gives additional information about the area and logistics of the travel What they must keep secret is the possibility of finding a cache of one thousand Liberty Head gold eagle coins, uncirculated and minted in 1846 with a market value of approximately twenty million dollars As I read the book and thought of the true despair, distress, and horrid conditions and deaths of these families in 1846, it made the present day mysteries and search for the Lost Camp very intriguing There is also another new character which I hope will continue to appear in this series Agent Corinne Swanson with the FBI, based in Albuquerque, NM She is a new agent and is given her first real case which leads her to believe a there is a connection to grave robbing and deaths related to a family with the surname Parkin How could this case possibly be connected to the Donner party The interweaving of the stories with historical events makes Old Bones a wonderful page turning book you just can t stop reading until the end..I am so happy we will have a series which seems to feature archeology and the investigations of mysteries regarding historical events Publication Date August 20, 2019Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
- 384 pages
- Old Bones
- Douglas Preston
- 11 September 2018 Douglas Preston