THUNDERHEAD by Douglas Preston

THUNDERHEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Since joining forces, Preston and Child have hit pay dirt, especially with 1995’s wild and woolly Relic (subsequently filmed as an Alien clone, with a monster loose in the basement of Chicago’s Field Museum); its follow-ups, Mount Dragon (1996) and Reliquary (1997); and the unstoppably thrilling Riptide (1998). Their latest focuses on the Anasazi Indians’ Quivira, the legendary Lost City of Gold in Utah. Sixteen years ago, archaeologist Nora Kelly’s father vanished among southeastern Utah’s red-rock canyons. Now, when a 16-year-old letter from her father to her mother weirdly lands at her feet, Nora is led to believe that her father actually found Quivira, and she mounts an expedition into the canyons hoping to discover some meaning behind his disappearance somewhere west of the Kaiparowits Plateau. An orbiting Jet Propulsion Lab shuttle imager, which maps the earth and can see through 30 feet of sand to locate lost roads, reveals the hand-and-toe trail used by her father. Her group follows a horrifyingly dangerous trail and eventually finds the perfectly preserved lost city, one of the great archaeological discoveries, described here fascinatingly. But bad news strikes. Horses are gutted. Then come the monstrous skinwalkers, masked beasts that rip and tear. Spellbinding as ever.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-446-52337-2
Page count: 496pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999




Kirkus Interview
Douglas Preston
January 2, 2017

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God—but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestseller Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story is his account of the expedition. “A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary—trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >

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