The latest thriller from the writing duo Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston (The Relic, Reliquary, Still Life With Crows) have them finishing up a trilogy Ė Brimstone and Dance Of the Dead being the first two installments -- with their main character, FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, and his enemy brother, Diogenes. The Book Of The Dead starts not to far after Dance Of The Dead left off. A mysterious package arrives at the Museum Of Natural History. At first it is believed that it might be an actual bio-terror attack, but that turns out to be false. Under closer inspection (like under a microscope) they find that the powder is diamond dust - not just any run-of-the-mill diamond dust, but the museumís valued gem collection stolen by Diogenes in the previous book.
Meanwhile, Aloysius Pendergast is stuck in prison (referred to as prisoner ďAĒ) after being framed for several murders by Diogenes - especially heinous since one of the victims was a prominent FBI agent. But friends of Pendergast are collecting evidence in an effort to set him free while Diogenes plots to do more heinous acts. In an effort to make sure this doesnít turn into a PR nightmare, the museum decides to re-open the Tomb of Senef; an old exhibit out of the public eye since the 1930s when it was shut down. But in classic Preston/Child style, when the tomb is ready for its opening night gala event, the hint of murder and an ancient curse start, setting the stage for the final epic confrontation between the two brothers that will end with only one surviving.
If you read the previous books in the trilogy, you will slide right into the story. The writing is just as good as previous entries from the writing duo but for someone who is picking this up as a stand-alone novel they might feel a little lost. This is the thinking manís thriller a la David Mamet, which might put some off. The ending his satisfying and the audio production is good. Narrator Rene Auberjonois gives a solid performance fitting the work of Preston/Child. Overall, The Book Of The Dead is a solid ending to the trilogy. But as a stand-alone, it is a little less than great, though still a worthy effort from the minds of this prolific writing team.