Friday, January 14, 2022

Old Bones by Preston & Child

 
Historian Clive Benton has just found the long-lost diary of Tamzene Donner. In it he discovers clues and a hand drawn map to the lost Third Camp of the Donner Party. Excited to dig up the truth about the strange and horrific things that happened there, he enlists archaeologist Nora Kelly and her team to help him find and excavate the site. 

Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson has been assigned to a grave-robbing case. Someone dug up the grave of a woman who died back in the Civil War and stole her skull. But why?

The way these two seemingly unconnected story lines intersect is a crazy fun ride. But then Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child always write a compelling story. And there's usually a touch of supernatural horror in their books which I love, although there's not much of that in this particular book. Both Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson are recurring characters (and two of my favorites), but you don't need to have read any of their earlier books in order to enjoy this one.

I always find it interesting to read about the Donner Party, and Preston & Child's lost Third Camp, high up in an isolated canyon in the Sierra Nevadas, made for an eerie and atmospheric setting. And I liked the various plot twists and turns, although a few of them did feel a little predictable. I would have loved it if there had been more of a supernatural element in this one, but Old Bones is still a suspenseful and entertaining read; I'd give it 4 stars.

Happy Reading!

32 comments:

  1. The mystery of what happened to the Donner Party has long intrigued many curious people. I can understand how a book that is at least partly based on that would have wide appeal.

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    1. I think this is the third fiction book I've read about the Donnor Party, and they've all explored that darker, tragic side of history. I guess a lot of people find in fascinating.

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  2. I haven't read many books about the Donner Party, but the ones I have were incredibly intriguing and eerie. I'll have to keep this one in mind.

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    1. I wish this one had been a little more eerie to be honest, but it was still a fun 'popcorn' read. :)

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  3. i read one of their books about an ancient alien at the bottom of the ocean i thought was pretty good... haven't investigated further, tho..

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    1. Preston & Child write some fun books. I like them. :)

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  4. The Donner Party, to this day, intrigues anyone that hears of it, and it makes for a great plot element, so I'm curious. I've never read anything written by these guys.

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    1. I love these guys! My favorite books are their Agent Pendergast books like Relic and Cabinet of Curiosities, but I also really liked Nora Kelly's previous book, Thunderhead.

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  5. I always find it interesting to read about the Donner Party too. It's been years since I last read one of their books. I really enjoyed the ones I did read.

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    1. They've written some very fun books! I need to catch up on the ones I haven't read yet. :)

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  6. This sounds so interesting, i'm always interesting in what happened with the Donner Party also.

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    1. There's just something about that moment in history that's utterly compelling, isn't there?

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  7. This sounds pretty good, and the Donner party is always fascinating. I've read some of the Preston solo novels, but none out of this series. Sounds like I should check it out!

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    1. I thought it was an entertaining book, and a pretty fast read, too. But that's Preston & Child for you. :)

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  8. It's been a long time since I read a Preston & Child story, but they're always such fun. Nora Kelly was one of my favorite characters, too. She had a romantic interest, but I think he died? Am I remembering wrong? I think that might have upset me.

    This does sound really good and I've traveled a few times on The Donner Pass in the last two years. I always think about the tragedy while we're on our way to Truckee. Will have to add this one!

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    1. Bill Smithback! He was Nora's love interest and they did kill him off which made me mad. I am still upset about it. But at least Nora's doing better in this book.

      I've never been over Donner Pass, but I'd like to see it someday.

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  9. I've never heard of this book before, but I'm glad that you found it compelling even without the paranormal element!

    claire @ clairefy

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    1. It's a fun read! Thanks for commenting. :)

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  10. I've enjoyed a couple of Prendergast novels but not enough to continue with the series. He makes an appearance in The Scorpion's Tail which I thought was unnecessary but I absolutely loved the book-- one of my best reads last year. I've got an ARC of the next book in the Nora Kelly series (Diablo Mesa) and will be reading it very soon.

    The Donner Party has always interested me, too. They started out not very far away from where I grew up in central Illinois. I first went over the Donner Pass while on a cross-country trip when I was ten. The most recent time was around four years ago. The pass currently has over five feet of snow. I'll stay down here in Phoenix, thank you very much! LOL

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    1. :D I like snow up in the mountains, but not down where I live, too. And I'm looking forward to reading The Scorpion's Tail next month.

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  11. Oh this sounds fabulous. I think I've seen a book or two by this team before- and the supernatural elements would be appeciated by me as well. I always love it when there's a little paranormal element to mystery stuff like this. :)

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    1. You might really like their books. And they've written a lot to choose from! :)

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  12. I think I would like this one too.

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    1. It's a fun read! But then I like most of Preston & Child's books. :)

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  13. Other than your usual cops/ FBI, I think the persons best placed to serve as detectives are defintely historians and archaeologists. I'm not sure whether I like supernatural mixed up in mystery books, but definitely something to reconsider with Preston & Child.

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    1. There's not really anything supernatural in this book besides a few ghost stories. And I think archaeologists make for some great main characters. :)

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  14. I've read about the Donner Party in a few books and they are ceaselessly intriguing and terrifying too. Perfect for book like this ... I keep imagining the Sierra Nevadas ... and what happened. yikes.

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    1. It's a setting that lends itself well to a suspenseful read, that's for sure!

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  15. Haven't read Preston & Child's books for ages! This book sounds like a good one!

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    1. It was a fun read, though I still like their Agent Pendergast books best. :)

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