The writing duo of Preston and Childs has a whole series of novels that are real page turners, and redefine the thriller category in their attention to detail. Previously, we looked at Mount Dragon. Since that novel, I have been looking forward to reading another by them. Today we look at Thunderhead, and it is also excellent.

Thunderhead focuses on a young archaeologist, Nora Kelly. She is stalled in her career, and parentless. Both her personal, and professional lives are overcomplicated and going nowhere fast. A mysterious letter arrives from her deceased father, also an archaeologist. He may have discovered a secret city of the Anasazi Indians known as Quivira. This is perhaps the famed "City of Gold" that the Spanish explorers of yesteryear sought, and has the potential to be the greatest find in all of American archaeology.

Faster than we can say petroglyph, Kelly finds herself leading an expedition into the Utah badlands by the "four corners" region of the American Southwest. While the account is fictional, it is sprinkled with a hefty serving of authentic archaeological details. The prose is also excellently written, and reads quite smoothly. The characters are also quite believable, each with an ego the size of Texas.

As in their previous novels, what starts as a routine matter, goes awry in every direction. What begins as a quest ends as a desperate test of survival. There are more than enough plot twists and turns to keep you riveted to the novel. Be warned, you may forgo sleep and other basic biological needs to finish Thunderhead as soon as possible.

I enjoyed this novel very much. I have seen the petroglyphs of the Anasazi Indians firsthand in my travels, and I found most of the novel quite believable. If you want to delve into a novel that takes you on a journey of discovery, then Thunderhead is for you.

Overall Grade: A

Also reviewed by these authors:

The Codex

Mount Dragon

No comments: