First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2019.
369 pages ; 24 cm
Other Author:
9781538747223 (hardcover)
System Availability:
Current Holds:
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Call Number:
F Pre
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Author Notes
Douglas Jerome Preston was born on May 20, 1956 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received a B.A. in English literature from Pomona College in 1978. His career began at the American Museum of Natural History, where he worked as an editor and writer from 1978 to 1985. He also was a lecturer in English at Princeton University. <p> He became a full-time writer of both fiction and nonfiction books in 1986. Many of his fiction works are co-written with Lincoln Child including Relic, Riptide, Thunderhead, The Wheel of Darkness, Cemetery Dance, and Gideon's Corpse. His nonfiction works include Dinosaurs in the Attic; Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado; Talking to the Ground; and The Royal Road. He has written for numerous magazines including The New Yorker; Natural History; Harper's; Smithsonian; National Geographic; and Travel and Leisure. He became a New York Times Best Selling author with his titles Two Graves and Crimson Shores which he co-wrote with Lincoln Child, and his titles White Fire, The Lost Island Blue Labyrinth and The Lost City of the Monkey God. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Nora Kelly (Female), Museum curator, Archaeologist, Successful, Feisty, Strong-willed, Widow, Investigating the lost Donner camp;
Clive Benton (Male), Historian,
Corrie Swanson (Female), FBI agent, Hot-tempered, Rookie,
Archaeological digs
Archaeological expeditions
Donner Party
Grave robbing
Santa Fe, New Mexico - West (U.S.) / Southwest (U.S.)
Sierra Nevada Mountains - West (U.S.)
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Archeologist Nora Kelly takes center stage in this intriguing series launch from bestsellers Preston and Child (the Aloysius Pendergast series, in which Kelly's been a supporting character). She is contacted by historian Clive Benton, who claims to have located a diary written by the wife of George Donner, who led the doomed Donner Party in 1847. Benton believes that entries in the diary could identify the location of a lost third camp set up by some of the Donner Party, and hopes that Kelly will lead a search for it. As Kelly and her team begin their work in the California mountains, fledgling FBI agent Corrie Swanson, another member of the Pendergast-verse, looks into the murder of a man found in the exposed grave of Florence Regis, who also has a link to the Donner Party. Swanson's inquiries lead her to Kelly, and the suspense rises as they get closer to the truth. The two strong female protagonists share a dynamic reminiscent of that between Pendergast and his friend on the NYPD, Vincent D'Agosta. Preston and Child have recaptured some of their old magic. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Aug.)

  Booklist Review

Preston and Child combine archaeology, cannibalism, and murder in this launch of a new series featuring archaeologist Dr. Norah Kelly and rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson. Historian Clive Benton, descended from a Donner Party family, approaches Kelly about locating the purported third, or lost, Donner Party camp. He's also interested in finding a treasure in gold coins thought to have been carried by someone in the party. The camp is found, and the dig goes well until a wrangler in the group, offended by what he views as sacrilege, vandalizes the site and is found murdered. Swanson, on her first case, is sent to investigate and sets out to link the skull of Albert Parkin, who died at the lost camp, to the wrangler's death. The skull is the only item missing after the vandalism, and gravesites of other Parkin descendants are being robbed around the world. Special Agent Pendergast, star of Preston and Child's best-known series, makes an appearance, as significant as it is brief, after mortal danger is averted. But this outing belongs to two dedicated women, whose future adventures will be happily anticipated.--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Young archaeologist Nora Kelly joins a perilous search for the Lost Camp of the Donner Party in this latest collaboration by Preston and Child (Verses for the Dead, 2018, etc.).In 1846, westbound travelers became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada, and in "one of the greatest calamities of the westward migration," some resorted to cannibalism in a desperate attempt to survive. Now, historian Clive Benton has the original journal of Tamzene Donner, whose body was eaten. Benton asks Kelly for her expertise in finding and studying the camp. The old bones they expect to find will have important historical significance, but Benton also confides that there may be gold coins worth $20 million hidden near the camp. Meanwhile, newly minted FBI Special Agent Corinne Swanson is assigned the case of "a dead body in a vandalized grave." Turns out there are four grave robberies, all of descendants of the Donner disaster. Kelly and Swanson work together in a mildly testy relationship, but they're really both pros. Other members of the team hear rumors of the gold, and tragedy strikes. As they get closer to where the Lost Camp might be, members of their expedition begin to die, and a serious storm approaches that threatens to cause a deadly avalanche. Of course, villainy is afoot that may snuff out Kelly's and Swanson's young lives. Neither has a personal interest in gold they can't legally possess, but others may. Yet the clever plot suggests a dark secret that lies within the bones they find. The two women are smart, likable characters, but readers ought not to take their survival for granted. Special Agent Pendergast takes a break from his own series to make a brief, consequential appearance.Like other Preston and Child adventures, this is a smart, satisfying read. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
The #1 NYT bestselling authors Preston & Child bring the true story of the ill-fated Donner Party to new life in this thrilling novel of archaeology, history, murder, and suspense. <br> Nora Kelly, a young curator at the Santa Fe Institute of Archaeology, is approached by historian Clive Benton with a once-in-a-lifetime proposal: to lead a team in search of the so-called "Lost Camp" of the tragic Donner Party. This was a group of pioneers who earned a terrible place in American history when they became snow-bound in the California mountains in 1847, their fate unknown until the first skeletonized survivors stumbled out of the wilderness, raving about starvation, murder-and cannibalism.<br> <br> Benton tells Kelly he has stumbled upon an amazing find: the long-sought diary of one of the victims, which has an enigmatic description of the Lost Camp. Nora agrees to lead an expedition to locate and excavate it-to reveal its long-buried secrets.<br> <br> Once in the mountains, however, they learn that discovering the camp is only the first step in a mounting journey of fear. For as they uncover old bones, they expose the real truth of what happened, one that is far more shocking and bizarre than mere cannibalism. And when those ancient horrors lead to present-day violence on a grand scale, rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson is assigned the case...only to find that her first investigation might very well be her last.<br> <br>
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