Recently, I read the first book in the Agent Pendergast series, Relic. I enjoyed it so much, and found the epilogue so intriguing that I decided to buy the second book in the series so that I could jump right into reading the whole series.
Reliquary picks up eighteen months after the events in Relic. Police are diving in a New York river, attempting to find a large amount of heroin relating to a drug bust. The dive team find two headless skeletons locked in an embrace underneath the water. These skeletons show signs of having been murdered, and the bodies carry some quite odd genetic abnormalities.
Lieutenant D’Agosta and the county medical examiner soon realize that they need to call in some scientific help. They approach Margo Green and Whitney Frock, the scientists who had helped crack the Mbwun case the year before.
Noticing the similarities of the case to the Mbwun case, FBI Agent A.X.L. Pendergast decides to do some investigation of his own. His investigation leads to the underground tunnels of New York, the homeless people living in the tunnels, and the rumors of monsters preying on the underground homeless.
Meanwhile, reporter Bill Smithback is approaching the case from a different angle. He gets entangled with the story of Pamela Wisher, a wealthy socialite, who happens to be one of the corpses pulled from the river.
I noticed . . .
This is really a direct continuation of Relic. This picks up just over a year after the events in that book, and some facts of the case are directly related the revelations in Relic. In other words, if you haven’t read Relic, go back and read that book first.
Margo is now a PhD in her own right. Her relationship with and feelings toward Dr. Frock have changed as a result of her budding confidence in her profession. They’re really colleagues more than supervisor/student now, and it’s awkward for both of them.
D’Agosta is not nearly as likable in this book, especially when we see him through the eyes of underlings such as Haywood. I know he makes appearances in some of the other Pendergast books, and I look forward to uncovering more of his personality.
I wondered . . .
I wondered about the mole people and the history and structure of the tunnels under the city. The authors recommend a book that they used in their research, and I plan to purchase it and read it later in the year. I’m hoping to learn more through it.
I wondered about the science involved here. It’s very pseudoscientific, and I wonder how much science is true in the book and how much is made up.
I wondered how Pendergast got away with being in New York again on an unofficial basis. It seems odd. I’ve heard the third book is the series is the book where he really becomes a “main” character, and I look forward to that book.
It reminded me of . . .
It reminded me of Relic (of course).
I was also reminded of my favorite police investigator, Armand Gamache. If you like detectives and crime procedurals, that’s my favorite series so far. Start with Still Life.
I also could not help by be reminded of Once Upon a Time in Silver Lake. It’s because of the vagrants and the mole people. Since I read One Upon a Time in Silver Lake just a couple of weeks before this one, I couldn’t help but remember it.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I liked Relic. However, I liked it enough, especially Pendergast’s portions, to decide to continue with the series.