From #1 bestselling authors Preston & Child comes a thrilling novel following archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI Agent Corrie Swanson as they work together to solve a twisted crime that reaches far beyond any of their worst fears.
Following the acclaimed debut of Old Bones, this second "happily anticipated" new thriller in Preston & Child's series features Nora Kelly, archaeologist at the Santa Fe Archeological Institute, and rookie FBI Agent Corrie Swanson, as they team up to solve a mystery that quickly escalates into nightmare (Booklist).
A mummified corpse, over half a century old, is found in the cellar of an abandoned building in a remote New Mexico ghost town. Corrie is assigned what seems to her a throwaway case: to ID the body and determine cause of death. She brings archaeologist Nora Kelly to excavate the body and lend her expertise to the investigation, and together they uncover something unexpected and shocking: the deceased apparently died in agony, in a fetal position, skin coming off in sheets, with a rictus of horror frozen on his face.
Hidden on the corpse lies a 16th century Spanish gold cross of immense value.
When they at last identify the body -- and the bizarre cause of death -- Corrie and Nora open a door into a terrifying, secret world of ancient treasure and modern obsession: a world centered on arguably the most defining, frightening, and transformative moment in American history.
Bestsellers Preston and Child's enjoyable sequel to 2019's Old Bones takes FBI special agent Corrie Swanson, who studied forensic anthropology, to New Mexico after a mummified male corpse is found in a ghost town on federal land and a trespasser shot at the sheriff investigating the scene. When Swanson arrives, she decides to ask Nora Kelly, a senior curator at the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute, for help unearthing the remains, which are in an unusual fetal position, so that any evidence of the man's death having been caused by foul play remains intact. Kelly reluctantly agrees to assist, and finds a solid gold, jewel-encrusted cross on the body, dating to the Spanish colonial period. That discovery suggests a connection between the dead man, who appears to have perished in the 1940s, and recurrent legends of a treasure trove of riches hidden somewhere in the area. The authors do their usual solid job of maintaining suspense throughout. Their two capable female leads are well-suited to sustain a long series.