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The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast #3)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  25,853 ratings  ·  1,321 reviews
In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered.
Inside are thirty-six bodies--all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago.
While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city.
The nightmare has begun.
Hardcover, 466 pages
Published June 3rd 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 3rd 2001)
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Samantha Yes. It is called Thunderhead. It is about Nora and Smithback. No Pendergast.
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...I gave it a 5 star. Not many of those on my list, but I gave Relic a 4 and the only way to up that was a 5. I'm a little surprised at myself for the rating. This is a very good read and I have it on my shelf. I obtained it after listening to the audio (in a vehicle). I only do that if I figure I'll possibly reread at some point.

The atmosphere in this book combined with the imaginative story line is, if not great, just short of it. These books seem to have a largely female readership... No
Sadly, I've now read all of the Pendergast novels, at least until the new one comes out this summer. Fortunately, I seem to have inadvertantly saved the best for last! Cabinet of Curiosities is definitely my favorite of all of them. At a construction site in New York City, workers unearth more than thirty skeletons, evidence of a serial killer operating more than 100 years ago. Soon afterward, a chilling series of copycat murders are perpetrated by a killer dubbed The Surgeon by the press. Agent ...more
⊱ Irena ⊰
After a horrible discovery of a XIX century churnel house made by construction workers, people start dying. The manner of these recent deaths is the same as the old murders, so the press gave the killer a name - The Surgeon. Considering how weird all this is, it is no wonder Pendergast gets involved. There is a lot of him in this book.

I have a feeling this book tried to cram as much as incompetent and corrupt people as it it possible. It certainly wins the prize so far. The first two had their o
Super Pendergast returns! Praise HIS might!

Yes, THAT was the worst part of this book. When I was reading about his "super powers" I thought something like: "What the hell?! Is that Marvel or something?". Meditation, ability to experience historical events and play chess or bridge in the mind. Pendergast is the type of person who knows EVERYTHING better than you and probably can speak fluently in more than 90% of known languages. Add to this incredible stamina and nearly absolute resistance to a
I loved this book and it was even better as agent Pendergst was in it from the beginning. as I've come to know now the book has a really creepy factor.. there's a murder site discovered from over 100years ago but some similar murders are happening. the book was so will written and I loved all the characters. it kept me fussing and that's one thing I lie about these
books, and they are hard to bout down. one interesting is you find out a lot more about Pendergst and some of his family. if you lik
The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child was a huge disappointment to me. Throughout this book I wondered why it was so revered in the mystery world. My husband picked up this copy almost a year ago for me and has been waiting patiently ever since for me to read it. After reading a particularly taxing book, I was looking for something lighter and exciting to read, so I picked this up. I'm still somewhat confused as to all the five star ratings on Goodreads, and if someone ...more
Since I have a hearty bus commute these days, I do a lot of reading. Though I love fine literature, at times, when on the bus, I just want a good pulpy detective novel and this is one of the best I have read so far. Co written by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs, this ghoulish, gothic tale set against the backdrop of contemporary Manhattan is one of those books that will keep you up till 3 AM if you aren't careful. These authors have written quite a number of books together and though I have ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Rade rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rade by: Jon Recluse
Shelves: owned, reviewed
A thrill ride from start to finish. I loved everything about this book, except the chief of police or whatever the hell he was who was in charge of the whole case involving the murders. He was really annoying and even me, a regular guy who watched a lot of crime shows and read some books on those subjects, knows that you do not arrest people on murder charges just because you got few loose clues on their actions during the murders. He was as dumb as sack of potatoes.

Other than that, the whole i
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Durante unas excavaciones en Manhattan, se descubren los restos de treinta y seis personas brutalmente asesinadas hace ciento veinte años. El agente especial del FBI Pendergast, junto a la doctora Nora Kelly, arqueóloga, examinarán dichos restos. Pendergast, al que dejan fuera del caso, parece tener un interés especial en tan macabro hallazgo. Pero todo se complicará todavía más cuando aparezca un imitador de este asesino en serie del siglo XIX.

‘Los asesinatos de Manhattan’ (The Cabinet of Curio
Hazel Bright
***please note: serious spoilers in this review***

This book started out in an interesting fashion, but a lot didn't make sense. For example, 1) I never understood what Nora found attractive in Smithback, he seemed like a fop and a simp. Maybe she wants to get a divorce in a later book in the series. 2) I never saw why Pendergast chose Nora. 3) Very dumb epiphanies - the final room to room walkthrough with the insects, then the lizards, then the clothing, then finally the armor - somehow help the
Marta Conejo
La verdad es que leo poco novela negra, pero este libro ha estado muy bien :D. Junta la parte más científica con el museo y la parte del FBI con nuestro amado Pendergast, un hombre un poco extraño que, bueno, la verdad, es sacado de un libro literalmente.

Me ha gustado mucho el contexto del crimen en el museo y de la historia. Por otro lado, odio ligeramente los libros que desvelan todo al final, y la forma de desvelarlo es que el protagonista lo cuente, y no que se vaya averiguando.

Pero no est
3 and 1/2 stars. Interesting, unique plot for a murder mystery. It was a bit longer than it needed to be. (You could easily edit out 100 pages and that would improve the momentum of the plot.) I thought Pendergast was an interesting, eccentric character and I will be reading more books in this series. An enjoyable read.
Oh, this book was so nearly a five star. 20 pages from the end and I thought it was clinched. But alas, the final reveal was a little disappointing, the inevitable last explanations were sketchy and motives were threadbare.

Let's put all that aside for a moment. I don't read a lot of mysteries anymore. They're really more of a throwback to my teen years. Every now and then, however, I feel the need to dip back into my "comfort" genre. And I was very comfortable here with Preston and Child. There
Charlie (NJBiblio)
The Cabinet of Curiosities is the third in the Pendergast series by Preston and Lincoln, but the first book I have ever read by these authors. I found this during the Borders liquidation sitting alone and was simply intrigued by the description. I was not at all disappointed.

The character of Pendergast is rather unique. Even though I missed the first two installments, where I am sure there is a better fleshing out of the character, I felt that I did get to know, and really like him in this work.
M.R. Sellars
As usual this is just my opinion, so that 2 star rating needs to be qualified -

This is NOT a bad book. Very few books are bad. However, while I thought the story had great promise I personally didn't care for its execution. I was also unable to connect with the characters - in fact, by the end of the story I pretty much despised all of them.

I enjoyed the writing style, however there were moments of "Randish" tediousness that could have made it a tighter story, thereby engaging me more. Put it th
For those who liked the Relic you will enjoy this the third book in the series.The story is well detailed and has plenty of twist and turns.FBI agent Pendergast has to call on all his smarts and skills to capture a very unique serial killer who is patterning his kills after serial slayings that were committed over a century ago and no this is not about Jack The Ripper.All in all a very good read.
Apr 05, 2013 Robby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pretty much anyone.
Recommended to Robby by: Self
(4.5) Everything that can be said has been said about this book. Since I'm a two finger typist, I'll be keeping my two cents worth of comments brief. I really enjoyed this book but no surprises there; I'm a big fan of the Preston @ Child collaborations and this was not a disappointment. I found the book to have that eerie, spooky, adventuresome feeling that I've grown accustomed to and expected from this pairing of great writers; each an accomplished author on their own behalf. But, when they te ...more
Jane Stewart
2 stars. Careless logic. Things are not well thought out. Audiobook narrator not good.

Too much stretching things out at the end. The bad guy catches victims, you know they are going to die, but the authors interrupt the scenes too much. Example: Someone wakes up and finds themselves in chains. Scene switches to other. Bad guy talks to the prisoner. Scene switches to other. Bad guy injects something into prisoner. Scene switches to other. It was too manipulative for me.

I was bothered
Another gripping and exciting read from Preston/Child. This is the 3rd in the Pendergast series and, so far, the best! This one also includes appearances by Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback. Kelly made her first appearance in the non-Pendergast novel, Thunderhead, which I also thought was a great read. And of course Smithback, the newspaper reporter, played key roles in Relic, Reliquary, and Thunderhead. Curiosities is a great thriller reminiscent of Poe (in fact Poe is mentioned late in the novel) ...more
This book was soo good and creepy. I truly did not know if the main characters would survive or not. A very twisted plot. I did not see the killer being who it was revealed to be. The house of horrors was amazing! Loved this book. It was as good as Relic. Way better than book 2 which lacked a good plot & execution. I adore Pendergast soo much.
Pendergast - has to be one of the most unique/aritculate/mysterious characters created for our reading pleasure. In his third adventure/case, the creep factor is in full gear. And, with Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback, a pair that met Pendergast before...and still don't know what this pale FBI guy is all about. Great stuff.
Ruthanne Davis
My third (and third in the Pendergrast series) book by the daring duo of Preston and Child. This was definitely the best so far!

One reason was getting a to bettrr know and understand the mysterious and rather misanthropic FBI agent Pendergrast. Add to that a stunning plot of buried remains found at a construction site and a mad scientist trying to extend life for very ominous reasons, and you have all the excitement you can possibly handle.

Expert plotting along with good character development re
Yatharth K
The cabinet of Curiosities is third book in the series and my second book by Authors Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child. It is an amazing book, either standalone or as part of a series. You won't be missing anything, if you haven't read previous two books.

Why you should read this book?

1) Ancient Secret: If you love the mystery sub-genre where people are hunting ancient treasures or trying to lift ancient curse, you may like this book.
2) Awesome characters: This book has very good (sometimes funny)
This is a book that draws you in and then keeps you on your toes and looking over your shoulder for the rest of the book. It wasn't until nearly the end that I figured out who the "surgeon" was. A well kept secret in a well written book.
I am in love with this series. I gobble each one up. Pendergast is one of my favorite characters in modern fiction and I can’t get enough of him.
So here is my problem in general with anything horror-related - there is a fine line between scary and cheezy and very few people working with horror-related art (films, books) manage to stay on the scary side of the tale. Preston and Child managed that trick twice in their previous two books (somewhat to my surprise) and delivered two rather intense and entertaining horror-ish books. Third time is a charm though and in 'Cabinet of Curiosities' the authors fall flat on their face, for two reason ...more
Bernie Gourley
Cabinet of Curiosities features many of the hallmarks of a Preston and Child novel. First, the lead is FBI Agent Pendergast. Special Agent Pendergast has three things that no FBI Special Agent in the history of the FBI has ever had: 1.) a fortune, 2.) the ability to pick and choose both his assignments and the jurisdiction he works in, and 3.) about 200 vacation days a year to learn things like ikebana and to read random scholarly publications in disparate fields such that he is an expert on the ...more
Uhm...this book owns my face. No, seriously. This book is amazing. It's extremely smart and well written, with impeccable details-- both medical and just every day things. I'm not particularly fond of female protagonists in crime/mystery books as they tend to play the damsel in distress card often. Nora Kelly, on the other hand is just as badass as the boys. She's smart, has a backbone and knows her shit. Pendergast is amaze-balls per usual. There is a story within a story here, the present day ...more
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child released their 3rd book featuring Special Agent Pendergast in 2002, and since I'm new to the authors, I've just gotten around to reading it. When a brutal 36 person ancient murder scene is unearthed at a construction site, SA Pendergast and archeologist Nora Kelly dive into the investigation of an old doctor who performed brutal surgeries on living people. But just as they get deep into their findings, a fresh run of murders occur that have strange similarities ...more
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Agent Pendergast 10 105 Nov 10, 2013 09:23PM  
review the cabinet of curiosities 25 112 Mar 26, 2013 03:49PM  
What's with the eyes? *Contains Spoiler!* 14 66 Oct 11, 2012 04:39PM  
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more
More about Douglas Preston...

Other Books in the Series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Relic (Pendergast, #1)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • Dance of Death (Pendergast, #6; Diogenes, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)
Relic (Pendergast, #1) Reliquary (Pendergast, #2) Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1) The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3) Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)

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“The wise and good are outnumbered a thousand to one by the brutal and stupid.” 13 likes
“One can reach the gates of hell just as easily by short steps as by large.” 6 likes
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