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Thunderhead

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  16,727 ratings  ·  476 reviews
Nora Kelly, a young archaeologist in Santa Fe, receives a letter written sixteen years ago, yet mysteriously mailed only recently. In it her father, long believed dead, hints at a fantastic discovery that will make him famous and rich---the lost city of an ancient civilization that suddenly vanished a thousand years ago. Now Nora is leading an expedition into a harsh, remo ...more
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Published July 1st 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shelly Kotalik
This is the first Preston/Child book I read. After reading this, I have devoured every single one of their books since. It crackles with intelligence and suspense. It is extremely addictive and the setting is by far one of the most interesting and memorable, practically a character in and of itself. A must read. Plus they continue characters throughout their books, not all at once, but here and there. Smithback and Nora in particular from this book. I loved it!
Rick Ludwig
This the third Preston and Child novel that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. This one did not include agent Pendergast, but did lay the background for how Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback first met, prior to their starring roles in "Cabinet of Curiosities" . The story was continually exciting and had just the right blend of detailed archaeology and the hint of the supernatural. This was a straight up adventure novel with the details of the expedition exceptionally well drawn and the characte ...more
Oscar
Nora Kelly es una arqueóloga que durante una visita al rancho abandonado de sus padres, sufre el ataque de unos misteriosos y agresivos seres. Estos estaban buscando una carta, que Nora encontrará por casualidad. Cuál será su sorpresa cuando descubra que dicha misiva fue escrita por su padre, también arqueólogo, hace dieciséis años, época en la que desapareció sin dejar rastro. En esta carta, el padre de Kelly habla del descubrimiento de la ciudad perdida de Quivira de los indios Anasazi, dando ...more
Candice
Easily my favorite of all the books cowritten by these authors. I remember being absolutely hooked by this book, experiencing the adrenaline rush in real-time, the first time I read it, and I've reread it countless times since then. Perhaps I like it better because it doesn't have FBI Special Agent Pendergast in it (who has become rather unbelievable in the most recent Preston/Child books). As always with these authors' better books, the interwoven archaeological facts and level of detail are im ...more
Gloria
This is an interesting story overall, and long. I think it would have appealed to me more in my 20s though. The biggest problem I have with it is that its believability suffers in part because of the story's pacing and partly because of the rather bizarre form of evil presented. A young, untested archaeologist manages in a week's time to be seriously attacked, get funding for potentially the biggest archaeological dig of all time, and line up the professional participants ... and they're off! Th ...more
Barbara ★
This is the first book from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child that I absolutely hated. It is so boring and just plods along like it has no place to go. UGH!

Even the characters are boring and uninteresting: Nora Kelly, Peter Holyrood, Bill Smithback, Aaron Black, Roscoe Swire, Sloane Goddard and Luigi Bonarotti. There wasn't a pleasant person in the entire group. All they did was bitch and moan about the travel to the Anasazi site of Quivira. I thought all archeologists did was tromp from site to
...more
Frank
I really enjoyed this one! Preston/Child is always good and in my opinion, this is one of their best. It's the story of a search for the lost city of gold, Quivara, that Coronado had searched for in the 16th century. Nora Kelly finds a letter from her father written 16 years previously that describes his search for the city and she eventually convinces the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute to fund a search for the lost city in the canyons of Southern Utah. This was a really engrossing story and ...more
Jeanne
What a great adventure! A nice break from fantasy although it had quite a few elements common to fantasy in it. There was witchcraft, ancient mythology, bravery, treachery and travel. The research into the anasazi was thorough and exact as was the archaeology.
Kaelah
I am always in search of a good mystery, suspense, thriller novel. Most that I come across are cliche, have an over written, over used plot, or simply have poor character development. Thunderhead is far from that! The story line is unique with twist and turns that keeps the reader tuned into every page.

Through their co-writing, you were transported to the back canyons of Utah, with Nora and her team. You suffered with them, learned with them, struggled with them and discovered wonderful things w
...more
Daniel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
Archaeology, lost ancient cities filled with priceless treasures, unknowable and unnameable terrors in the dark. . .this book has got everything I enjoy in a thriller.

Nora Kelly is an archaeologist at the Santa Fe Institute for Archaeology, whose reputation has already risen far above that of her father, a second-tier archaeologist who got lost on an expedition and never returned. However, one day, Nora finds a letter from her father, written twenty odd years ago, describing the route he took to
...more
Becca-Rawr
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child know how to scare the shit out of people.

I am a huge fan of Preston and Child. They have a way of writing thrillers that hit every emotion, that are unlike any other novel I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and they just plain make an impact.

Nora Kelly, an archeologist, receives a letter from her father who has been missing and presumed dead for decades. At the same time she is attacked by creatures that haunt her daydreams for weeks after. The letter tells of the le
...more
Angela
The adventure is marginally higher than the suspense in Preston and Child's sturdy new tale of scientific derring-do, concerning a search for Quivira, the legendary Anasazi Indian City of Gold. The authors know what buttons to push and levers to yank, perhaps too well. The novel has a clockwork feel, from its first tick, the spooky stalking of archaeologist Nora Kelly on an isolated New Mexican ranch, to its last tock. Playing it safe, Preston and Child take no missteps as Nora finds an old lett ...more
Nancy Oakes
The story takes place in Utah and New Mexico, and focuses on Nora Kelly (who is also in Cabinet of Curiosities), a young archaeologist who receives a letter from her father, who had been dead for years, telling her that he has found a fabled lost city in the desolate canyons of Utah. Then at her family's deserted ranch, she is set upon by two people wearing wolf skins who obviously mean her harm.

She is able to get an expedition together and the group sets out in search of the lost city. It is no
...more
John Bennett
This is the first Preston/Child novel that I have read although I have seen the adaptation of Relic. Based on that I expected this book would feature more suspense and horror than it did. But this is not a bad thing in this instance. What the book does provide is an enjoyable adventure tale that includes suspense and horror in reasonable measure. I found the novel quite enjoyable and plan to read more of these author's works.
David Ivester
Earlier this year I read "The Cabinet of Curiosities", which a friend of mine found in a box at the Recycling Center and brought to me. In that book, "Thunder head" was referenced obliquely, so I ordered it. Like "Cabinet", this book is a quick read with no hidden subtext or symbolism, just a straight science-based adventure story. I found this book to be reminiscent of Tony Hillerman in its descriptions of the southwestern landscape and the utilization of Indian lore as part of the story. Also, ...more
Robby
A very enjoyable read. Though Pendergast is not present in this book, there is a good amount of back-story info on relevant characters pursuant to the continuation of the Pendergast series. This book would make an adventuresome/thrillseekers delight;on the edge of your seat type movie. The impressibly written perception of the dire state of environment/scenery would make a significant challenge to those responsible for bringing such impressions to the big screen. For those who have ever pondered ...more
Heather Thurmeier
This isn't the first book I've read by this author combo, but it's definitely my favorite from them! Twists and turns I didn't see coming, exciting adventure, history and myth all rolled into one, and a solid, satisfying ending. Highly recommend to adventure readers!
James Campbell
This was a fantastic read, and great story by Preston & Child, who are certainly at the top of my favourite authors list.

It's a fast paced, adventure/treasure hunter that incorporates a sense of dread as well as long for past family secrets. Throw into the mix is some great Anasazi folklore that is set in the canyons and valleys and plateaus of the American southwest - pictographs, legends abound.

It's hard to classify this as a horror novel, because it also falls into the thriller and advent
...more
Jamie
I really like the books by Preston and Child! This one is our first introduction to Nora Kelly who makes a later appearance in the book,
The Cabinet of Curiosities, while Smithback(from Relic) is back there's no sign of Pendergast. It's an interesting tale of Nora looking for Quivara, a Native American settlement that may have been the fabled City of Gold that Spanish explorer Coronado was looking for. I liked how Preston and Child link in a lot of Native American legend along with intersting fac
...more
Heather
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Thunderhead is a fairly by-the-books archaeological thriller. This isn’t to say it’s bad; if that’s the genre you’re in the mood for, it’ll satisfy. It ticks off all the right suspense boxes, kicking the danger in early and ratcheting it up at regular intervals. There are plenty of discoveries and setbacks, new friendships and new enmities.

There are only two real downsides. One is that most of the characters are stock characters, stereotypes. (Ahh, the rugged
...more
Laura
I thought this was a great summer read! I only wish I read it on my kindle because there were a bunch of words I found myself looking up, and I love how easy it is to tap the word on the kindle screen to get the definition.

Before I started I had prepared myself for some slow parts, since I found the beginning of Relic a bit slow. This was a fast read right from the beginning. I would recommend this book if you like adventures with a bit of mystery and creepiness.
Tiffany
I was really bored most of the time actually. I guess I'm not really into archeology and witchcraft. Wasn't particularly fond of any of the characters. Confused Aaron and Aragon well until later in the book because they stick out to me. No comedy, not much of a mystery, practically no romance.
Last hundred pages picked up. That part wasn't bad.
*minor spoiler
I WAS really impressed with the description of the flash flood. It was thorough and told me things I never knew
Donna
I knew I had to read this one when I saw it was about how Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback met. Since I know how the relationship played out, it was a little anti-climactic and bittersweet.
Still, an excellent stand alone book. You care about all the characters, even the slightly sleazy ones and there are some good surprises. Again, suspension of disbelief is big in all the Preston and Childs books, even one dealing in archeology. Gorgeous settings, this would make an excellent movie for the scen
...more
Mitch Johnston
Love Preston & Child!!! After reading Cabinet of Curiosities, I had to read Thunderhead to get the backstory on Nora Kelly. Thunderhead should ideally be read after Relic and Reliquary, but before C of C's.

The level of research that these guys put into their novels is truly impressive. I've been to Sante Fe and visited the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Park, but I'm now motivated to learn more about the Anastazi. Fascinating.
Zoltán
Közönségcsalogató témák sajátos egyvelegét nyújtja a népszerű szerzőpáros jelen kötete: egyfelől izgalmas kalandregény kellő mennyiségű hullával, másfelől misztikummal meghintett kincskeresős-kalandoros-régészkedős sztori kellő alapossággal kidolgozva. Teljes mértékben saját lábain megálló történet, noha a főszereplők közül ketten a Pendergast-széria visszatérő karakterei közé tartoznak, és kettejük kapcsolatának alakulásának miértjeire ebben a történetben kapunk egyértelmű választ. Egyetlen röv ...more
Katherine
What did I enjoy about this book? It was set if the Utah canyon county. The story was about archeologists hunting for Anasazi ruins. Unknown enemies were trying to stop the protagonists from their goal, using fear, deadly poison, and worse to stop the encroachment into their territory.
It was a nail biter toward the end and great fun to read.
Evelyn
A young archaeologist leads a dangerous expedition looking for Quivira, the fabled Anasazi "Lost City of Gold," after receiving a mysterious letter from her father who has been missing for sixteen years.

Spellbinding! Preston and Child have set the standard in defining the page-turner. Best adventure book I've read in years!
Amanda
Archaeology + suspense thrillers = my kind of book

Sometimes these type of stories can be really cheesy, but the authors definitely know what they're talking about here. It doesn't matter what is based on fact and what isn't, because archaeology is mostly speculation anyway. I really enjoyed this book.
Sraweatherby
I bought this book to read on the plane for a recent trip and it was so bad. So very, very bad. Unbelievable and unlikeable characters in unbelievable circumstances. I will not rant here about the portrayal(s) of native southwestern cultures but DAMN was it deplorable.
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12577
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...
Relic (Pendergast, #1) The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3) Reliquary (Pendergast, #2) Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1) The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)

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“Perhaps it’s not a matter of unimportant sites, but unimportant archaeologists.” 1 likes
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