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.
PRAISE FOR THE SCORPION’S TAIL
“Expect nice twists, hairy danger, and good old-fashioned gunplay. This one’s an attention grabber. Get a copy.”—Kirkus
“[An] enjoyable sequel [. . .] The authors do their usual solid job of maintaining suspense throughout. Their two capable female leads are well-suited to sustain a long series.”—Publishers Weekly
“Preston and Child have designed an intricate thriller that takes several twists and turns, but never totally diverts from the crux of the story. This is a series that demands attention.”—New York Journal of Books
“The authors bring the same rigorous plotting and deft characterizations to this novel as they do with their Special Agent Pendergast books (happily, Pendergast makes an appearance here), and the Kelly and Swanson pairing is certainly engaging. It seems the duo might be settling in for a good, long run.”—Booklist
“The future looks promising for Nora and Corrie.”—The Big Thrill
PRAISE FOR OLD BONES
"Long-time readers of Preston and Child will love to see the beloved characters of Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson take center stage in what is a terrific start to a new series. Their writing talent shines as this mix of history, exploration of nature and crime will without a doubt land on the top of the best-seller lists. Though some of the historical facts have been tweaked a bit for the story to work, a note to the reader from the authors at the end reveals what is true and what they made up, and is sure to lead to a surge in attention for non-fiction accounts of what really happened that horrible winter."—Associated Press
"The two strong female protagonists [Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson] share a dynamic reminiscent of that between Pendergast and his friend on the NYPD, Vincent D'Agosta. An intriguing series launch."—Publishers Weekly
"Old Bones exceeds expectations at every juncture, a thriller extraordinaire that turns history upside down in forming the basis of a riveting and relentless tale."—Providence Sunday Journal
"A smart, satisfying read."—Kirkus
"This outing belongs to two dedicated women, whose future adventures will be happily anticipated."—Booklist
"Preston & Child is one of those "names" on a book that make you want to set everything else aside in order to read what amazing words they've written [. . .] From the best writing team out there, you do not want to miss this book."—Suspense Magazine
"From the thriller world's dynamic duo comes a new work of archeology, murder, and the Donner Party. This one should please longtime fans of Preston and Child, as well as new devotees drawn in by that ever-appealing set up of a past crime coming back to haunt the present."—CrimeReads
"Preston and Child have created a fine mix of fiction and historical fact. The story is peopled by complex and engaging characters with sometimes murky ambitions. . . The ending, which seems far-fetched, is definitely, disturbingly possible."—Booktrib
"Old Bones has it all: chills, thrills and a blend of history, along with archaeological expertise you can only get from a Preston & Child novel. I loved spending time with Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson, and look forward to seeing them in future adventures. Longtime readers will be rewarded not only by this pairing but by some other surprises leading up to the conclusion of this exciting read."—Bookreporter
"Though the story of the Donner Party and its gruesome cannibalism has been told and retold, this masterful examination of the perplexing events offers a fresh take that carries meaning for contemporary readers. The launch of the Nora Kelly series is to be applauded.”—Washington Independent Review of Books
"Preston and Child's cast of characters spin off in their latest, starring Nora Kelly and ex-distinguished youth-turned-FBI agent Corrie Swanson. Kelly leads an expedition to excavate the Donner Party camp, while Swanson investigates a series of grave robberies. The longtime writing team yet again seamlessly merges science and suspense.”—Newsweek
"Preston & Child can write like no others. They have well-written and defined characters and easy to read stories. You are never disappointed by one of their books."—Red Carpet Crash