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Thunderhead a novel by Douglas Preston

3 Ratings: 0.3
Archeological Thriller

Archeologist Nora Kelly leads an expedition to Utah in search of Quivira, the fabled Indian City of Gold. With the aid of satellite photos the group retraces her missing father's footsteps and runs into monsters.

Author: Douglas Preston , Lincoln Child
Genre: Adventure, Horror
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date Published: June 2000
1 review about Thunderhead a novel by Douglas Preston

A Good Archeological Thriller

  • May 3, 2009
  • by
This book has a lot of interesting information about archeology and the tribes that inhabited the New Mexico (I'm assuming that is where they were) area hundreds of years ago.

Nora, a university archeologist, is attacked by some weird "people" dressed in animal furs at her family's ranch house. During the attack they are demanding the whereabouts of a letter. She gets away but in her escape, she "accidentally" stumbles on the very letter they were demanding. The letter was written by her father who was missing 16 years prior and has a post mark date within the last 6 months.

Nora reads the letter and it is a description of a search by her father for the city of Quivira, an ancient city in the desert that was rumored to be a city of gold. According to the letter, her father felt he was close to finding the city and gave sketchy directions as to the route he used to get to where he was. Based on the attack, she thinks her father actually found the city and that her attackers were interested in the letter to find the city too.

Nora tells her brother some of this and he gives her a contact at the JPL lab in Berkley who might be able to use NASA's systems to look for the roads described by her father. She social engineers her way into one of the people working at JPL and he is able to get the data she needs to see some of the possible roads mentioned in the letter.

With the flimsy evidence of the letter and the mappings from JPL, Nora is able to convince the University head of her department to launch an expedition to find the city. The expedition brings together some interesting personalities including Bill Smithback, who was the journalist used by the authors in some of their previous works.

The book is a decent action thriller with interesting historical information presented. My only complaint here is that the author's notes at the end of the book did not give enough info as to what was fact and what was not so I had to search out that information on my own. The stories of Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado searching for a city of riches called Quivira are true.

Note: Possible spoilers:

This book in many ways is similar to the author's previous effort, Riptide. We have the hunt for a treasure by a descendent of someone who initially discovered it and met a tragic end, a treasure site that appears cursed, a conspiracy by some of the treasure hunters to take everything for themselves, to name a few things.

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Thunderhead a novel by Douglas Preston
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