"Relic" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Deep in the Brazilian rainforest, a group of scientists went looking for the lost Kothoga tribe. They intended to study their culture, especially their predatory humanoid god Mbwun. However, their exhibition is interrupted by the death of the guide, and then the disappearance of the lead scientist.

Seven years later, two young boys are found murdered in the basement of the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Seems unrelated? After a guard is killed, and then a patrolling police officer goes missing, the autopsies reveal something very unsettling: the victims were killed by something that wasn’t quite human.

Meanwhile, the museum is preparing for an upcoming, highly-publicized Superstition exhibit. The museum director asks the police to conduct their investigation as quietly as possible, a difficult dance given to Detective Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta. The museum staff is terrified by rumors of a “museum beast” that hides in the many catacombs and tunnels underneath the museum. Special Agent Pendergast arrives on scene, offering his help to D’Agosta.

Despite the danger, the museum refuses to cancel the exhibition, which would mean the museum losing out on a massive amount of funding. On the night of the event, the museum fills with New York City’s elite, and the exhibition kicks off. It’s not long before the danger surfaces- the guests are being stalked and mauled by something, and due to a devastating set of circumstances, no one can leave by the normal exits but instead must try to escape through the museum’s sub basements in the pitch dark.

The ending is riveting and terrifying, and reveals the surprising answers to the questions that the reader will have from the beginning.

Relic is a fantastic start to one of the greatest thriller series ever written. Each character is unique, and complicated, especially Special Agent Pendergast. The books can be incredibly creepy and are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Each one is packed full of interesting history and Pendergast’s adventures will take you around the world.