I’m a huge fan of Lincoln Child, and have been since I first read The Relic, which was co-authored with his long-term writing partner Douglas Preston back in 1995. (That said, I’m also a huge fan of Preston and his stand-alone novels). The Relic began a series of co-authored books by Preston and Child that introduced one of the most intriguing characters in fiction, FBI Special Agent Pendergast. Think X-Files but with one main investigator and plenty of strange happenings spread over a dozen books and growing. (And if you didn’t like the movie that was released in 1997, don’t let that scare you off The Relic or any of the follow-up stories — they’re all as ominous as they are entertaining.)
But this post is about Lincoln Child and his latest release, The Forgotten Room. Somehow this book slipped under my radar until a recent trip to B&N where I probably made someone laugh when I just about jumped and ran to the stack when I saw the author’s name. Again… huge fan, and I’m always anxious to get started on one of his stories. This one is typical Child, containing a nice mix of science and technology along with a hint of potential supernatural mystery that gets wrapped up and solved Scooby-style with a fun end-reveal that (typically) involves a fun chase scene broken up over a series of cliffhanger chapters.
In The Forgotten Room, a well-respected think tank has invited Professor Jeremy Logan, an ‘enigmalogist’ who made his first super-brief appearance in Lincoln’s Deep Storm (recommended!) and then returned in Terminal Freeze followed by The Third Gate, to investigate the grisly suicide of a fellow researcher. Logan has a history with this organization (called Lux) and there’s a mix of receptions from the existing staff who don’t all find Logan’s choice of occupation valid.
During his investigations of the scientist’s death, Logan uncovers a hidden room inside the enormous estate that houses the researchers. And inside that room is an even stranger collection of objects that include strange scuba-like suits and a large coffin-shaped device manufactured when vacuum tubes were the primary source for creating electric circuits. As the investigation proceeds, Logan’s life and the lives of those assisting him are put in danger. On one side is the strange machinery and the unusual effects that seem to come from this source… and on the other are menacing individuals who target Logan and anyone else helping him in his investigations.
The Forgotten Room is a fun and fast read. I like Lincoln’s pacing of his stories because they tend to be mini-rollercoaster rides with plenty of surprises, lots of cliffhanger chapter endings that keep you turning the page, and a good mix of quirky science and oddball characters. If you’re into X-Files-style mysteries, you’ll absolutely enjoy this book… as well as the other Jeremy Logan series of stories.
Note: And don’t forget to check out Preston and Child’s Pendergast series of novels (that started with The Relic) and Douglas Preston’s solo novels. These two writers have been on my Book Watch List for upcoming releases since The Relic and I can’t imagine ever moving them off. Give one or both of them a try.