Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
468 pages...that go fast!

The New York Museum of Natural History is experiencing a series of brutal and unexplained murders on the eve of one of its largest exhibition openings. With the discovery of certain artifacts from past expeditions, protagonist Margo and her mentor, Frock, realize that something truly horrible, unimaginable, and scientifically incredible is among the halls and catacombs of the large building. Detective Pendergrast is your stereotypical thriller-detective, but I found that I liked him a great deal and rooted for him to save the day.

Relic was certainly a departure from the types of books I normally read, and I am glad to have discovered it. It had a very similar vibe to books written by Michael Chrichton, particularly Jurassic Park and follow-ups; for me, that made it a really fun read that was a page-turner and the perfect book for all of the doctors' waiting rooms I have been in lately. This would also be the perfect book for road trips, flights, and waiting in airports. I plan on reading more by this author in the future.

4 stars and lots of fun! Quick read, fast pacing, plot-driven. Need a break? This is a good one!

Child 44 by Tom Robb Smith
493 pages

Excerpt taken from www.goodreads.com:
Stalin's Soviet Union strives to be a paradise for its workers, providing for all of their needs. One of its fundamental pillars is that its citizens live free from the fear of ordinary crime and criminals.

But in this society, millions do live in fear . . . of the State. Death is a whisper away. The mere suspicion of ideological disloyalty-owning a book from the decadent West, the wrong word at the wrong time-sends millions of innocents into the Gulags or to their executions. Defending the system from its citizens is the MGB, the State Security Force. And no MGB officer is more courageous, conscientious, or idealistic than Leo Demidov.

A war hero with a beautiful wife, Leo lives in relative luxury in Moscow, even providing a decent apartment for his parents. His only ambition has been to serve his country. For this greater good, he has arrested and interrogated.

Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal-a murderer-is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, his world turned upside down, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the State to suggest that a murderer-much less a serial killer-is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife, Raisa, remaining at his side, Leo must confront the vast resources and reach of the MBG to find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists.

Child 44 is a terrifying book that makes for a fantastic summer read, especially if you don't have to work in the morning so you can stay up all night reading.

I found some of the material to be extremely difficult to read, and this story is certainly not for the faint of heart, but the intricacies of the plot and the horrors of the government kept me turning pages...one night until 3am.

I will be reading the second book, because yes, this did hook me!