Old Bones : Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The story is about to be unraveled and the players will find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy, race for survival and links to the past that will open new horizons to all those involved. The time period is the late 1800’s and the year 1846. Travelers going west hoping to find a new land to live in and build their homes find themselves driven in new directions and due to huge amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada area. These people that hoped to migrate never expected to live out their time dealing with hunger, hard weather conditions, leading to one of the most horrific events of westward migration ever recorded in history even today. How do you survive when there is no food or water? What methods do you resort to? Would you do as they did eat your friends, neighbors, wives and children in order to not starve? Cannibalism became their way of life and the story begins back then and moves into the present.
Clive Benton is an ancestor of the Donner family and an original journal of the events written by Tamzene Donner. Each person that went on this migration was victim to cannibalism. Nora Kelly is an archeologist and he approaches her to help him with a special dig. There are two camps that were found where bodies died these horrific deaths but what if there was a third lost camp. Tempting her not only with the historical significance of finding and completing this type of search for old bones, artifacts from the dig and the lives of the people hoping to identify them by name and given them some dignity in death. However, there is one point that made her agree and that is Benton tells her not to share this with those going along on the expedition that there might be gold coins worth 20 million dollars hidden near this lost camp.
Grave robbing is not something new or invented in the past but it does link several in the present and a death of someone who was digging up a grave and another of someone related to the victims of the grave robbing in the present as this person has gone missing.
FBI Special Agent Corinne Swanson has always wanted to be led on a special investigation. Her superior Hale Morwood finds her zeal refreshing but also enjoys putting her down or trying to make her think that she is not quite ready. But, when a case comes his way and she seem to be the right fit, she is challenged with the case of a dead body that has been dug up and the grave vandalized and the body defiled. When Swanson digs deep into the identity of the person who was buried and then the person who was the grave digger that was found on top of the coffin shot dead, things start to take on a sinister turn. Research using Ancestry.com unfolds that there were three others related to this descendant that was buried in this vandalized grave four grave robberies in all and all of them descendants of the Donner disaster.
. Kelly and Swanson work together in a mildly testy relationship, but they’re really both pros. Other members of the team hear rumors of the gold, and tragedy strikes. As they get closer to where the Lost Camp might be, members of their expedition begin to die, and a serious storm approaches that threatens to cause a deadly avalanche. Of course, villainy is afoot that may snuff out Kelly’s and Swanson’s young lives. Neither has a personal interest in gold they can’t legally possess, but others may. Yet the clever plot suggests a dark secret that lies within the bones they find. The two women are smart, likable characters, but readers ought not to take their survival for granted. Special Agent Prendergast takes a break from his own series to make a brief, consequential appearance.
As Benton relates more, he explains that the emigrant train was widely spread out as they entered the mountains and one group fell behind. That group consisted of 11 others. The snow began to fall, and they missed the trail over the pass and they veered or drifted northwards into as he explained a maze of ravines. As a result of going up one of those size canyons they became snowbound. A few months past and a single person managed to reach the camp at Alder Creek. He died of starvation not long after. Tamzene got the information for her account from him about the Lost Camp. Then one person as noted a man named Peter Chears was found by a single rescuer and what this rescuer saw was committed to memory and never spoken again.
The danger starts when the expedition begins, and Nora might realize just what she has taken on as the terrain is filled with snow, slick rain and hail and at times even a possible avalanche that might take lives. Extracting the DNA would help them to define what happened there, reconstruct the scene and hopefully give names to the human remains.
The team established for this venture was under the guidance of a man named Burleson, the cook ,Maggie, Drew Wigget assistant wrangler and Bruce Adelsky a graduate student in the antho department at UNM. Added to Nora’s side is Clive, Nora and her assistant Jadon plus her brother Skip that would handle communication using her Satellite phone .
Swanson makes some connections between the death and grave robbing at Glorieta Pass Cemetery and the dig involving the Donner expedition.
Corrie Swanson is bent on learning the connection between all of the Parkin grave sites that were robbed, the body of Roberta what has gone missing and the key to the mystery stemming from Albert Parkin the one man who died as a result of the Donner expedition and cannibalism. But, was that the catalyst or something else? While Corrie tries to piece together an investigation and is following protocol, someone steals the bones and other artifacts that Nora and Clive have secured. Someone at the camp wanted to steel them and someone wanted to bury Samantha and give her or what was left of her an honorable burial, but this person was killed. And then someone else was sacrificed too as one person was behind the true reason for the dig. Was it the promise of 20 million dollars in gold that someone was hunting and searching for it? Was it linked to the man who had the gold, it was stolen from, he was killed and the documents from the bank showing his withdrawal but where did he bury it?
Things fall into a dangerous place when Corrie’s boss declares the first murder and accident as the Sheriff and rangers of this area seem to take the murder lightly and not seriously until the second one and the ME declares it a murder so why is Morwood handing it off to another division of the FBI and how will Corrie’s hunches play out?
While Corrie and Nora try to figure out where the gold is, what is the true reason for the grave robbers taking the bodies Pendergast arrives, theories are discussed and you won’t believe the true mission or reason why this dig was started and you won’t believe who was behind the murders and the lies, betrayals, and deceptions that are uncovered?
Will they solve the mystery? What does Pendergast do to enlighten them? What about the gold? Will it be found or forever buried with more secrets and lies?
Authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child did some extensive research related to the Donner Expedition, how to find a third Lost Camp and the final reveal of why Albert Parkin’s remains were so vital to someone’s quest for fame and something that would result in something more powerful than a Category 5 Hurricane, ten avalanches, the worst tsunami and even the highest earthquake ever recorded. An ending so terrifying and two pros: Nora and Corrie struggling for control, fighting for their lives and hoping to learn the secret that would take lives and destroy more : What is the secret within those OLD BONES?
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