Monday, April 22, 2019

The Forgotten Room

The Forgotten Room
by Lincoln Child
Recommended Ages: 14+

Dr. Jeremy Logan is a professor of medieval history at Yale, but most people know him from his highly publicized sideline, in which he styles himself an “enigmalogist.” That’s where he travels the world, separating truth from superstition and getting to the truth behind legends and lore. The Loch Ness monster? Check. Bigfoot? Vampires? Werewolves? Abominable snowmen? If they’re really out there, he knows about it first-hand.

But now, he has been asked back to Lux, an elite policy institute tucked away on the Rhode Island seashore, where he was briefly a research fellow years ago, until another faculty member had him kicked out for lacking scientific rigor. In spite of their reservations about his field of interest, the fellows at Lux need Logan now. They need someone they can trust to be discreet, someone with an open mind, someone with the skills to explain the unexplainable.

Why? Because one of their most sensible, even-tempered fellows recently lost his mind, attacked another staff member, then committed suicide in a very gruesome way. Several other faculty members have experienced strange and ominous phenomena. It all seems to date back to the re-opening of the long closed west wing of the Lux building, originally the home of an eccentric millionaire whose family had a history of tragic happenings. Could the place be haunted? Could it have something to do with a room that Logan discovers on the second floor of the west wing, a room not on the official blueprints?

Logan digs deeper, because that’s what he does. Inside that room – which has no apparent way in or out – is a mysterious device built during a project that was abandoned decades ago. Files relating to the project are missing from Lux’s archives. Anyone who learns what it was about seems to fall victim to a tragic accident. The more Logan closes in on the secret, the more dark, diabolical and deadly things happen in and around Lux until a literal and figurative hurricane of violence comes ashore.

Paranormal or not, this book is unmistakably a thriller. Part of its edginess, though, comes from how long it takes to spot whether it's paranormal or not. The truth is so chilling that the initial hypothesis – killer ghosts – might actually be tame by comparison. And while Logan isn't exactly a take-no-prisoners action hero – he is, after all, a history prof who talks to his dead wife when no one else is around – his persistence in getting to the bottom of things is bound to get him into the kind of trouble that kept this reader, for one, hanging on with a white-knuckled grip, straight through the night.

This is Book 4 of the Dr. Jeremy Logan series, which also includes Deep Storm, Terminal Freeze, The Third Gate and Full Wolf Moon. The author, not to be confused with Lee Child, is half of the "Preston & Child" writing duo, along with Douglas Preston. Together, they have written the 18-book Pendergast series and the five-book Gideon's Crew series, besides a handful of stand-alone books. By himself, Lincoln Child is also the author of Utopia (a.k.a. Lethal Velocity) and Death Match.

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