(pb; 1995: first book in the Pendergast series)
From the back cover:
"Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. . .
"But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.
"Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who -- or what -- is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?"
The Relic is a fun, blast-through-it, b-movie read. It has got bad guys worth hissing at, a monster who harkens back to those blood-thirsty, rubber-suited monsters of the Fifties and (somewhat) updated science to lend read-it-with-popcorn credence to its gory, violent proceedings (as well as Relic's high body count).
This is an especially good read for its slick, cinema-minded writing and breakneck pacing. If you are looking for something beyond that -- e.g., a book that transcends cookie-cutter storylines and characters -- do not read Relic.
Followed by Reliquary.
The film version was released stateside on January 10, 1997. It was directed by Peter Hyams, from a script by Amy Holden Jones (billed as Amy Jones) and John Raffo.
Penelope Ann Miller played Dr. Margo Green. Tom Sizemore played Lt. Vincent D'Agosta. Linda Hunt played Dr. Ann Cuthbert. James Whitmore played Dr. Albert Frock. Clayton Rohner played Det. Hollingsworth.
Chu Muoi Lo played Dr. Greg Lee. Thomas Ryan played Tom Parkinson. Audra Lindley played Dr. Zwiezic. Don Harvey played Spota. John Kapelos played McNally.
Vincent Hammond and Brian Steele played Kothoga. Gary A. Hecker (billed as Gary Hecker) provided the "Kothoga Vocalization".