Mount Dragon, written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, presents the story of a research facility located deep within the deserts of New Mexico. Guy Carson, an employee of Gene Dyne, is promoted and joins a group of scientists who are working on a virus which will cure the flu, but with devastating results – every living thing that comes into contact with the new super-virus dies horribly.

Working on a strict deadline in constricting biohazard suits with constant supervision, tensions rise and scientists crack under the pressure. Soon paranoia is rampant and people start dying under suspicious circumstances.

Fans of the Preston-Child team will appreciate the quality of writing we’ve come to expect when these two writers team up to create a work of fiction. Mount Dragon is no disappointment to readers accustomed to their combined efforts. Fans of thrillers, especially those with medical leanings, will enjoy this one, too.

This novel thrilled me to no end. From scenes where scientists were trapped in their biohazard suits (where I felt claustrophobic) to the beauty of the solitary desert, I was along for the ride. The novel had me entranced from start to finish.

The theme of altering human DNA also comes up, providing an interesting conflict and opposing forces against the project. This also introduces an ethical conflict within the novel, which is just one more layer the novel presents without becoming too complicated.

There were times when I felt things got a little “typical” or where decisions and actions became predictable. The pairing of characters was a little obvious, but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel. Plus, the ending was definitely not what I was expecting. Although at times the novel was a bit predictable, overall it kept me guessing.

When I finish a Preston-Child novel, I typically want to find another one of theirs to read and pore through. Sadly, I’m running out of new novels of theirs, and I’ll have to join the mass of readers who anxiously await new publications.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have written a number of successful novels together (including the exceptional Pendergast series), and fans tend to agree that the collaborative works of these two authors tend to be better reads than their individual, solo works.

Simply put, this is a rather thrilling read. If you enjoy thrillers, especially with medical leanings, I’m betting you’ll enjoy this one.


Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years.  She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career.  She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses, and years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples,” and passes them on to interested writers.

March 15, 2019   50   mary    Opinion Essay  
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