The Scorpion’s Tail
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First published: January 12, 2021
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Available January 12

Following the acclaimed debut of OLD BONES, this second “happily anticipated” new thriller in Preston & Child’s series features Nora Kelly, archaeologist at the Santa Fe Archeological Institute, and rookie FBI Agent Corrie Swanson, as they team up to solve a mystery that quickly escalates into nightmare (Booklist).

A mummified corpse, over half a century old, is found in the cellar of an abandoned building in a remote New Mexico ghost town. Corrie is assigned what seems to her a throwaway case: to ID the body and determine cause of death. She brings archaeologist Nora Kelly to excavate the body and lend her expertise to the investigation, and together they uncover something unexpected and shocking: the deceased apparently died in agony, in a fetal position, skin coming off in sheets, with a rictus of horror frozen on his face.

Hidden on the corpse lies a 16th century Spanish gold cross of immense value.

When they at last identify the body — and the bizarre cause of death — Corrie and Nora open a door into a terrifying, secret world of ancient treasure and modern obsession: a world centered on arguably the most defining, frightening, and transformative moment in American history.

“The authors bring the same rigorous plotting and deft characterizations to this novel as they do with their Special Agent Pendergast books (happily, Pendergast makes an appearance here), and the Kelly and Swanson pairing is certainly engaging. It seems the duo might be settling in for a good, long run.”—Booklist

“The authors do their usual solid job of maintaining suspense throughout. Their two capable female leads are well-suited to sustain a long series.”—Publishers Weekly

“These guys are masters at scaring the hell out of people.” –Tampa Tribune

“Expect nice twists, hairy danger, and good old-fashioned gunplay. This one’s an attention grabber. Get a copy.” –Kirkus starred review

To purchase a first-edition, hardcover, double-autographed copy, that comes with a special collectible postcard, click here.


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We will be hosting a number of virtual events to mark the publication of The Scorpion’s Tail. Unlike our usual book tours, which have unfortunately been limited by geography, any reader anywhere can join one of these free events on line:


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