Doug Preston, author of 30 New York Times bestselling books

Air Dates: April 24-26, 2021

This week’s guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Doug Preston, journalist, and author of 36 books, 30 of which were New York Times-bestsellers. He is as highly regarded for his famous techno-thrillers from "Relic" to "The Scorpion's Tail," as for his non-fiction works such as "The Monster of Florence" and "The Lost City of the Monkey God."

Preston's collaborations with Lincoln Child (including the Agent Pendergast series and Gideon Crew series) are extremely popular, and now the co-authors have launched a brand new series (the Nora Kelly series) of extraordinary techno-thrillers set in the American Southwest. Preston discusses the mix of myth and legend with some intriguing scientific plot elements that make these mysteries so compelling.

“Old Bones,” published in 2019, follows Nora Kelly, a curator at the Santa Fe Institute of Archaeology, in search of the “Lost Camp” of the tragic Donner Party, pioneers who became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in 1847 and who survived by practicing cannibalism. Nora Kelly learns that the truth about those long dead pioneers is more complex than originally thought, and has perilous modern day repercussions that put her expedition in grave danger.

“The Scorpion's Tail,” published in 2021, the second “happily anticipated” new thriller in Preston & Child’s series features archaeologist Nora Kelly and rookie FBI Agent Corrie Swanson, teaming up to solve a mystery that quickly escalates into a nightmare. A mummified corpse, Spanish treasure, ghost towns, New Mexico history and legends all feature as dynamic elements in this New Mexico-based thriller.

Preston also has authored a number of non-fiction books on history, science, exploration, and true crime, such as “Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest” and “The Monster of Florence.” His book “Talking to the Ground” was just re-released by Simon and Schuster.

Preston was part of the National Geographic expedition to find an ancient city in the Honduran rain forest, which he chronicled in “The Lost City of the Monkey God.” In a review of this best-selling book, author of “Blood and Thunder” Hampton Sides said, “Douglas Preston is one of the most adventurous figures in American letters today. Inured to personal danger, braving venomous snakes and lethal pathogens, he somehow gets it all, the science, the history, the intrigues, the obsessive characters, the electric moment of discovery, and the haunted cries of the once-powerful civilization. Preston’s marvelous story is made all the more potent by the astonishing fact that from the beginning to the end, it happens to be true!”

In addition to his novels, Preston is a journalist and writes about archaeology and history for The New Yorker, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Atlantic magazines.