Biography

Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school --- he was almost immediately expelled --- he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two front teeth to his brother Richard's fist; and various broken bones, also incurred in dust-ups with Richard. (Richard went on to write THE HOT ZONE and THE COBRA EVENT, which tells you all you need to know about what it was like to grow up with him as a brother.)
 
As they grew up, Doug, Richard, and their little brother David roamed the quiet suburbs of Wellesley, terrorizing the natives with home-made rockets and incendiary devices mail-ordered from the backs of comic books or concocted from chemistry sets.
 
After unaccountably being rejected by Stanford University (a pox on it), Preston attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature. After graduating, Preston began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as an editor, writer, and finally manager of publications. Preston also taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University and served as managing editor of Curator, a journal for museum professionals. His eight-year stint at the Museum resulted in the nonfiction book, DINOSAURS IN THE ATTIC, edited by a rising young star at St. Martin's Press, a polymath by the name of Lincoln Child. During this period, Preston gave Child a midnight tour of the museum, and in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to Preston and said: “This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!” That thriller would, of course, be RELIC.
 
In 1986, Preston piled everything he owned into the back of a Subaru and moved from New York City to Santa Fe to write full time, following the advice of S. J. Perelman that “the dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he's given the freedom to starve anywhere.” After the requisite period of penury, Preston achieved a small success with the publication of CITIES OF GOLD, a nonfiction book about Coronado's search for the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola. To research the book, Preston and the photographer Walter W. Nelson retraced on horseback 1,000 miles of Coronado's route across Arizona and New Mexico, packing their supplies and sleeping under the stars --- and nearly killing themselves in the process. Since then he has published other nonfiction books on the history of the American Southwest, TALKING TO THE GROUND and THE ROYAL ROAD. In the early 1990s Preston and Child teamed up to write suspense novels; RELIC was the first, followed by several others, including RIPTIDE, THUNDERHEAD and, more recently, FEVER DREAM and TWO GRAVES. RELIC was released as a motion picture by Paramount in 1997. Preston and Child live 2,000 miles apart and mostly write their books together via telephone, email, and the cloud. They co-created one of the most celebrated detectives of modern times, A.X.L. Pendergast.
 
Preston has also continued an active career in journalism, contributing to such magazines as the New Yorker, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Harper’s and the Atlantic.
 
In the year 2000, Preston moved with his family to Florence, Italy, to write a murder mystery set in Tuscany. Instead of writing the novel, however, he became fascinated by the story of a serial killer named il Mostro di Firenze, the Monster of Florence. He teamed up with an Italian journalist, Mario Spezi, who was an expert on the case. In 2008 they published a nonfiction book, THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE, which was a huge bestseller, spending four months on the New York Times list. The book won numerous journalism awards in both Italy and the United States. It is currently under development as a film, starring George Clooney, who will play the part of Preston.
 
Preston has published a number of solo novels, including TYRANNOSAUR CANYON, BLASPHEMY and IMPACT. His recent novel with Lincoln Child, COLD VENGEANCE, hit #1 on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
 
Preston was Co-President of International Thriller Writers and serves on the Board of Governors of the Authors Guild. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Long Rider’s Guild. In 2011, Pomona College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.
 
He counts in his ancestry the poet Emily Dickinson, the early sexologist Robert Latou Dickinson, and the infamous murderer and opium addict Amasa Greenough. He divides his time between New Mexico and Maine.

Douglas Preston

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Books by Douglas Preston

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast's most feared enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse with a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea. But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history: he is soon stalked by a killer bent on vengeance over an ancient transgression.

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Gideon Crew is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. His task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells. Gideon accomplishes the impossible --- only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks. The treasure to which it leads is no ordinary fortune. It is something far more precious: an amazing discovery that could perhaps even save Gideon's life.

by Douglas Preston - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy," a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Special Agent Pendergast’s arrival at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who begins burning down mansions with the families locked inside. Eventually, he uncovers a mysterious connection between several miners who were killed 150 years earlier and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story --- one that might just offer the key to the modern-day killings as well.

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

For 12 years, he believed she died in an accident. Then, he was told she’d been murdered. Now, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast discovers that his beloved wife Helen is alive. But their reunion is cut short when Helen is brazenly abducted before his eyes. Pendergast is forced to embark on a furious cross-country chase to rescue --- but what he finds is the origin of a nefarious international plot that he is unwittingly at the heart of.

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Sifting through the evidence, authorities determine that in 10 days, a major American city will be vaporized by a terrorist attack. And Gideon Crew, tracking the mysterious terrorist cell, learns the end may be something far worse than mere Armageddon. 

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Thriller

A hunting trip for Pendergast and his brother-in-law, Judson Esterhazy, turns into a violent clash, in which Pendergast is left for dead.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Fiction, Thriller


Ever since his late mother begged him to avenge his father’s murder, Gideon Crew has been on a mission. Now, he is being closely observed --- and he may have an opportunity to use his skills for more than just this murder…

by Douglas Preston - Fiction, Thriller

In BLASPHEMY, Alexie unites fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology. The anthology includes some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem," “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” “The Toughest Indian in the World,” and “War Dances.” Alexie’s new stories --- about donkey basketball leagues, lethal wind turbines, the reservation, marriage, and all species of contemporary American warriors --- are fresh and quintessential.