I'm not one to normally pull paperbacks from the bestseller list. The content of these is usually the same banal trash designed to feed the impotent minds of the masses. However, after much encouragement from a friend whose opinion I trust, I gave "The Relic" a shot, and I am certainly glad I did. Preston and Child have created a riviting thriller with enough science involved to ground it somewhat in reality, creating a believability factor that actually gives the book some scary moments; that's _scary_, not merely a cheap blood-fest for sales value. They also managed to incorporate the science in such a way that it is keeps the story interesting without going into the excruciating detail of authors like Tom Clancy. As in most novels, a few of the tricks they try with the computer system are hoaky -- I could probably name the authors who can write accurate technology fiction on one hand -- but they obviously did enough research to get most of the computer concepts fairly close to reality. All in all, a good read. I would recommend this book to a wide variety of readers.