The Forgotten Room: A Novel

The Forgotten Room: A Novel

by Lincoln Child

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Professor Jeremy Logan (the quirky and charismatic “enigmalogist” who specializes in solving problems of the strange or seemingly supernatural variety) receives an urgent summons from the director of Lux, one of the oldest and most respected think tanks in America. An unexplainable tragedy has taken place in the sprawling compound located on the coastline of Newport, Rhode Island. One of Lux’s most distinguished doctors, overcome by erratic behavior, violently attacked his assistant before meeting with a gruesome self-inflflflffllflicted end. Deeply shaken by the incident and the bizarre evidence left behind from the doctor’s final project—as well as recent troubling behavior among several of the think tank’s other scientists—Lux fears there is something more sinister occurring within its walls and looks to Jeremy Logan to investigate.
     Logan quickly makes a surprising discovery. In a long-dormant wing of the estate, he uncovers an ingeniously hidden secret room, unknown and untouched for decades. The room is essentially a time capsule, fiffiilled with eerie machinery and obscure references to a top-secret experiment known as “Project S.” As Logan attempts to unravel its meaning, he begins to discern what transpired in that room—and why the frightening project was suddenly abandoned and sealed off many years before. As his work draws him ever deeper into harm’s way, Logan soon unleashes a series of catastrophic events upon the rest of Lux . . . and himself.
     One of Lincoln Child’s most thrilling novels to date, The Forgotten Room is replete with exhilarating action, veiled history, and mesmerizing science—making for a truly intelligent page-turner.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385531412
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Series: Jeremy Logan Series , #4
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 6,688
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lincoln Child is the New York Times bestselling author of The Third GateTerminal FreezeDeep StormDeath Match, and Utopia, as well as coauthor, with Douglas Preston, of numerous New York Times bestsellers, most recently White Fire. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.

Place of Birth:

Westport, Connecticut


B.A., Carleton College, 1979

Read an Excerpt


It was perhaps the most unusual sight ever beheld on the august and stately grounds of the Glasgow Institute of Science, founded in 1761 by grant of charter from George III. A large podium, studded with microphones, had been erected on the Great Lawn, directly in front of the administration building. Before it had been set some three dozen folding chairs, on which sat reporters from local newspapers, the Times of London, Nature magazine, Oceanography, Time, and a host of others. To the right of the podium were two television cameras, one from the BBC and the other from CNN. To the podium’s left was a large wooden scaffold, upon which sat a large, strange-­looking machine of dark metal: a cross between a cigar tube and a pincushion, about thirty feet long, with a bulky attachment protruding from its upper edge.

The restless chatter among the reporters grew muted as the main doors to the administration building opened and two men stepped out into the September afternoon sunlight. One was plump and short, with a shock of white hair and wearing a thick tweed coat. The other was tall and quite thin, with rather severe features, light brown hair, and alert gray eyes. Unlike the first man, he was dressed in a conservative dark suit.

The two approached the podium and the older man cleared his throat. “Ladies and gentlemen of the press,” he began, “thank you for coming. I am Colin Reed, provost of the Glasgow Institute of Science, and to my right is Jeremy Logan.”

Reed took a sip from a glass of water on one side of the podium, cleared his throat again. “You may well know of Dr. Logan’s work. He is perhaps the only, and certainly the preeminent, enigmalogist operating in the world today. His job is to investigate, interpret, and explain the—­for lack of a better word—­unexplainable. He throws light upon riddles of history; he separates myth from truth and the natural from the supernatural.”

At Reed’s side, Jeremy Logan frowned slightly, as if uncomfortable at this bit of panegyric.

“About two months ago, we contacted Dr. Logan on his home ground of Yale University and asked him to undertake an assignment for us. That assignment can be briefly explained: to definitively prove, or disprove, the existence of the creature popularly referred to as the Loch Ness monster. Dr. Logan has spent the last six weeks in Inverness, doing precisely that. I will now ask him to share his findings with you.”

Reed stepped back from the microphones and Logan approached. He surveyed the crowd of reporters for a moment, then began to speak. His voice was relatively low and mild, the mid-­Atlantic accent contrasting with Reed’s Scottish burr.

“The Loch Ness monster,” he began, “is the most famous of all the supposed Scottish lake monsters, perhaps the most famous of all cryptids. The institute’s aim in hiring me for this particular task was not to stunt the local tourism industry or to put peddlers of Loch Ness iconography out of business. Rather, it was to put a stop to the amateur and misguided attempts at searching for the creature—­attempts that have been on the increase recently and, at least twice in the last year, have resulted in deaths by drowning.”

He took a sip from his own water glass. “I quickly realized that proving the existence of the creature required only one thing—­observing it in its element. Proving that the creature does not exist, however, would require a great deal more work. Technology would be my greatest ally. Hence I persuaded the United States Navy, of which I was once a part, to lend me this one-­man research submersible.” And Logan waved at the strange-­looking machine sitting on the wooden scaffold to his right. “The submersible is equipped with continuous-­wave radar, synthetic aperture sonar, pulse-­compression echolocating devices, and numerous other tech­nologies for both underwater mapping and target acquisition.

“There were two important factors to take into account. First, the Loch is quite long and unusually deep—­seven hundred and fifty feet in places. Second, so-­called sightings of the creature suggested a morphology similar to a plesiosaur, which would put it at something between twenty and forty feet in length. There were several unknown variables to contend with, of course, such as the creature’s range of movement and environmental preferences, but these could not be determined until such time as it was located.

“I began by familiarizing myself with the features of the submersible and the layout of the loch—­both above and below the surface. My service in the navy made the former relatively straightforward. I spent one week in this shakedown period, during which time I uncovered no sign of the creature.

“Next, I had the institute procure for me some netting—­rather a lot of netting, in fact. Using spools of military-­grade nylon mesh, we put together a net ten thousand feet by eight hundred feet.”

This brought murmurs of surprise.

“What came next was rather tedious but—­after the first few run-­throughs—­quite straightforward. I was lucky in the fact that the loch, although some twenty miles long, is not particularly wide: just under two miles at its widest point. We started at the northernmost point of the loch and worked south. My work was aided by two research assistants from the institute and two motor launches out of Inverness. Each day, using the submersible, I would comb an area of the loch consisting of a single mile in a southerly direction. A mile-­long slice of the loch, as it were, along the x, y, and z axes. For each of these discrete slices, I would make three separate passes at different depths, using the submersible’s movement and targeting technologies to search for any objects the size of the creature. This equipment has significant range and precision; had any object of the requisite size been in the slice, I would have located it. At the end of each day, with the help of the research assistants—­one on each shore of the loch—­and the two boats on the loch itself, I moved the netting one mile forward, to the terminal point of my search for that day. This vast mesh covered the entire loch laterally, like an antisubmarine net. The mesh was broad enough for any normal fish to swim through without difficulty, but narrow enough to prevent anything larger than forty centimeters wide from passing. Watercraft were dealt with on a one-­by-­one basis.

“Each day I explored an additional one-­mile slice of the loch, searching for the creature. At the end of each day, as mentioned, we pulled the net forward another mile. After twenty days we reached the southern end of the loch—­without result. And so, ladies and gentlemen, you can take as fact the four words I’m about to speak—­though I speak them with some regret, since I enjoy cryptozoological legends as much as the next man: There ain’t no Nessie.”

This was greeted with applause, a scattering of laugher.

A low sound became audible in the distance: a droning, repetitive thudding. As the sound drew closer, it became identifiable as helicopter blades cutting through the air. Then a fat chopper with military markings appeared over a nearby hilltop lined with redbrick row houses. It approached quickly now—­an American Navy aircraft—­then descended, hovering directly over the Great Lawn and the dark gray submersible. Grass flattened out in a circular direction, and the reporters were forced to grab hats and papers to prevent them from flying. A technician in a jumpsuit trotted out a side door of the administration building, climbed up the wooden scaffolding, and attached two huge hooks that were reeled out of the helicopter’s belly onto fastenings on the upper surface of the submersible. He crawled back down, gave a thumbs-­up, and the helicopter began to rise gingerly, the craft swaying beneath it. Higher and higher it climbed, and then it turned slowly and began heading eastward, its peculiar cargo trailing behind it by the two lifelines. Within sixty seconds it was gone. The entire operation had taken less than five minutes.

Logan watched the distant horizon for a moment, then turned back to the press. “And now,” he said, “I would be happy to answer your questions as fully as I can.”

Three hours later, in the snug of the Edwardian-­era bar within Glasgow’s most opulent hotel, the same two persons—­Colin Reed and Jeremy Logan—­toasted each other over glasses of a peaty single-­malt scotch, served neat.

“An excellent performance,” Reed was saying. “And I don’t just mean at the press conference today—­an excellent performance from beginning to end.”

“Acting is new to me,” Logan replied. “But it’s nice to know that, if the ghost-­hunting business ever dries up, I can always supplement my Yale salary by treading the boards.”

“ ‘I would be happy to answer your questions as fully as I can,’ ” Reed said, chuckling at the memory. “Nice bit of prevarication, that.” He took a sip of his scotch. “Well, I think we can safely say that with today’s announcement—­in addition to the new rules that have been instituted regarding use of watercraft in the loch—­all this hunting for the monster will die off.”

“That’s the plan.”

Reed started, as if forgetting something. “Oh, yes.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a slender envelope. “Here’s your stipend.”

“I still feel bad taking money from the institute,” Logan said as he pocketed the envelope. “But I console myself with the thought that it’s recompense for the damage my reputation would suffer should the truth ever become known.”

“We thank you—­and, more important, I’m sure Nessie thanks you.” The provost paused. “You have the, ah, data with you?”

Logan nodded.

“And you still believe the best thing is to destroy it?”

“It’s the only option. What if those images got into the open—­or, God forbid, went viral on the Internet? It would undo everything we’ve accomplished. I’ll burn them as soon as I get up to my room.”

“You’re right, of course.” Reed hesitated. “May I . . . may I have one last look?”

“Of course.” Logan glanced around the bar, then unlocked the Zero Halliburton attaché case that sat on the banquette beside him, extracted a folder, and passed it to Reed. The man took it, opened it, and leafed through the pages within, his eyes glittering with hungry fascination.

The pages contained images produced from a variety of technologies: acoustic backscatter, synthetic aperture pulse, active beam-­forming sonar. The images all showed the same thing, in different positions and from different angles: a creature with a bulky, ovoid body; lateral fins; and a long, slender neck. Reed lingered over the images for a moment. Then, with a rueful sigh, he closed the folder and passed it back to Logan.

Just as Logan was returning it to his attaché case, a man in the hotel’s uniform walked up to their table. “Dr. Logan?” he asked.

Logan nodded.

“There’s a call for you. It’s waiting at the front desk.”

Logan frowned. “I’m in the middle of a meeting. Can’t it wait?”

The man shook his head. “No, sir. I’m afraid the party on the line said that the matter was urgent. Most urgent.”

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The Forgotten Room: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
RickT-1111 More than 1 year ago
Eerie behavior and a strange room in a very old mansion. Both made the book opening very compelling. How the answers to these mysteries come together and are revealed was very intriguing. It pulled me in and kept my fascination. This was a great and fun book to read.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
This is another excellent thriller from Lincoln Child, one half of my favorite writing team (Douglas Preston). Jeremy Logan is asked to consult at Lux, a Newport, RI think tank that he had previously worked at. Edward Stratchy, one of the scientists had committed suicide in a very gruesome way. Immediately prior to the event, Stratchy had started acting very strangely for no apparent reason. Additionally, around that time other Lux employees had also exhibited strange behaviors and had seen some or heard odd things. Logan is a professional “debunker” having recently worked at Loch Ness looking for the creature that is sometimes seen at the Loch. Lux feels with his qualifications, Logan is the perfect man for the job. What he finds is that there was no reason for what happened to Stratchy as he was very fulfilled both professionally and personally. Stratchy had been put in charge of restoring the unused West Wing of Lux and as an architecture buff could take pleasure in restoring the Victorian mansion wing and help to update it for the Lux scientists’ use. Logan begins by looking at the work that Stratchy was doing. He happens upon a recently sealed up section of wall in the West wing and when he enters he finds an uncharted room that apparently had been sealed up about 70 years prior. Jeremy has some special intuitive abilities and starts sensing weird things from the room. He is convinced that the room had something to do with what happened to Stratchy and the other affected scientists at Lux. As Jeremy investigates it seems that there are some others that know about the room and want to stop Jeremy at all costs. This book hooked me from the beginning and it is one of Child’s better solo undertakings. There are a lot of similarities to how the research and archive areas of Lux are described to the Museum of Natural History areas that are prevalent in his Pendergast novels. Logan is an interesting individual and could become a recurring character for him like Robert Langdon is for Dan Brown. There are some tense moments involved, especially as those that want to stop Logan become more desperate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A mystery wrapped in layers of crime, science, romance and human foibles. This fast pace book had me reading with a hunger to know what was going to happen next. The Who Dunnit aspect was artfully done. The science wrapped in the intrigue believable and left me wondering "what if". I strongly recommend this book if a murder mystery technology thriller is to your liking or interest.
Areview More than 1 year ago
I have come to enjoy L. Child's imagination, rooted in science, but always diverting on a strange tangent. Spooky science fiction! Good stuff!
Mayor More than 1 year ago
Makes you wonder what kinds of things are going on in our world that we don't know about, but could affect us anyway.
Sasha-Riley More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting, however, not his best. Child is at his best with his writing partner Preston. I wish they would get back together on more books like they wrote in earlier years. They were truly mysterious and somewhat scary.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was a great stand-alone book. I loved the suspense, intrigue and characters.  It kept me on the edge of my seat. Throughout the whole story.  I hope there will be more like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting.... A fast read....l love all of his books
Labayou More than 1 year ago
I must say that I have loved Child's books for many many years. This one "The Forgotten Room" was not very good. I pre-ordered it, that's how confident I was that I'd love it. But I have forgotten it already. Generally a good story stays with me for days and I even think about the characters for a while. Not so with this story. And I didnt like the main character immediately because he's a liar, you find that out quickly. But you never understand why. Disappointed.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Enjoyable thriller/mystery, and entertaining! I enjoy Professor Logan's character. I was looking forward to a supernatural twist, but the evil and brilliant scientist theme worked out too. Looking forward to the next book.
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Could not stay awake while reading this book no matter what time of day. I can't believe he is the same author that wrote Utopia and co-authored the Pendergast books!
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PBinTEXAS More than 1 year ago
Really liked this book. Kept my interest and sometimes I had no idea what was going to happen next. That is what I like!
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AldaAmber More than 1 year ago
A different type of book I thought for Lincoln Child. It is, however, a book that holds your interest to the very end. It holds some surprises. I did enjoy reading it.
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KathrynCN More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book, but the plot and ending were rather unoriginal and predictable. Definitely not a 'page turner'.
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