THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. New York: Warner Books, 2007, 388 pp., $25.99 (cloth)

Tales of suspense that incorporate obscure aspects of the supernatural from ancient civilizations have long enjoyed a popular following. Take William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist” (1971), a huge best-seller and blockbuster film about the spine-chilling repercussions from exhuming an Iraqi demon.

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