Sunday, January 12th, 2014
The Short Take:
Hooray! Preston and Child have forsaken the continuing stories of their recent books for a thriller than stands alone. Agent Pendergast is as frustrating (to others) and fascinating (to readers) as ever. Plus this outing has connections to Sherlock Holmes, a string of mysterious deaths 150 years ago, and a modern arsonist. All that keeps those pages turning.
Preston and Child write excellent thrillers, but their last few outings have been built around rather complicated ongoing story lines that eventually bogged things down. Not so this time. Plus, Corrie Swanson, the rebellious young girl who made Still Life With Crows such a breakthrough hit, returns to center stage. Thankfully, there’s only one four-page reference to the old ongoing story. So, if you aren’t a regular reader, just skip Chapter 22.
Actually, this book is an excellent first introduction to the enigmatic, eccentric, and most excellent Agent Pendergast. Of course, this being a thriller, there are plenty of tense moments and life-threatening scares. You may think you know what’s going to happen next. And, you may be wrong.
But the icing on the cake is the inclusion of a Sherlock Holmes angle. I won’t divulge more except to say that it is completely audacious and great fun.
A Little Plot:
Corrie wants to write a prize winning thesis for her criminal studies course and decides to study the bones of Colorado miners killed by a grizzly bear in 1876. She heads to what is now a exceedingly posh resort town in hopes of studying how grizzly bear claws and teeth left their marks. However, that’s not what she finds.
Instead, Corrie lands in a lot of trouble. Pendergast comes to her aid, but a terrifying case of arson grabs his attention.
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