Here’s the blurb from Barnes & Noble:
Pendergast-the world’s most enigmatic FBI Special Agent-returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult.
William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan‘s Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor-a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta undertake their own private-and decidedly unorthodox-quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and vodou which no outsiders have ever survived.
The Short of It:
A somewhat entertaining romp through dark, cavernous tunnels complete with zombies, sarcastic quips and a larger than life storyline. Suspend your disbelief with this one.
Thrillers don’t do it for me anymore. However, one guilty pleasure that I admitted to here, is to sit down and read a good Preston and Child novel. They’ve written several and about half of them center around Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta. I love it when these two characters get together to work on a case. Special Agent Pendergast is more “high brow,” more refined and D’Agosta is more “matter-of-fact” and to the point. It’s a good mix.
That said…I have no idea what happened with this novel. All the elements were there. A bizarre murder takes place, Pendergast and D’Agosta arrive to investigate, craziness ensues, the crime is solved. However, you see that part where I said that craziness ensues? Well, think zombies. Think, animal sacrifice. Think, missing bodies. Think, voooooodoooooo.
(Insert Chuckle Here)
If you are a big fan, as I am, you can either get really frustrated at how unbelievable the storyline is, or just throw your arms up in the air and give in to it. I fought it at first, then I gave in and it ended up being pretty entertaining in the end. Perhaps Preston and Child have amassed so much of a following that they decided to have fun with this one? That is what I’d like to believe.
If you’ve never read a Preston & Child novel, please do not let this review deter you. I urge you to pick up Relic, Mount Dragon, Riptide or Thunderhead. Relic being my favorite to date. They are all page-turners and even readers that are not fond of thrillers will have fun with them.
If you are like me, and a real fan, you will still appreciate the banter between Pendergast and D’Agosta. Just know ahead of time that it will be a much more entertaining experience if you suspend your disbelief and just go with the flow.
Thanks to Miriam over at Hachette for sending this book to me!
If you’d like to read more about Preston and Child click here to visit their website.