By: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Publisher: Grand central Publishing
Publication Date: November 2013
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: November 17, 2013
“The shudder of fear is as sensual as the shudder of pleasure, if not more so.” This is a line that speaks volumes when it comes to putting together a review of this latest incredible novel by Preston & Child.
Special Agent Pendergast is a character who has become beloved by millions. From his introduction in The Relic to his incredible growth and presence in a score of others, Special Agent Pendergast books have literally been A+ across the board.
In this new offering, the line above is stated by Oscar Wilde at a dinner table in 1889. Wilde is about to tell the gruesome tale he heard when he was on a speaking tour in the U.S.. You see, Wilde had come across a small town called Roaring Fork. This town was basically made up of miners long ago; men who barely ever saw the light of day because of the hard work they had to do. One miner told Wilde a story regarding men who were killed by an overly-hungry bear. Wilde offers up this tale to Arthur Conan Doyle, and watches as the creator of Sherlock Holmes turns pale and rushes away.
Oscar Wilde is not the only one to see Roaring Fork. In present day, Pendergast’s protégé, Corrie Swanson, also finds herself traveling to this location in order to write her thesis. She is only a Junior and has very little chance of winning the grant/award she needs. But when a strange story appears on her horizon and she’s told that bodies in a cemetery in Roaring Fork were actually dug up and moved so that a billionaire community could be built there, Corrie uncovers a project that she knows will blow her professor’s mind.
Roaring Fork is veiled with the glitz and glam that comes from wealthy snobs who want nothing more than to live in an exclusive community, when they’re not living in their palatial mansions elsewhere. But there are also many secrets lodged within the glittering village; secrets that Corrie stumbles across when she rubs a woman of power the wrong way.
The characters are many; from a librarian who wants to help Corrie and despises the rich; to a Sheriff who really wants nothing but coffee and quiet, and for all the bad stuff to stay far away; to a military woman who has more problems than you can possibly count.
And when an arsonist begins to take their revenge at the same time as Corrie uncovers a human defilement of mammoth proportions, the story goes from A+ to A++.
Pendergast is the quiet, accented voice; he is the man in black who brings more intelligence and more satisfaction to the story than any character ever written. Helping all he can, Pendergast soon finds himself heading back to the past to see if perhaps Sherlock Holmes once had the answers to his present-day problems.
Quill says: Amazing; excellent; exhilarating - name an adjective! The only wish from readers like me is that Pendergast could have a book every month. But he IS always worth the wait! Outstanding, once again, gentlemen - thank you!