Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Grand Central, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Martina Bexte
reston and Child return to the familiar setting of New York City in
. There their long-standing and reader-favourite cast - that includes Sherlock Holmes wannabe, FBI Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast; erstwhile friend and sometime sidekick, Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta; and Captain Laura Hayward - investigate the shocking murder of their friend, popular New York Times reporter William Smithback.
espite having no official clearance to work the case, Vinnie and Pendergast decide to do some digging of their own as a favour to Museum of Natural History archaeologist Nora Kelly. She and Smithback had known each other for years, either in a professional or personal capacity, and were celebrating their first wedding anniversary the night of his death. The case is clearly open and shut. Dozens of witnesses, including Nora, have identified Colin Fearing, Nora and Bill's creepy, out of work neighbour, as the killer. His strangely lurching image had even been captured on surveillance video. That Fearing had made a couple of drunken advances toward Nora only solidifies the evidence against him. But once Vinnie and Pendergast dig deeper into the actor's background, they discover something very disturbing: their prime suspect had apparently committed suicide ten days before his supposed deadly attack on Smithback.
his puzzling evidence eventually leads the pair to the gated estate of a secretive cult of Obeah worshippers whose odd religion includes the blood sacrifice of animals - and if rumours are true, human victims as well. Using his own unorthodox contacts and investigative techniques, Pendergast - as well as a very sceptical Vinnie - forge into the uncharted territory of zombies and the Voudon religion. Have the cult members learned how to raise the dead and dispatch them to do their bidding? Or is there a more logical explanation surrounding the strange circumstances of the fatal attack on William Smithback?
reston and Child provide another highly entertaining and - any time voodoo is tossed into the bubbling cauldron - very creepy mystery that serves up a generous helping of suspects to drive the plot forward and keep you guessing. It's not a stretch to figure out whodunit. The challenge is deciphering the killer's motivation - which ends up being incredibly convoluted and almost manages to elude even the brilliant Pendergast. If you're a fan of Preston and Child's long-running series starring the engagingly unconventional Aloysius Pendergast, then make sure to add
to your collection.
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