RRP $29.99 August 2010
Orion Fiction Paperback (234 x 153)
At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful -discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle - her only protection from the beast - had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead and why? With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden.
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I read the book in one sitting. I must say that Preston-Child are showing some love back to Prendergast series after the last couple of mis-haps ( yes, wheel of darkness quite ruined the series for me ). This book gets basic elements right and tells a compelling story set in the heart of American south.
One thing that I have noticed about Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's recent partnership novels was a distinct break in writing styles chapter by chapter. After reading their solo works, it was easy to pick out who wrote the action type chapters and who wrote the more setting and character building ones. It was getting old and honestly, Pendergast was starting to wear thin. He became sort of a superhero character that could never make a mistake, and was always 1 step ahead of everyone else, and I think that the more this happened, the more I really stopped enjoying him as the main focal point of a novel.
This book signals the return to form for the authors. Recurring characters are kept to a minimum and story is fast paced with thriller elements. Sherlockian style is quite visible here more than any other novels. Also the books seems to leave quite loose ends of the story for continuation in another book, but is not quite unwelcome. We would love another great story by the authors.
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