We've waited ages for the latest Pendergast/D'Agosta book and this one didn't quite make it out of the ballpark. There was all the parts we love (Pendergast's quirky/mysterious way of getting things done, fantastic religious beliefs, and the language of author Child's of descriptions). However, this book brooded on D'Agosta inability to deal with the situations. He bumbled about and seemed like an irritant as opposed to real help in finding clues. I'll stay a fan of the Penderagast/D'Agosta series. I will just have to wait for the next book to satisfy my hunger.
Overall: It was OK. I felt like I could see everything happening like you'd see in a movie, there is plenty of action, and suspense going on, and I did want to find out who did it and what will happen, but I just didn't connect very well to the main characters. Maybe this is because I hadn't read the earlier books or because it just wasn't my thing. It felt like when I watch CSI: Miami. I like certain characters, but I cannot connect with Horatio Caine, and he's the main guy, so in the end I can watch a show or two, but I am not so enthusiastic about it. That's my problem here.
This was certainly an exciting book - and what a shocking beginning! To think that one of the central characters of so many of the previous books is killed in the very first chapter! Not to mention the lack of follow-up after the situation left hanging in the end of _The Wheel of Darkness_... well, there was brief mention about a hundred pages from the end but it was not quite what I expected it to be! I am very curious about where this series is headed and how much longer it will go on if they are killing off main characters like this! The ending was quite mysterious as well, so I hope they release information about the next book soon! The plot of this one was not as shocking as some of their other books, and in many ways the Ville bore striking similarities to the lost tribe of _The Relic_...
I recently read Preston & Child's most recent novel, Old Bones, which features Nora Kelly, the archaeologist who debuted in one of my favorite Preston/Child stories, Thunderhead. I really enjoyed Old Bones and found out in it that Kelly's husband, Bill Smithback, had been killed in an earlier novel. I was unaware of this so I decided that I needed to continue with the Pendergast series of which I had not read since the 7th book in the series, Book of the Dead. Well this volume is where Smithback gets killed and it was as usual a very tense and exciting read in the series. It appeared that Smithback was killed by a man who had died 10 days earlier. So how and who killed Smithback? Was the man a zombie that had risen from the dead using voodoo? This all leads to a strange cult of people living at an old church and compound on the northern most part of Manhattan Island. This cult was being written about by Smithback because they were apparently sacrificing animals as part of their strange rituals. Was this a motive for Smithback's killing? The story gets stranger and stranger as Pendergast and D'Agosta try to determine what is really going on. In the mean time Nora gets kidnapped and an animal rights group is hell bent on destroying the cult and putting a stop to the sacrificing of animals.
This was one of the better novels in the Pendergast series. A real page turner that kept me guessing up till the end. I'll be looking forward to continuing on with the rest of the series.