From the Publisher
"Sherlock Holmes fans will relish Preston and Child's 13th novel featuring eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast (after 2012's Two Graves), one of their best in this popular series...easily stands on its own with only passing references to Pendergast's complex backstory."Publishers Weekly (starred review) on White Fire"
Another highly entertaining and genuinely thrilling story from Preston & Child starring their romantic, faintly gothic, and always mysterious FBI agent, Aloysius Pendergast. As always the prose is elegant, replete with exquisite descriptions, and this time we're treated to dashes of historic characters Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, as well as a positively delicious serving of the great Sherlock Holmes. Through myriad shocks, surprises, twists and turns, the suspense never lets up. Great fun to the last page."Anne Rice on White Fire"
The best Pendergast book yet - a collision between past and present that will leave you breathless."Lee Child on White Fire
The uneven 14th Aloysius Pendergast thriller (after 2013’s White Fire) from bestsellers Preston and Child gets off to a dramatic start. The eccentric FBI agent is enjoying a quiet evening reading poetry at home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when his ward, Constance Greene, answers a knock at the door, only to discover the bound corpse of one of his twin sons, Alban, who was revealed to be a serial killer in a prior series entry. Pendergast’s search for Alban’s murderer takes him to California’s isolated, eerie Salton Sea, which is skillfully evoked by the authors. Meanwhile, Pendergast’s longtime friend and inside man on the NYPD, Vincent D’Agosta, investigates the bludgeoning death of a technician at the New York Museum of Natural History. Less creepy and less suspenseful than the best entries in the Pendergast series, this installment also suffers from unimaginative explanations for the two crimes. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Nov.)
Preston and Child (White Fire, 2013, etc.) return with another adventure for modern crime fiction's most esoteric detective, FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. Badged by the FBI but given free rein, wealthy as a wizard Wall Street trader, intelligent enough to make Mensa members feel inferior, master of exotic Chongg Ran meditation, Pendergast, "skin as pale as marble, eyes like silver conchas," shoulders his custom 1911 Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special .45 and sets out to find the killer who deposited his estranged son, Alban, dead on his Manhattan mansion's doorstep. Alban is autopsied, and an exotic turquoise is found in his stomach. At the American Museum of Natural History, Pendergast consults an expert gemologist—worth reading if buying turquoise—and heads for California's Salton Sea in search of the Golden Spider Mine, all while giving only passing notice to a museum murder under investigation by his friend Lt. Vincent D'Agosta. So begins Pendergast's deconstruction of a deadly conspiracy originating with patent medicine and ending with bizarre battles—triflic acid, poison darts and Sumatran buckthorn as weapons—at the museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A Pendergast ancestor, Hezekiah, built the family's fortune on an elixir that ultimately left users with ALS- or Huntingon's Disease-like symptoms. Now the villain is spurred by epigenetic changes wrought on users' descendants by "Hezekiah's Compound Elixir and Glandular Restorative." Pendergast visits exotic climes for clues, and the authors offer sparkling descriptions—the Salton Fontainebleau is a "fantastical cross between a Chinese temple and an Asbury Park amusement parlor." Constance Greene and other familiar characters appear, and Pendergast learns a startling truth about Alban, whose warped psyche had once wrought havoc. Great character-driven crime fiction—readers new to the series won't be entirely lost, and Pendergast patrons will be thoroughly satisfied.