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. In the prologue, set in 1889 at a London restaurant, Oscar Wilde not only advises Conan Doyle on how to improve the character of Holmes, who so far has appeared only in A Study in Scarlet, but also tells a horrible tale about a mining camp that the aesthete visited during his American tour a few years before. The details of Wilde’s story gradually come out in the main, present-day narrative, in which Pendergast’s protégé, Corrie Swanson, a student at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is undertaking “a large-scale study of perimortem trauma on human bones inflicted by a large carnivore.” Her starting point will be Roaring Fork, Colo., where a bear killed and ate 11 miners in 1876. Corrie’s arrival in Roaring Fork coincides with a serious of grisly murders that Pendergast later comes to believe are related to the 19th-century bear attacks. Lee Child, Clive Cussler, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub have all supplied blurbs for this installment, which easily stands on its own with only passing references to Pendergast’s complex backstory. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Nov.)
Associated Press Staff
"Small-town politics, murder, a century-old conspiracy, arson and a detective who embodies a modern-day Holmes add up to an amazing journey."
"A remarkable plot that ties together multiple killings - some more than a century old - a secret Sherlock Holmes story and a meeting between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle keep readers glued to the page."
"Fans of Sherlock Holmes will devour Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's latest thriller, not only because of its connection to Conan Doyle, but because Pendergast bears a striking resemblance to the iconic detective, and has powers as eerily uncanny as Sherlock's. Readers will race toward the final page and, once there, will thirst for more."
Providence Sunday Journal
"Corrie teams up with her mentor, none other than the investigative genius and series stalwart Aloysius Pendergast, in unearthing a web of deceit, conspiracy, and cover-up. He's never been better, and neither have the ever-reliable Preston and Child. "White Fire" blazes on high heat from the first page to the last, a wholly satisfying and relentlessly suspenseful tale."
"WHITE FIRE is a perfect introduction for any reader not yet acquainted with A.X.L. Pendergast, one of the most memorable detectives in contemporary thrillerdom."
"What Preston and Child are so good at are exemplified here: solid research, clear swift prose and enough twists to fill a jar of pretzels. Sit back, crack open the book and get ready for the ride of your life."
"The best Pendergast book yet - a collision between past and present that will leave you breathless."
"Preston and Child have done it again! WHITE FIRE continues their white hot streak of bestselling suspense as the most eccentric and ruthlessly clever FBI agent in the business, Pendergast, takes on old money and even older secrets with some literary help from Sherlock Holmes. Simply brilliant!"
"I've read every Pendergast thriller. This is the most suspenseful and most horrifying of them all. This book holds chills you can't imagine. I'm still shuddering. I promise-- you'll shudder, too."
Preston and Child (Two Graves, 2012, etc.) bring back FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, expert in the psychology of serial killers and other criminal deviants. Pendergast is independently wealthy, and despite his cold, logical nature, he possesses a certain compassion, explaining his support of the once-troubled, youthful Corrie Swanson as she navigates the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Corrie needs a thesis to please a chauvinist professor. She finds it after discovering a story told by Oscar Wilde to Arthur Conan Doyle at a literary dinner. The tale related to no crime, but rather the 1876 killing of miners in Roaring Fork, Colo., by a grizzly bear. Her thesis: a study of perimortem trauma on human bones. The problem: Roaring Fork is now a ski resort of "oppressive wealth, entitlement, and smugness"--think Aspen--and the powers-that-be, land-developing descendants of silver barons who raped the mountains, deny her access to the bodies recently exhumed because of a new construction project. Pendergast leverages permission, and Swanson begins her study, only to discover the miners were killed--and cannibalized--by humans. Shocking, certainly, but something else wicked her way comes: A modern-day fiend is murdering moneyed Roaring Fork residents and incinerating their bodies by burning down their mansions. Pendergast remains one of crime fiction's memorable protagonists--pale, silvery of eye, inscrutable of mien, always black-clad--and it's he who discovers the old deaths bear witness to the new. The authors provide a reasonable supporting cast, including a rich-boy ski bum now town librarian; an overwhelmed sheriff who grows into his job; Roger Kleefisch, a Baker Street Irregular, who assists Pendergast in uncovering lost Conan Doyle esoterica; and Captain Stacy Bowdree, lone descendant of one of the dead miners. Jaded crime fiction buffs might find the premise hyperbolic, but beneath the overwrought headlines Pendergast solves captivating mysteries.
"WHITE FIRE is as incandescent as its title, a beautifully organized, tautly paced book that really did just yank me in and demand that I keep reading. I'm very grateful for the experience."
"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."
"Preston and Child have created a terrific mix of mystery and the unexpected that will keep you reading into the late hours of the night. They promise a great read and they have delivered."
The Washington Post on Two Graves
"The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and Two Graves delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters...authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book....The gothic atmosphere that oozes from the pages of Two Graves will envelop the reader in a totally unique experience...The mystery tantalizes, and the shocks throughout the narrative are like bolts of lightning."
Bookreporter.com on Two Graves
"Two Graves provides readers exactly what they would expect from a Preston and Child novel --- thrills, high adventure, treacherous plot twists and well-researched scientific intrigue. The story is never predictable, and Pendergast is a multi-layered personality who keeps you guessing throughout."
RT Book Reviews on Cold Vengeance
"Preston and Child continue their dominance of the thriller genre with stellar writing and twists that come at a furious pace. Others may try to write like them, but no one can come close. The best in the business deliver another winner."
"A mile-a-minute thriller with a deeply entertaining plot and marvelous characters, in a setting that will chill your blood, and not only because it's 10 degrees below zero and covered with snow. My copy is full of crumbs because I couldn't put it down long enough to eat."
From the Publisher
"The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and Two Graves delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters...authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book....The gothic atmosphere that oozes from the pages of Two Graves will envelop the reader in a totally unique experience...The mystery tantalizes, and the shocks throughout the narrative are like bolts of lightning."The Washington Post on Two Graves"
Two Graves provides readers exactly what they would expect from a Preston and Child novel - thrills, high adventure, treacherous plot twists and well-researched scientific intrigue. The story is never predictable, and Pendergast is a multi-layered personality who keeps you guessing throughout."Bookreporter.com on Two Graves"
Pendergastan always-black-clad pale blond polymath, gaunt yet physically deadly, an FBI agent operating without supervision or reprimandlurks at the dark, sharp edge of crime fiction protagonists."Kirkus Reviews"
Preston and Child continue their dominance of the thriller genre with stellar writing and twists that come at a furious pace. Others may try to write like them, but no one can come close. The best in the business deliver another winner."RT Book Reviews on Cold Vengeance
This is no dream; it's the authors' best book in years. Pendergast has to rein in his feelings to pay attention to the details, and it's fun to see the role reversal between him and the usually emotional D'Agosta. Not to be missed by either newcomers or die-hard fans."Library Journal (starred review) for Fever Dream
In searching for a topic for her thesis, Corrie Swanson, a third-year criminal justice student, finds an article about a conversation between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle that had the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes fleeing from the room horrified. Learning that in 1876 a number of miners in the town of Roaring Fork, CO, had been attacked and eaten by a grizzly bear, Corrie travels to Roaring Fork to examine the miners' bones, but before she gets a look, the developers of the town's exclusive ski resort have her thrown in jail on trumped-up charges. Corrie did see enough to believe that the marks on the bones were made by something much more sinister than a bear. FBI Special Agent Aloysius Xingu L. Pendergast (Two Graves) comes to her rescue and offers his help. As a series of arsons threaten to light up Roaring Fork, Corrie and Aloysius must solve the riddle of the town's past. VERDICT Preston and Child have again given the readers a vibrant, thrilling, and sometimes shocking read with unexpected twists and surprises that is sure to delight. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/13.]—Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Adairsville, GA