Thursday, July 18, 2013

Two Graves

by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
484 pgs  (Pendergast series #12)

Two Graves completes the trilogy of books focusing on Helen, Special Agent Pendergast's wife. For twelve years he thought she had been killed in an African hunting accident, then his investigations into her death led him to believe that her death had not been accidental, then they led him to the realization that her death had been staged. And finally, as Cold Vengeance came to an end and he was reunited with her, she was quickly ripped away from him once again. 

With no question about her fate this time, Pendergast spirals into a state of extreme depression, to the point that his long-time associate with the New York Police department, Vincent D'Agosta is concerned that Pendergast may take his own life. In a last-ditch effort to bring Pendergast out of his depression, D'Agosta asks for his help in solving a string of brazen murders that have begun taking place in New York City hotels. Not only does the the case file intrigue him, but Pendergast discovers that the killer is taunting him specifically. Someone wants Pendergast to chase him and Pendergast is quick to oblige.

Pendergast's investigation into the murders takes him to Brazil, where he uncovers a fortress housing a group of doctors, who for decades have been conducting medical experiments on human subjects. At that point in the story my level of enjoyment for the book changed. It became a disappointment. I'll avoid any significant spoilers, but will reveal that these doctors are Nazis who fled to South America after the war, where they resumed their plans to perfect the human race. Not very original, and as I said, disappointing coming from two authors whom I've enjoyed reading for so long. I'm hopeful that eventually the Pendergast books will return to the glory days of Relic and Cabinet of Curiosities instead of what they've become recently--a slow-moving investigation into uninteresting aspects of Pendergast's life.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

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