Crimson Shore (Agent Pendergast)
By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
Crimson Shore is the latest outing with Agent Aloysis Pendergast, #15 in the series. I went into this novel knowing nothing about it. When I saw it was a Pendergast novel, it was an automatic read for me.
The book opens with an unusual request – for Pendergast to moonlight as a private detective. A wine cellar has been robbed – thousands of dollars of rare wines gone. Of course, this seemingly straight forward crime is not at all what it seems.
In any investigation, ninety-nine percent of the information gathered is irrelevant. In the search for that one percent, many offensive questions must be asked and many people aggravated. Nothing personal.
As far as mysteries go, this one is pretty standard fare. If you’ve ever read an Agent Pendergast novel, you know that this in itself is highly unusual. At the heart of every Pendergast mystery is something unusual and typically supernatural. Instead, Lincoln and Child save the supernatural until after the mystery is solved.
What worked for me.
Constance Greene. It seems in the majority of the Pendergast novels we have little to no Constance Greene in them. Constance accompanies Pendergast to help out with his inquiries. She and Pendergast were a great duo, and I hope she is featured more prominently in future novels.
The mystery of the missing wine. While not traditional Pendergast fare, it was nice to see him solving a more traditional mystery.
The ending. Of course Lincoln and Child like to leave us with a cliffhanger.
What didn’t work.
The supernatural. Normally, the supernatural works well with the mysteries, but in the case of Crimson Shore it felt forced into the story. Especially the way it was done. The mystery is over and then all of a sudden the supernatural shows up. Normally the supernatural element is woven in throughout the novel and everything flows so much better.
Overall I enjoyed the story, with the exception of the forced supernatural element.
If you’re a Pendergast fan, you’ll want to read Crimson Shore. It is fun to see Constance in a more prominent role, and the ending is a definite cliff hanger into the next book.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.