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I think this book might be one of the best in the series.
In this book Pendergast is facing consequences from his boss for actions he should not have taken in the previous book. His punishment is his involvement in D'Agosta's newest case of a murdered woman. She'd been shot through the heart and days later decapitated. There are quite a few murders after her. The chase is on for The Decapitater but everyone seems to be going in a different direction. It's kind of predictable who the killer is but until that person is revealed there is still a touch of uncertainty.
The epilogue does not give closure but instead peaks your curiosity as to where these characters will go in the next book.
Rene Auberjonois does an outstanding job narrating.
This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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47 of 49 people found this review helpful
I became a fan in 1995 with Relic and realized by the third or fourth Aloysius Pendergast novel that I was a devoted follower. In my 24 yrs. of guilty pleasuring with Preston-Child-Pendergast, I've ranted some, raved some, sworn them off then pre-ordered the next in the series with the same breath. The plotlines of these books are nonsensical: bloodthirsty monsters in the museum of natural history, Nazi experiments gone amok in the jungles of Brazil, crazed killer grizzlies raiding the ski cabins in Colorado (we won't even start on Constance Greene) blood relatives that seem straight out of the rogue's gallery. I've been all over the scale rating this series. Even the worst books in this 17 book series aren't really bad...they're just not excellent; they're what I call *ungood.* But always 100% captivating is Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, that tall cool, pale, Southern aristocrat that seems to balance so comfortably on the thin line between the earthly and the supernatural.
These authors usually play pretty fast and loose with reality so City of Endless Night might be a good place to start if you need to ease into the far-fetched literary exploits of these authors and their Aloysius Pendergast; it feels uncommonly normal for the series. The downside to jumping in here is you've missed all the fun. Aloysius is what keeps me coming back and this is a paler than usual Aloysius. He may have met his match with a murderer picking off some of New York's 1%ers, leaving their decapitated bodies and not the slightest clues.
This wasn't my favorite in the series. It rambled, it was dark, lacked some excitement, and a lot of Pendergast's endearing quirks seemed absent, the guy seemed preoccupied. I'm just hoping that had something to do with the epilogue (no spoilers here). I'm trying to be objective and view this through fresh eyes, which is hard to do after spending so much time with this threesome. I'm not disenchanted, but possibly a little worn out. I introduced my daughter to the series and she has the same enthusiasm that I once had in following the Pendergast canon. She also is more current with the history and can answer all my questions (except about Constance).
There are 3 elements that are consistently excellent with this series, and present in this novel: 1) Aloysius, a unique character that still intrigues me; 2) when these two authors stick out their pinkies and do their highbrow (Aloysius) writing...I've looked up so many hoity-toity words (his receptionist is his amanuensis) and it's Southern snobbery at its best; 3) Rene Auberjonois narrating Pendergast..nothing short of visual. So I'm just settling on 3*'s for the story and 5* for perfect narration, and that's all I'm going to say about this one,
Whether you are a devoted follower, new to the series, or just considering, I hope that you experience the pleasure of Pendergast and that it remains from #1 to #17 and so on.
[Now as far as some of the other books by this duo...I haven't been so charmed lately.]
34 of 39 people found this review helpful