Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Mike Hammer, James Bond, Lew Archer. Those are the names of some of literature’s greatest fictional adventurers. Add the name Aloysius Pendergast to that list. Pendergast made his debut in Relic (1995) and each subsequent adventure has been a wonder to read. I’ve actually lost track of how many Pendergast novels have been published to date, but at least eleven. Authors Preston and Child have penned other books together and separately, but Aloysius Pendergast is their crowning achievement. Two Graves is really the conclusion of a trilogy so I suggest interested readers hunt down copies of  Fever Dream (2010) and Cold Vengeance (2011). Taken together, these three books should be viewed as masterpieces of detective fiction. And I think “detective” is the operative term here, although Aloysius Pendergast himself is an FBI agent. Preston and Child have written the best mystery series possible. In Fever Dream Pendergast discovered that his late wife had been murdered all of those years ago, so he sets out to discover the truth. And oh what a tangled web Preston and Child have weaved! The revelations in Cold Vengeance set the stage for Two Graves, their very best book to date. Two Graves is both the culmination of a fantastic trilogy and staging point for Pendergast’s next adventure. I can’t even imagine what that will be, and since I refuse to reveal vital plot details in my reviews, you’ll just have to pick up the series and find out for yourself. But trust me - Two Graves is a pulp fiction connoisseurs delight; it’s the icing on a bloody cake featuring literature’s most unusual (and fascinating) hero. Two Graves is really a book that you cannot afford to miss.

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