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In the latest book in the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Pendergast series, City of Endless Night, Pendergast is back, once again, this time working together with his friend, lieutenant CDS Vincent D’Agosta, to solve a baffling series of murders where the victims are expertly decapitated, with the heads nowhere to be found.
Reading the Pendergast novels in order is always a real pleasure for me (the series is written by one of my favorites author duos, after all), so I was looking eagerly forward to picking up the latest installment, City of Endless Night. Having just finished reading it, I can easily say that it is one of the best books of 2018 (and I say this at the beginning of the year!).
As a City of Endless Night summary, when a young woman’s body is discovered in Queens in an empty warehouse, the police can’t identify her because her head is missing. Still, the issue is compounded by the fact that there is no blood at the crime scene, which can only mean that she was probably murdered someplace else.
Pendergast is asked for his help since the murder could have taken place across the state, which means this is a case for the FBI. For some reason, Pendergast is not overly excited at the prospect, and he is not his usual self. To find out why, reading the previous Pendergast novel, Obsidian Chamber, is highly advised because it gives you the answer at the end of the book (hint, it has something to do with Constance Green).
Eventually, it turns out that the victim is Grace Ozmian, the daughter of a ruthless billionaire who is liked by nobody in the world. He is evil beyond measure and he has the means to go after the killer himself. He gets involved in a subplot with a reporter, that was interesting but not really part of the main storyline. Still, it added a lot to the reader understanding Ozmian’s character.
The longer the investigation takes, the more decapitated bodies pile up and the more confused both the police and the FBI become. Suspects are plenty, but one by one they are eliminated as unlikely candidates. It takes almost the entire book and Pendergast’s sharp mind and strong wit to figure out it. To be honest, I had an inkling at the real murdered, however, there was an element to one of the murders that made me hesitant to accept the truth.
The things really picked up towards the end, when Pendergast came face to face with the killer and he knew that only through his strong wit he would be able to get out of the situation alive and take his opponent down. At some point, Pendergast even told D’Agosta that this killer was his strongest opponent until now. I kept thinking that I thought Diogenes held that place…I guess I was wrong.
City of Endless Night can be easily read as a standalone novel, except for the issue of Pendergast’s brooding, because that is related to something that happened in the previous book. But even that will be resolved by the end of the story.
There really aren’t many recurring characters in this story except for Vincent, and to a lesser part, Vincent’s wife, Laura Hayward, and even to a lesser extent, Constance Greene.
I love that the authors have returned to the style of their earlier books where the constant action was quite prevalent and you were at the edge of your seat all the time. So was with this book. I read it in two main sittings because I had to know what would happen next.
Usually, I keep saying that reading the Pendergast books in order is a must. It is, indeed, except for this latest novel. It can be easily read on its own because Pendergast’s character and background are not as much highlighted as the hunt for the serial killer itself.
The City of Endless Night release date for the paperback, Kindle book and Audible is January 16, 2018.
PRAISE FOR THE PRESTON & CHILD PENDERGAST SERIES
“THE OBSIDIAN CHAMBER doesn’t let up. The authors keep readers guessing… The crisp writing and exemplary stories are still in abundance in this consistently exciting and never predictable series.”
— Jeff Ayers, Associated Press, on THE OBSIDIAN CHAMBER
“It’s like Christmas for lovers of suspense when the words ‘Preston & Child’ once again appear on a book cover. It’s a truly great Christmas when the main character of that novel is Aloysius X.L. Pendergast.”
— Suspense Magazine, on CRIMSON SHORE
“Fast-moving, sophisticated, and bursting with surprises.”
— Washington Post, on BLUE LABYRINTH
“Small-town politics, murder, a century-old conspiracy, arson and a detective who embodies a modern-day Holmes add up to an amazing journey.”
— Associated Press on WHITE FIRE
“These dynamic authors’ best thriller to date.”
—Library Journal on WHITE FIRE (Top 10 Thrillers of 2013)
“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.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review) on WHITE FIRE
City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Series: Pendergast #17
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review Copy
Also by this author: White Fire, Extraction, Blue Labyrinth, Crimson Shore, Beyond The Ice Limit, The Obsidian Chamber, The Lost City of the Monkey God, The Third Gate, The Forgotten Room, Full Wolf Moon