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The 15th book in the acclaimed Pendergast thriller series by the author duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, called Crimson Shore, delivered everything we’ve come to expect from the series and left us wanting for more.
Special Agent Pendergast does not do freelance work involving private cases and he is very clear about that. However, even he must break his own rule when a Mr. Lake pays him a visit and tells him a seemingly bland – yet increasingly interesting story.
Mr. Lake’s wine collection has been stolen from his cellar, a collection worth tenths of thousands of dollar and he wants Agent Pendergast to find the burglars and if possible retrieve the missing wine. This does not move Pendergast at all until Mr. Lake reveals a strange tidbit. A single case of the most expensive wine he has ever possessed is in fact still in the cellar, untouched.
This wine is so rare and close to extinction, that in the spur of the moment he decides to take on the case, calling it a short vacation, a ‘refreshing break’ involving another favorite character in the series, Constance Greene.
And so the next adventure in the life of Special Agent Pendergast begins. He is now fully recovered from his previous adventure in Blue Labyrinth, and as it seems he is ready for action once again. However what even Pendergast couldn’t predict is that the case turns out to be anything but bland and boring.
In fact this book goes again back to the roots of what made the Pendergast series so good in the first place: lots of action, tension, suspense involving a host of great (good and bad) characters, along with just enough creepiness to keep us on our toes and with the light open when reading during the night.
I’ve noticed from the last book already that Constance has begun to feature more prominently in the stories, and I was tickled pink to see her here on equal footing with Pendergast, solving the case right along with him. Not only that, but this time around, in Crimson Shore, it’s only Pendergast and Constance featured, while none of the others are even mentioned until the very last pages of the book.
I guess the authors listened to the readers’ wishes of learning more about Constance and having more of her around, but she is around alright. Not only the action but also the fire and romantic emotions are running high in this latest story. There is an undeniable attraction between the two which I am actually curious to see where it leads – if at all – in the future.
Constance is a force to be reckoned with, and this time around the authors decided to top the balance a bit between the two characters, by allowing Pendergast to be human, a person who can make judgmental errors, while Constance’s gut feeling about the case should not be easily dismissed.
It was strange to see Pendergast not being as sharp as before. Were I to read this book as first in the series I might not have felt the same way about him, as being a special, almost out of this world figure. I assume this is another reason why the Pendergast books in the series must be read in order!
As for the story itself, until halfway through the book I thought ‘ok this is an average Pendergast story with some criminals to be caught’. However, the authors knew what they were doing when they gave us the second part, the creepy part which we have all to come to expect from this series.
And the ending – now that was a shocker and a cliffhanger if I’ve ever seen one. Because now reading the next book is a must in order to see what happened with…
…and I’ll leave it at that.
Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Series: Pendergast #15
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review Copy
Also by this author: White Fire, Extraction, Blue Labyrinth, Beyond The Ice Limit, The Obsidian Chamber, The Lost City of the Monkey God, City of Endless Night, The Third Gate, The Forgotten Room, Full Wolf Moon