Book Review: Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln ChildI’ve been waiting for months for the latest book in the Special Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child author duo. Ever since Relic, I’ve been devouring every single book, and I’m still not sated. If it were up to me, I’d read these books for the next century if I knew they would be still published.

I bought Verses for the Dead the very same day it was published, and I finished reading it in just a few hours. Not because it was short, but because it was so engrossing.

For the first time ever, Pendergast gets himself a partner, one who is tasked by their boss to spy on him. Because let’s face it, Pendergast is not only the FBI agent with the highest cased closed but also the one with the highest non-arrests (i.e. perps dead).

Now, Pendergast and junior FBI agent Coldmoon are tasked with finding a killer when it seems there is no killer at all. Still, Pendergast has his hunches, and his out-of-the-ordinary skills and methods will serve him well in the coming days.

In terms of plot, this book is standalone. It can be read on its own, although you’d miss out on some great character development for Pendergast. None of the FBI agent’s old friends are present: not Constance, not D’Agosta, not even his trusted butler and friend, Proctor. This time, Pendergast was away from home.

Initially, I was not sure I would like this new pairing, but, eventually, I got to like the story just as much as I liked the previous books in the series. Much of the story was seen from Coldmoon’s point of view, whose thoughts were laid open almost all the time, while he was still trying to figure out his new and elusive partner. As usual, we get to learn about Pendergast’s methods without actually getting into his head except for when he makes that information known with the rest of the team.

I guess that one almost preternatural feature is what makes Pendergast so attractive to many of us, readers. If he were the one to lay all the facts bare and talk us through his deductions and thought patterns, he wouldn’t be as mysterious and mystical, which makes him so alluring to most of his fans, while makes him so insufferable to most of his superiors.

The serial-killer plot was well-crafted, and it kept me quite engaged in trying to find the connection between the victims. Also, the twist at the island was quite unexpected.

Coldmoon was a better partner than initially implied. By the end, I got to quite like him. Pendergast and Coldmoon had a working chemistry, especially once they began trusting each other more. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind sometimes in the future their pass crossing once more.

For the readers who were expecting resolutions to past issues (e.g. Constance, etc), none of that is resolved here. For that, I simply treat this book as a quick case for Pendergast to sink his teeth into before he goes back home to pick up the pieces he left behind.

Previous Pendergast novels reviewed:

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