Ho Hum. A disappointing climax to an otherwise interesting trilogy beginning with Fever Dream (by the same authors). The series itself begins with the book Relic, which was made into a pretty awful movie starring Tom Schizemore some years ago; a shame as the story was pretty good. Anyhow the series follows an affluent but mysterious FBI agent named Pendergast (you actually don’t find out much about him, including his first name, until several books into the series) strangely engaged in only the more macabre cases. He moves through a handful of partners but returns primarily to a NYPD detective who accompanies him on these dark cases that always seem to span the globe.
The series has it’s ups and downs (Cabinet of Curiosities and Still Life with Crows are some of the better ones) but this one is the deepest trough I’ve read into. Anti-climactic, pedantic, and somewhat condescending, agent Pendergast’s character, usually likable and quirky, is depressingly mercurial and prickly–somewhat understandable as event unfold through the story but the authors drag it out to the point where I really didn’t like him very much. In addition, and this is my pet peeve in any story, there are a number of peripheral characters that are built up and built up only to simply waft out of the story or come to nothing as the story fully unravels. It’s as if the authors wound the story to intricately and got lost in the off-shoots. Fish soup is a good compliment to the meal, but too much red herring spoils the fare. Still, it’s like Episodes 1-3 of the Starwars series, you have to watch them–but they kinda suck. If you decide to read other books in this series, you’d do best to skip the last three altogether.