A corpse, stiff with rigor mortis and bound in heavy ropes, has been dumped on the doorstep of FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. The murder has the hallmarks of the perfect crime - no witnesses, no motive, no evidence - save for one enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea where an ingenious killer is determined to make him pay for the long-buried sins of his forefathers. But Pendergast already knows what is at stake, for the dead man left on his doorstep wasn't just anyone, it was his son.
In this exciting 14th series entry (after White Fire), FBI special agent Aloysius X.L. Pendergast is shocked to discover the corpse of one of his sons an evil twin, Alban on his doorstep. His investigation of the murder leads him to an unused silver mine near California's Salton Sea, where he's exposed to a paralyzing agent that, over the remaining two thirds of the novel, causes his gradual debilitation. With dwindling physical resources he tries to discover who would want to kill him and his son and why. Meanwhile, his ward, Constance, his friend NYPD Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, and Dr. Margo Green try to solve a murder in the New York Museum of Natural History that might lead to the elusive antidote. After narrating the last nine adventures, reader Auberjonois has perfected Pendergast's deceptively soft southern accent and D'Agosta's gruff bellow. He also has the valuable knack of presenting women's voices as feminine without sounding false or forced. As one might expect from a complex, always-in-motion, event-packed novel, its character count is high. As for the over-educated, intemperate young detective, the snarling crooked cop, the gravel-voiced master criminal, the cackling desert rat, the museum technician with a stuffy nose, and the Portuguese street thug, Auberjonois has them all covered. A Grand Central hardcover.