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From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors: Racing to uncover the mystery of several severed feet found floating in the Gulf of Mexico, Agent Pendergast is faced with the most inexplicable challenge of his career.
A startling crime with dozens of victims. Appearing out of nowhere to horrify the quiet resort town of Sanibel Island, Florida, dozens of identical, ordinary-looking shoes float in on the tide and are washed up on the tropical beach—each one with a crudely severed human foot inside.
A ghastly enigma with no apparent solution. Called away from vacation elsewhere in the state, Agent Pendergast reluctantly agrees to visit the crime scene—and, despite himself, is quickly drawn in by the incomprehensible puzzle. An early pathology report only adds to the mystery. With an ocean of possibilities confronting the investigation, no one is sure what happened, why, or from where the feet originated. And they desperately need to know: are the victims still alive?
A worthy challenge for a brilliant mind. In short order, Pendergast finds himself facing the most complex and inexplicable challenge of his career: a tangled thread of evidence that spans seas and traverses continents, connected to one of the most baffling mysteries in modern medical science. Through shocking twists and turns, all trails lead back to a powerful adversary with a sadistic agenda and who—in a cruel irony—ultimately sees in Pendergast the ideal subject for their malevolent research.
When more than a hundred shoes containing severed human feet wash ashore on Florida's Sanibel Island in Preston and Child's exciting 19th Pendergast novel (after 2018's Verses for the Dead), eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, who's vacationing in nearby Fort Myers with his ward, Constance Greene, joins the investigation. The arrogant Coast Guard commander in charge is sure the shoes belong to convicts executed at a Cuban prison, but Pendergast thinks otherwise and enlists the aid of oceanographer Pamela Gladstone to analyze currents in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their source. The stakes rise as it becomes clear that a mole within the investigation is tipping off those responsible for the crime. Pendergast and Gladstone wind up captured by some nasty villains, and a handful of Pendergast's friends, including the resourceful Constance, must rush to the rescue in an extended, nail-biting climax. After a string of so-so entries in this bestselling series, Preston and Child have returned to the quality storytelling they're known for.