When a longtime enemy shows up dead on Pendergast's doorstep, the murder investigation leads him into his own dark past as a vengeful killer waits in the shadows.
It begins with murder. One of Pendergast's most implacable, most feared enemies is found on his doorstep, dead. Pendergast has no idea who is responsible for the killing, or why the body was brought to his home. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect crime, save for an 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 Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his own family's sinister past. But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history: he is being stalked by a subtle killer bent on vengeance over an ancient transgression. And he soon becomes caught in a wickedly clever plot, which leaves him stricken in mind and body, and propels him toward a reckoning beyond anything he could ever have imagined . . .
The uneven 14th Aloysius Pendergast thriller (after 2013's White Fire) from bestsellers Preston and Child gets off to a dramatic start. The eccentric FBI agent is enjoying a quiet evening reading poetry at home on Manhattan's Upper West Side, when his ward, Constance Greene, answers a knock at the door, only to discover the bound corpse of one of his twin sons, Alban, who was revealed to be a serial killer in a prior series entry. Pendergast's search for Alban's murderer takes him to California's isolated, eerie Salton Sea, which is skillfully evoked by the authors. Meanwhile, Pendergast's longtime friend and inside man on the NYPD, Vincent D'Agosta, investigates the bludgeoning death of a technician at the New York Museum of Natural History. Less creepy and less suspenseful than the best entries in the Pendergast series, this installment also suffers from unimaginative explanations for the two crimes.
Review: Blue Labyrinth, by Preston & Child
Blue Labyrinth is the fourteenth book in Preston & Child’s Pendergast series. It seems that with each new book, the authors write an even better and more intense story. I haven’t been so involved with a series before and I don’t see myself walking away from Special Agent Pendergast’s life anytime soon. The complexities of his character and family history, while being slowly revealed to the reader over time, never cease to grow more mysterious and intriguing.
The authors waste not time getting into the action with this book. Right from the beginning the reader is thrown into Pendergast’s next case. And for the next couple of hundred pages, the story unfolds with little downtime.
For long-time fans, this book is going to be an emotional ride, as well. Pendergast is at his most vulnerable in Blue Labyrinth. A feeling of uncertainty about the story’s outcome gripped me until the very last page.
Another thing I enjoyed about Blue Labyrinth was that Constance was able to show how formidable of person she is. She’s been slowly getting more and more involved in the storyline with each book, but I feel as if she’s really stepped out of the shadows here. We also see much of Margo Green and D’Agosta. These books wouldn’t be complete without those two veteran characters.
It’s so hard not to dive deep into the story and describe what made this another Preston & Child masterpiece without ruining all the twists and shocking moments for potential readers, so I won’t. Just know that this novel is one of the best yet. It’s a big change from the norm for the series but also such a fitting storyline. I don’t know what these two authors have in store for readers next time, if there is a next time, but I already want to get in line for it.
I enjoyed the increased roles of Margo & Constance and the botanical aspect of the story. I missed the presence of Proctor.
Favorite so far
I absolutely love Pendergast. Great story. Not contrived at all as others have mentioned. Don’t read Relic or Reliquary if this is how you feel about this book. From a psychological standpoint, I can see how this can happen. ECT was common back then. Still used to this day, but only on very rare, rare cases and not in that set up and not so intense. The last few chapters were my favorite. I will say I did skip to the end because I was worried. Then I went back. All was good. Spoil alert.