In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Special Agent Pendergast must stop a serial killer who is terrorizing New York City with a trail of headless victims.
When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman's body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.
Lieutenant CDS Vincent D'Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D'Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case. "I feel rather like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch," Pendergast tells D'Agosta, "because I have found you here, in charge. Just like when we first met, back at the Museum of Natural History."
But neither Pendergast nor D'Agosta are prepared for what lies ahead. A diabolical presence is haunting the greater metropolitan area, and Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims to be murdered . . . and decapitated. Worse still, there's something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil eye of the killer.
As mass hysteria sets in, Pendergast and D'Agosta find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who has threatened the very lifeblood of the city. It'll take all of Pendergast's skill to unmask this most dangerous foe-let alone survive to tell the tale.
Why would a killer decapitate his victims? That's one of the puzzles Preston and Child pose for their eccentric FBI agent with expensive tastes, Aloysius Pendergast, and his loyal NYPD ally, Lt. Cmdr. Vincent D'Agosta, in the lackluster 17th entry in this bestselling series (after 2016's The Obsidian Chamber). In Kew Gardens, Queens, two boys stumble on a headless woman in a garage. Fingerprinting identifies the body as that of Grace Ozmian, the missing 23-year-old daughter of tech billionaire Anton Ozmian. Before much traction can be made on Grace's case, more people are murdered and decapitated, including a prosecutor turned mob lawyer and a Russian oligarch. There's no obvious motive for the killings, and D'Agosta feels pressure from New York City's mayor to come up with answers. Though the minimization of Pendergast's complex backstory makes this entry more accessible to newcomers, the authors fail to generate their usual high level of suspense. The climax will strike fans as too familiar.
Not their best, but still a page turner
Having read nearly all of the Pendergast series from Preston and Child, this entry had me intrigued. However it seemed to lack the depth of character development, particularly regarding Pendergast, of earlier titles. Perhaps this was intentional, but he is one of the most interesting characters in fiction today. So the formula should be easy...more Pendergast! Then once the endgame is started, it spirals into a rather predictable storyline. That said, it is still a Pendergast novel, so that alone will make it at least a good, if not great book. Definitely with a read, but not as wild or chaotic as titles like Two Graves or Brimstone.
Not worthy to be Called a Pendergast novel
I love the Pendergast novels, have read them all, some twice, but this was not one. It is strictly a police procedural with Agent Pendergast as a minor character who doesn’t even act like himself when he does appear. Where is the magic, the surreal mystery that has been the center of these novels. To say I was disappointed is an understatement and my husband, also a loyal fan, agrees.
City of Endless Night
Not one of their best efforts.