Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, independent and co-authors of many thrillers and mystery novels, have put together Cold Vengeance, the latest in the Pendergast series. This time, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast is out to avenge the murder of his beloved wife Helen.
Beginning with captivating writing of a heart-pounding manhunt and murder in the deep and mysterious Scottish moors, we are primed for a top notch thriller. During an intense battle between Pendergast and his equally ruthless and dangerous adversary Dr. Judson Esterhazy comes the stunning revelation that Helen is still alive. Is it the truth of a man marked by death or a final torturous deception? Pendergast is driven into hiding to tenaciously pursue the facts, without realizing that he will discover the unthinkable.
Characters are strong, interesting, and often frightening. Rife with mystery, Cold Vengeance contains great action and adventure, and wonderfully vivid descriptions which grab from the outset.. However, the inclusion of a crazy woman in a mental institution, the homicide of a seemingly innocent couple who reappeared after being missing for years, a small town journalist looking for a big story, a covert organization, a burned out laboratory, and more, succeeds only in splitting the book into too many, albeit eventually connected directions. Although intriguing, the resulting complexity becomes confusing and difficult to follow, and the story becomes more and more strange.
Likewise, certain subject matter has been done to death, and is therefore hard to view with fresh excitement.
To quote a character: “The whole thing went awry…too complicated to explain now.” Guess what. Preston and Child don’t explain. Not nearly enough questions are answered. Without resolution and closure, this reader--who has enjoyed their previous books—is left still confused, disappointed, and decidedly unsatisfied.
So, if you plan to read Cold Vengeance, maybe wait a while. Unless there’s an information-packed sequel, you may feel the same. Perhaps reading the recommended Fever Dream first would help, but this reader is not convinced.
Other Douglas Preston Lincoln Child Reviews
The Book Of The Dead: Good thriller, better if you have read the first two books in the series.
Fever Dream - A Pendergast mystery: Very good thriller, less weird than the usual Preston & Child novel
The Wheel of Darkness: Agent Pendergast thriller / mystery novel. Good stuff.
The Monster of Florence: Superb investigative novel of a real life serial killer.
Cemetery Dance - A Pendergast Mystery: The zombi did it in this lesser Pendergast mystery novel.
Gideon s Sword: Very good first thriller in new Preston Child series
The Third Gate - Lincoln Child: Curse of the mummy yet again.
White Fire - A Pendergast novel: thirteenth in the series. Can be read separately.Very good.
Crimson Shore - A Pendergast Novel: Cask of Amontillado meets Hounds of the Baskerville and Salem witch trials in entertaining fifteenth Pendergast novel.
The Obsidian Chamber - A Pendergast Mystery: Descriptive and very well written, The Obsidian Chamber contains everything you would want in an engaging novel: Adventure, excitement, suspense, love, lust and rivalry, set against a backdrop of mystery and an intriguing premise about life.