The Cask of Amontillado meets The Hound of the Baskervilles and horror meets thriller in Crimson Shore in the fifteenth mystery featuring the very odd and enigmatic Aloysius Pendergast. Fans of the series are going to willingly go along for the ride though those new to it would be better off starting with one of the earliest Preston & Child novels like Reliquary or The Cabinet of Curiosities.
Pendergast and protegee Constance Greene go to Massachusetts witch country to investigate a wine theft. Pendergast soon figures out the theft in the wine cellar was a cover to mask the real purpose, to tear down a wall and remove the body that had been entombed there.
Add a mysterious creature in the marshes and stories of a missing ship bearing treasure some 150 years ago and you have the makings of a wild and rollicking adventure.
Though entertaining, Crimson Tide is not Preston & Child at their best. Many will be tempted to toss the novel aside, if not throw it violently away, after reading how Pendergast figures out what happened to the missing ship and its passengers. Being fairly familiar with the series, I got the impression the Constance Greene character had regressed.
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The ending of this Pendergast mystery echoes that of Conan Doyle's The Final Problem and opens towards the next installment.
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
Cold Vengeance - A Pendergast Novel: Perhaps reading the recommended Fever Dream first would help, but this reader is not convinced.
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.
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.