Lincoln & Child
Grand Central Publishing 2013
White Fire is the thirteenth book in the Pendergast series by writing team Lincoln & Child. It has everything that has made this reader eagerly await the next book in this series: a great story, solid supporting characters, an element of the macabre (or two), and an original touch (more on that later). It also reintroduces Corrie Swanson who first appeared in Still Life With Crows. Her rebellious, pig headed streak is a welcome counterweight in the series. You do not need to be familiar with Lincoln and Child’s Pendergast series to enjoy White Fire but you will want to read the rest afterward. Kindle version at Amazon
White Fire by Linconl & Child opens with Pendergast protegee Corrie Swanson is a student at the John Jay College of criminal justice. She is looking for a thesis topic that will get her noticed. An archivist sets her on the trail of a series of … grizzly … murders of some miners some hundred years ago in the now resort town of Roaring Fork, Colorado. She immediately gets in trouble and Pendergast comes to her rescue but also arrives on time for a particularly vicious murder / arson case.
Swanson continues work on her research project. Agent Pendergast becomes interested because there is a connection to a long lost Sherlock Holmes story based on an anecdote Oscar Wilde told Conan Doyle. This is the original touch in White Fire as Pendergast, assisted by a Baker Street Irregular, finds the long lost story and Lincoln & Child include the text for The Adventures of Aspern Hall.
There is of course a connection between the savage murder of the miners years ago and the recent murders and arsons.
White Fire by Lincoln & Child moves at quite a clip. There are a couple of points I quibble with. One is the rather miraculous recovery of one of the characters which is too easily explained and too obviously set up as an emotive moment. Another is Corrie Swanson bringing matches with her and ending up with a lighter.