The Preston & Child Pendergast series can almost be divived in two categories. There are straightforward thrillers and there are the SF of speculative fiction books. Bloodless belongs to the latter. A very strong dose of willing suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy it. In addition, Bloodless is the first of three speculative fiction novels in a series so the reader is in for a ride.

Bloodless starts with the legend of D.B. Cooper and a couple of corpses that have been totally drained of their blood. It seems this may have been done with a medical device called a trocar. A third body is soon added to the investigation.

Meanwhile, a film maker is making a documentary about haunted Savannah, Georgia where the action takes place. There is also a tell-all book writer on the scene for his own reasons. Add to this a mysterious old lady, owner of the hotel where Pendergast and Constance Greene are staying.

To be honest, I gave up on Bloodless when Preston & Child threw in a machine that can see an hour in the future of a universe alternate but similar enough to our own. I already found this SF novel a bit of a slog but hung on because of the Preston & Child authorship. The time machine proved too much for this reader. Then there was the thing that would be a spoiler to reveal that really took the cake.

Those who enjoy the more esoteric Preston & Child novels will probably enjoy Bloodless. Those who like me enjoy the more straightforward thrillers will pass.

Preston & Child
Grand Central Publishing 2021
385 pages

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