“Crimson Shore” (Grand Central Publishing), by Preston & Child
FBI Special Agent Pendergast returns in a simple theft case that takes a turn and soon becomes more elaborate and terrifying in “Crimson Shore” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
Pendergast doesn’t usually take private consultations, and he’s initially reluctant to investigate a missing wine collection. When he learns the thieves left behind an extremely valuable and rare case of wine, Pendergast agrees to look into the matter. With his ward Constance Greene, he heads to a small village on the coast of Massachusetts near Salem, the town notorious for witch trials centuries earlier.
The moment they arrive in town, the two can tell they aren’t welcome. Even the police chief treats them poorly. The crime scene reveals something unexpected: a bricked-up section that holds the skeletal remains of someone who was chained and tortured.
Secrets and mysteries abound, and when legacies of the past collide with the present, whoever stands in the way will end up dead.
Preston and Child know how to write gothic tales of suspense, and fans of their previous novels will be thrilled to see how much Constance Greene has grown as a character.
Though the main story line is resolved, the cliffhanger ending indicates their latest is only the beginning. While this type of ending should fail and frustrate the reader, the shock and twist are perfect. The unusual becomes believable and normal in the authors’ capable hands.
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