Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ray Dale

Book review offered on Pendergast series latest

Literary Junction
About 15 years ago, I read the first book Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child published together, entitled The Relic. It was a crime novel with a strong undercurrent of science fiction and horror, something I really enjoy. 
Needless to say, I’ve been a fan of their writing ever since and their latest novel, The Obsidian Chamber – No. 16 in the series – did not disappoint.
The Relic was actually the first installment of the Agent Pendergast series. The character Alyoisius Pendergast, something of a rogue FBI agent, picks and chooses his case based on whether it interests him or not.
He comes from an extremely wealthy family in New Orleans, which gives him a smooth southern accent. He is highly intelligent, extremely cultured and well-mannered, and an expert in martial arts. 
Another character that has been part of several novels by Preston and Child is Constance Greene. She is the ward of Agent Pendergast, a responsibility he takes quite seriously.
Constance, an unusual creature, was born in the 1880s. She was kidnapped by an ancestor of Pendergast’s and subjected to his scientific experiments to stop aging. The ancestor perfected a serum, which he administered to Constance for this purpose. Consequently, she has the look of a beautiful woman in her mid-20s, even though she is well over 130 years old.
Pendergast is, to say the least, an exceptionally talented and unusual individual, but he is not without his own demons. One of these is the fate of his brother, Diogones Pendergast. The two brothers are very similar in appearance and manners, but that is where the similarities end. Diogenes is a brutally calculating murderer who has hated his brother since childhood. 
In The Obsidian Chamber, Constance has retreated to a suite of rooms in the lower levels of a mansion owned by Pendergast in New York City. She has gone there in an attempt to deal with the absence of her protector, Agent Pendergast, who disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean and is presumed dead. 
While living in the subterranean maze of rooms where she feels safest, she suddenly realizes the staff of the mansion are not who she thinks they are. From there, the story takes several twists and turns to keeps the reader from putting it down.
The Obsidian Chamber is available for check out and can be found on the second floor at the Big Horn County Library.