Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Synopsis: What begins as a manhunt for the missing daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire becomes something all together different when the young woman’s body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Kew Gardens, Queens, the head nowhere to be found. It appears there may be two killers on the loose—-one responsible for the young woman’s death, another responsible for the mutilation. A pair of such dastardly killers requires a team of equally talented investigators. Luckily, both Vincent D’Agosta and Special Agent Pendergast are back in town.
D’Agosta hope that working a case back on his home turf for the first time in years will reinvigorate the FBI Special Agent and give him the opportunity to flex his investigative might. But neither is prepared to face a killer—-or killers—-as diabolical as this. It will take all of Pendergast and D’Agosta’s intelligence and strength simply to match wits—-let alone to stay alive.
If you’ve been following me for awhile you’ll know one of my favorite series is the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I instantly fell in love with the brilliant and enigmatic Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast, FBI Special Agent extraordinaire, back in Relic (1995) when he was one of many secondary characters. It’s probably because I liken him to a modern day Sherlock Holmes. He’s also almost superhuman in the way he can read people, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and discover their secrets. After the events of the previous book however, the Pendergast in City of Endless Night is, dare I say it: vulnerable.
Pendergast still has that gentile southern charm, yet he stumbles more than once, showing that he is indeed all too human. For this particular mystery, he teams up with his old friend, New York police Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, who is one of my favorite characters in the Pendergast books. In previous books they’ve always worked well together, despite the occasional disagreement, and it’s obvious how fond they are of each other. But in this installment, there was something missing and they wound up working the investigation separately at times.
The mystery itself, who is killing and decapitating well-known and wealthy New York citizens, doesn’t have some the more otherworldly aspects that have appeared in more recent Pendergast novels, but it’s an interesting police procedural nonetheless. When the villain who finally gets tired of the NYPDs and FBIs lack of progress, reveals himself, I wanted to smack myself in the head for not realizing their identity sooner. It made so much sense, as all the puzzle pieces fit perfectly together.
The last third of the book pays homage to The Most Dangerous Game, and it’s here where you see Pendergast at his most vulnerable, as he almost loses his life to a foe he normally would have vanquished fairly easily. But just when things look the darkest, he has an epiphany, and it’s pure pleasure to see him turn the tables on this dastardly villain.
Despite the absense of Constance, Pendergast’s equally brilliant ward/kindred spirit/possible future love interest, and the lack of any new revelations involving Pendergast’s complicated backstory, City of Endless Night is another fun outing in this exciting series. You know a book is good when you realize you’re purposefully trying to slow your reading speed because you don’t want the story to end. While this book could be read as a standalone, I recommend that if you’re new to the series, you should at least go back to The Cabinet of Curiosities, which is when Pendergast takes center stage. I know that as we are now on Book #17, this may seem rather daunting, but I guarantee you won’t be sorry. You’ll have a much better sense of who Pendergast is and how events in the previous books shape his actions in this one. In my humble opinion, this series is one of the best in terms one-of-a-kind characters and thrilling suspense!