Monday, May 18, 2009

Cemetery Dance

Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing, May 12, 2009
Hardcover: 435 pages
Very highly Recommended - especially for fans

From inside cover (resembles a torn out newspaper article):
William Smithback Jr., a prominent New York Times reporter, was killed in a brutal attack last night in his Upper West Side apartment. His wife, Nora Kelly, an archaeologist at the Museum of Natural History, was injured as well. Multiple eyewitnesses identified the assailant as a neighbor in the building, Colin Fearing: a man who by all reports, was dead and buried ten days ago. There are reports that FBI Special Agent Pendergast has taken an interest in the case, but no further...

Faithful fans of Preston and Child will not be disappointed - after they recover from the shock of Bill Smithback being murdered right away. This is no spoiler either since it's widely publicized, they have the synopsis written as if it were a Times newspaper article about the murder, and it happens well before my self imposed no- information-or-quotes-beyond-approximately-page-50-that-would- be-spoilers rule. While I can see where some fans would long for plots that more closely resemble earlier Preston and Child books, this was a welcome addition to the Pendergast books. I thought it was better than their last book, Wheel of Darkness. Since I've been a faithful reader of their books for years, I'm not sure any review I would write would be without prejudice. I'm a fan. I know all the characters and plots from all their books and I like everything Preston and Child have written, together and separately.
Very Highly Recommended - especially for fans


" 'Can you believe it, Bill? I still can't. They told me almost twelve hours ago and still I can't believe it.' " opening sentence

"The last of the SOC team came out of the apartment and logged out, leaving D'Agosta alone with his thoughts. He stood for a minute in the empty hallway, trying to settle his frayed nerves. Then he snapped on a pair of latex gloves, pulled the hairnet close around his balding pate, and moved toward the open door. He felt faintly sick. The body had been moved, of course, but nothing else had been touched." pg. 9

"Then there was the bizarre [stuff] the killer left behind. A mashed-up bundle of feathers, tied with green twine. A piece of a garment covered with gaudy sequins. A tiny parchment bag of dust with a weird design on the outside. The killer had floated them in the lake of blood, like offerings. The SOC boys had taken them away, of course, but they were still fixed in his mind." pg. 10

" 'My dear Vincent, in an already puzzling case, there is one thing about that tape that strikes me as especially baffling. Did you notice what he does when he enters the lobby for the first time, on his way in?'
'Yeah, what?'
'He glances at the camera.'
'He knew it was there. He lived in the building.'
'Precisely,' And the FBI agent lapsed once more into contemplative silence." pg. 18

"The fog of painkillers was gone, and when she realized sleep would not return she lay very still, trying to hold back the tide of horror and sorrow threatening to overwhelm her. The world was cruel and capricious, and the very act of drawing breath seemed pointless." pg. 24

"By the time the door finally opened and they were ushered into the elegant office, D'Agosta was spoiling for a fight. And as soon as he saw the arrogant, annoyed face of the assistant medical examiner, he knew he was going to get his wish." pg. 37

" 'I do not know why it is, Vincent, but there are certain people in positions of power who take pleasure in obstructing others. I'm afraid I take an equally base pleasure in dislodging them. A bad habit, I know, but it is so hard at my age to rid oneself of the minor vices.' " pg. 42

"...entered the barn through the side door and treaded softly in the vast space..." pg. 389

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