Tuesday, November 12, 2013

White Fire

White Fire by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing; 11/12/2013
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9781455525836
Special Agent Pendergast Series #13

Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who--with brutal precision--begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort's very existence.
Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story--one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well.
Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack--and Corrie's life suddenly in grave danger--Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.

My Thoughts:

It's always a thrill when there is a new novel out by Preston and Child. 

White Fire
by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child is their thirteenth novel featuring FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. This time the young woman he is mentoring and helping through college, Corrie Swanson, has headed out from John Jay College of Criminal Justice to the Colorado Rockies and the resort town of Roaring Fork. She is hoping to examine the remains of several miners who were reportedly killed  by a man eating bear 150 years ago. The remains from the old cemetery have recently been exhumed in preparation to be moved to a new burial site, so If she can manage to get permission to examine the remains of the miners who were killed by the bear, she can submit her thesis project and paper (a large-scale study of perimortem trauma on human bones inflicted by a large carnivore) to the college for a scholarship.

Corrie's plans run amok when permission to examine the remains is denied. She takes matters into her own hands and ends up in jail, which results in Pendergast heading out west to help her. But, before Corrie was arrested, she noticed some suspicious marks on the bones that have her doubting the legendary bear story.  She needs help from Pendergast to have any chance to thoroughly examine some of the remains.  In the meantime an arsonist has hit the resort community and terror is building in the community. Someone is hiding a secret and perhaps they are planning to go to any length to protect it. Or is there something else amiss in this now exclusive ski resort town?

Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes should enjoy this latest novel from Preston and Child. The novel features strong story tie-ins to Oscar Wilde to Arthur Conan Doyle. Corrie bases the idea of her research project on a story Wilde tells Doyle that leads her to Roaring Fork. As usual Pendergast always seems to have a plethora of background knowledge or suspicions that he is not sharing. Corrie is mouthy and impulsive which contrasts nicely with Pendergast's reticent, careful approach. Both are intelligent and insightful.

Preston and Child are accomplished writers who know how to tell a story - slowly revealing more information while presenting plenty of plot twists and turns. While this is a Pendergast novel, it can easily be enjoyed by those not following the Pendergast character in the previous books. I found White Fire a decidedly entertaining novel that was exceptionally entertaining. I don't think anything written by either Preston or Child has ever disappointed me. I was reading White Fire while out of town and found myself aching for time to finish it, which says a whole lot. I'm hoping to see more of some of the characters in White Fire in a future Preston and Child novel.

Very Highly Recommended  - a must for Preston and Child fans.


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for review purposes.

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