Friday, January 12, 2018

City of Endless Night

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing: 1/16/18
eBook review copy; 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9781455536948
Special Agent Pendergast Series #17

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is a highly recommended new release to the long-running series, very for fans. This murder mystery can actually be read as a standalone, but fans of the series will obviously have more insight into the main characters.

NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta is on the murder case of a body found in a warehouse sans the head, when his friend FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast joins the investigation. The corpse is that of Grace Ozmian, a beautiful party-girl and daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, Anton Ozmian. Then the killer, called the Decapitator, strikes again... and again, his victims including a prosecutor turned mob lawyer and a Russian oligarch. Clearly this killer is clever, skilled, and ruthless, but what is the motive, why is he choosing the victims he does, and how is he getting through their security systems?

Muddling the investigation is reporter Bryce Harriman. His sensational tabloid stories are creating panic in the city. He coins the nickname "The City of Endless Night" and is encouraged by his superiors to keep using the moniker while writing more sensational follow-up stories. The stories are also instigating protest groups who have various motives for their demonstrations.

Make no mistake about it, City of Endless Night is an excellent thriller. This one is outstanding - when have Preston and Child given us anything but a well-written, perfectly plotted novel full of nail-biting suspense? The cold, moody atmosphere is skillfully portrayed. It's all here and If you are new to the series, you can read this one without knowing all the background information, although some of trappings of Pendergast's life might seem confusing. Pendergast himself is clearly off his game in this outing of the series. He is always taciturn, invariably thinking and analyzing clues with precision and acumen, and supremely intelligent. That is still the case, but he also seems a bit distracted which could signal trouble. D’Agosta is the same reliable character.

It is a plus and minus to have a long time fan of the series review a 17th book. Obviously, I know them all and have some I liked more than others. The suspense is palatable in City of Endless Night and I stayed up too late finishing it, but I liked it a wee-bit less than others in the series.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.

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