Posts Tagged ‘techno thriller’
Pendergast takes a vacation.
Recovering—or trying to—from recent encounters with his diabolically intelligent brother, the FBI special agent surely deserves a break. And a vacation is surely the time to loosen up , switch off the energy, maintain a more relaxed pace.
Unfortunately, for us readers, this is exactly what we get from Pendergast.. and the book.
Here’s the story:
An object of power is stolen from a remote Tibetan monastery. FBI special agent Pendergast and ward Constance Greene follow its bloody trail to a luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. But not only is a thief on board, a serial killer also is… and something else
People start dying in gruesome ways. Something goes wrong with the ship–and its captain. If the killer does not get them, the ocean will…
So again, we have the seemingly impregnable high-tech fortress; a menace that is as old as time; indifferent to modern technology and firepower; humanity’s panic and selfishness overwhelming all when terrified; and a few brave men who go down fighting no matter what.
On the surface, it promises the Pendergast fare we’ve come to love. But it delivered short. I felt bored a third into it.. and a little insulted. Is it just me? Or is the way the agent’s investigation going how he wants it to go a little too convenient for comfort?
Maybe, I’ve been spoiled by the almost unlimited servings of thrills and suspense in the previous books. Maybe the authors couldn’t help but run out of steam sometime. Maybe, I’d just been saturated with too much Pendergast—as I have been reading the series a book a day the past week.
Bottom-line is: I found this book dispirited, lacking Pendergast’s usual charm and sense of personal mystery. It lacks a certain snappiness in the way the characters are drawn out. It attempts to convince us of Pendergast’s persuasive prowess but just succeeds to make me think: how sloppy… how lazy everything all seems.
I know it’s about time we know more about the innermost vulnerabilities of the almost superhuman agent; I’m all for that. The latest installment in the series is like the intermission after the grand confrontation, an opportunity to tell the story of the man instead of his adventures. But there seemed to have been a cut thread somewhere—because I feel that the story-telling stumbled instead of taking up smoothly from where it last hung.
The feeling of disconnection between Pendergast of the previous volumes and that of the first half of WHEEL OF DARKNESS was too strong.
I’m a rather disappointed with this book. But I know that nothing is perfect. I also didn’t like BRIMSTONE that much. Overall, the Pendergast series is still a favorite.
The hunter becomes the hunted.
But before this happens, Pendergast is framed for the murders of his diabolical brother Diogenes. He is incarcerated in a federal prison. His friends plan to bust him out… so that they can prevent Diogenes from committing his perfect crime.
What that perfect crime is still anyone’s guess. But they need to find out quickly if they wish for any hope in saving loved ones—the world—from the brother’s murderous hatred. They need to know why Diogenes hates Pendergast so much! The answer is within Pendergast himself—and he can get it, only if he is willing to remember.
Meanwhile, NYC’s Natural Museum is again the setting to a series of gruesome crimes. Reeling from a diamond heist, perpetrated by Diogenes, the museum is banking on the success of an ancient Egyptian Tomb, said to be cursed, to lift it from its funk.
But even before the grand unveiling, two staff go berserk, one savagely mutilates a fellow technician and an Egyptologist tries to strangle a curator. Despite all this, the museum proceeds with the unveiling, a celebrity-studded New York gala—it can’t afford to cancel, after all.
The show must go on!… In the tradition of previous books, a massacre is again in the making.
Pendergast and his team, as well as other important characters, race to salvage what they can, before loved ones are killed… before Diogenes succeeds to scare half the city to death.
Again, I really enjoyed this book. I love the breakneck speed of the action, the chapter by chapter cliff-hangers, and the frightening efficiency of Pendergast himself at doing what must be done.
But I was left rather suspicious of the ending. There was no confrontation, no closure between brothers. It was all very neat and predictable… But was it?
I was jumping up and down and laughing manically when I finished reading this book—that’s how happy I was with it.
But near the middle of DANCE OF DEATH, I almost hurled it away from me… so disgusted was I at what I THOUGHT had happened.
Thank goodness I persisted… or else I wouldn’t have found more evidence at how good Preston and Child are at surprising us. Who cares for a predictable series, after all?
Thriller fans should only have the best—and that means EXCELLENT twists every now and then.
In DANCE OF DEATH, Pendergast shows up alive, and almost well from the previous misadventures in Italy. Apparently, his diabolical brother Diogenes saved him—but only so he can commit the perfect crime, a part of which is to murder Pendergast’s friends… Then frame him for the crimes..
Special Agent Pendergast as well as the other major characters in RELIC is back, following up on loose threads as well as picking up new ones. The result is a heck of a nail-biting thriller, only to be expected from the dynamic duo, Preston and Child.
In the first book, a beast hides in the subterranean galleries of NYC’s Natural Museum, killing and devouring dozens of museum staff and guests. This time the Big Apple itself is under attack from below.
Grotesquely deformed skeletons minus their head are fished out from Manhattan’s shoreline. There are reports of marauding groups of cannibals, dubbed the Wrinklers, preying on the homeless living in the tunnels and sewers underneath the city. When a member of the city’s elite is also murdered, the city’s police is mobilized into frantic action.
Detective D’Agosta calls upon the expertise of Margo Green and Dr. Frock to aid in the investigation. Pendergast shows up, suave but as enigmatic as ever. Journalist Smithback also joins the fray, bumbling his way into mishaps but succeeding to uncover vital clues.
Apparently, the Museum Beast’s story isn’t over yet. Its legacy has spread beyond the museum to the city’s desperate and addicted.
There’s plenty of firepower, claustrophobic thrills, gore, revelations, even mob chaos . The suspense is the edge-of-your-seat type, it doesn’t let go. I loved it and read it one seating.
Relic is the more interesting monster, but Reliquary gives us closure. So I give this book 5 stars!
i have been wondering at how fond preston and child are of subterranean basements. in the CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, dozens of bodies are found underneath a tenement building in new york. other structures have mysterious depths: a library, museum, river-side mansion, pendergast’s old home in new orleans..
maybe, they do it because it represents the unknown. in RELIC, there was the sub-basements of the natural history museum, nest of a prehistoric creature for years. and we, especially horror-aficionados, know how fear of the unknown is the worst of all fears.
here, I’m afraid the ground crumbles beneath our feet—just as it did for pendergast. knowledge proven false is more horrifying and dangerous apparently. terrifyingly self-confident and capable pendergast comes face to face with this peculiar turn-about. almost, the day, rather the night, ended forever for him and his comrades because he realized too late that the darkest mystery is unfathomable.
all of us have a set of beliefs, memories, and experiences that serves as the foundation of our lives. but what if that foundation crumbles and opens up into the darkest hole crawling with ancient terrors? what if we have not been safe all this time because the monsters have been living with us, just a floor-thick away, all along? that it’s just a matter of time before it reaches up?
we never truly walk on solid ground.
i loved it because i liked the idea of ancient structures with secret tunnels and a monster roaming underneath, surfacing every now and then for a quick kill. the suspense was exquisitely paced, the ending elegant, like Pendergast, our mysterious FBI special agent. we get little from him and about him but it just hooks us into wanting more of him. the Pendergast series is hard to classify, though. RELIC is definitely a bio-thriller but the overall theme of the series seems to flirt with the supernatural–the monsters that go bump in the night and our fear of them, about ancient mysteries coming to light and manifesting as a series of murders. eventually, science comes glaring in but leaves dark spots behind.
Completed this book at Powerbooks. became very interested in the hidden lake under the arctic ice and the lifeforms it may harbor as a result. What will happen if global warming succeeds to melt the ice and expose what was sheltered for millions of years to sunlight and humans?
Anyway, it’s very gripping. about this mystery disease (supposedly) killing off members of a scientific base out in the arctic. A maverick doctor was called in to investigate