Preston and Child’s stories are multifaceted and complex

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Authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child working together are masters at crafting a story that goes beyond a simple mystery or thriller. Their stories are multifaceted and complex, making the reading experience a true joy. This time, in their new novel “Verses for the Dead”, while main character Pendergast works with agent Coldmoon, the crime has many unconventional layers to it, making it more difficult to solve. The killer murders his victim and then removes the heart. The organ is left at a gravestone in the cemetery with a cryptic note next to it. The victim and the owner of the grave seemingly aren’t connected. Pendergast soon figures out that the heart is left at gravestones of women who committed suicide.

Pendergast thinks outside the box at all times, and goes against direct orders to prove a hunch. He believes the women were actually murdered, and the killer known by the moniker Brokenhearts might be responsible for their deaths in addition to the recent victims. With his career on the line, Pendergast has a lot to prove and quickly or the killer might strike again. What he doesn’t know is that his new partner, Coldmoon, has strict orders to do everything in his power to see Pendergast fail.

The unorthodox methods agent Pendergast applies to solve the truly bizarre cases he encounters are legendary. This almost insubordination is the primary reason why his new boss wants him transferred out of his jurisdiction.

Readers unfamiliar with Pendergast will find this novel a fantastic launch point. He’s a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and the story reads like classic literature rather than the majority of mystery/thrillers on the market. (AP)