Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review: Cemetery Dance

Missed a post yesterday, I believe. We had a movie night, watched Knight and Day. It was pretty good, it kept a steady pace without feeling exhausting. The acting was decent, but it was definitely a popcorn movie. The action scenes, of course, defied logic, and was a bit exaggerated for humor. This was its shining point: it managed to be a gentle parody of spy movies disguised as a fluffy romance. The humor was not in your face; but it was there, and some parts were still laugh-out-loud funny. The heroine's sudden revolution into complete competency was a bit...sudden. But as I said, it was not meant to be a serious character study. It was meant for laughs.

Anyways, on to what I intended to post: the review of the latest Pendergast book I've read. (I haven't finished Fever Dream)

Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The beginning. THE BEGINNING. The cover blurb pretty much gives it away (although Dale was surprised it happened so early in the book) but I'll let you see it for yourself.

So Smithback and Nora Kelly are celebrating their one year anniversary when A ZOMBIE HAPPENS. Seriously. In the wee morning hours when D'Agosta is investigating the murder scene, Pendergast APPEARS OUT OF FREAKING NOWHERE to inform him that the perp, caught on tape and seen by several eyewitnesses, including Nora herself (hospitalized), has been dead for well over a week.

Oh, God.

D'Agosta heads off an official investigation, while helping Pendergast on the side;  Nora, hell bent on revenge, and Pendergast have a less...traditional investigation. Apparently there is an Obeah cult nearby that Smithback was investigating, and guess who our main suspects are? Pendergast decides to employ some vodou "just in case" (one wonders just what the guy saw out on the bayous that makes him take it somewhat seriously. Or maybe he noticed the authors didn't employ a scientific explanation in the last book and got worried.).

Meanwhile, animal rights activists wander about, shouting things and being general nuisances (one calls keeping animals as pets "oppression", leading me to believe Oreo must enjoy oppression a great deal, judging by the way she enjoys sleeping on my coat).

A weird one, this. Riveting, heart wrenching at times, and the villain was just STRANGE.

However, Laura Hayward is starting to sound less like tough female police captain and more like whiny drama queen. Despite having taken a firm stand beside D'Agosta in The Book of the Dead suddenly she's back to "I'm not sure cuz you messed up trying to help Pendergast". In this book it seems her main role is to whine that D'Agosta is going to get in trouble helping Pendergast again. She's starting to become the over-emotional, moody female instead of the competent woman she had been before. It feels almost like the authors are trying to inject some relationship drama into the work and it just seems jarring.


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