Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Now that I've gotten my political mindvomit out of the way, I can go back to trying to update these massive amounts of book reviews that I've collected over the past few months.

Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

This one starts out with a bang that knocks us off that Grand Canyon cliff we were dangling over (more on dangling later). A professor down in New Orleans (New Orleans? That can't be a coincidence!) suddenly goes off the deep end in class, and D'Agosta is summoned to Riverside Drive, Pendergast's New York mansion, by Constance Greene. Because Pendergast has not yet returned from Italy (and is presumed dead), Constance believes it is up to D'Agosta to stop Diogenes' evil plan, which is supposed to take place in one week. (Way to procrastinate Constance!) D'Agosta must learn all he can of Diogenes, because people close to Pendergast are slowly being killed off.

Several subplots weave in and out of the main thread. First there is the Dangler, of no importance except comedy (the NYPD have good reason for calling him that); there is D'Agosta's growing relationship with Laura Hayward (okay, okay, they're already shacking up) which will cause much drama later on; and there is a new exhibition at the museum, with Nora Kelly and Margo Green in the mix. This has much more to do with the main plot than first appears. One can only hope no horrific monsters decide to burst in upon the festivities this time...

Definitely another good addition to the series, and once again the narrative is tight and the characters spot on. I did think the brief feud between Nora and Margo was unnecessary; it took away from the plot rather than added to it. I felt like the authors didn't want to go with the cliché (oh the two females are BFF's immediately!) but having them take instant dislike to each other is just as cliché. Of course one can see Diogenes' plan a mile away, and the police objection to the obvious as well as rejection of an eyewitness account (D'Agosta's) was a bit unbelievable; aren't they supposed to keep every option open? But then we wouldn't have a story.


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