The Gentlemen (Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child) have delivered once again! White Fire is a first class Pendergast story, complete with all the things we love: an interesting setting, intriguing mysteries, hints at future plotlines, and, of course, Pendergast’s crazy antics.
The book starts out in the past, at a restaurant dinner attended by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is introduced to Oscar Wilde himself, who in his usual laconic way apparently tells him a tale so ghastly that Doyle flees to the bathroom to be sick. In the present, Corrie Swanson is preparing her research project for an important scholarship. The project centers around the disinterment of a group of miners killed by grizzly bear attacks-the same story Wilde told Doyle. Corrie goes to Roaring Fork resort to study the remains before they are reburied. But she discovers something strange about the remains and winds up in jail. When Pendergast arrives to bail her out (again), he becomes involved in both Corrie’s research and a series of arson attacks amongst the very wealthy of the town.
White Fire gives us a breather from the intense Helen trilogy. Corrie is further developed; while she is still a brash loudmouth, she has come far from the angry Goth stereotype she was in her first appearance. Pendergast is still subtly suffering the effects of the previous book’s events and has started showing more vulnerability as a result.
The Gentlemen also give us several delightful villains to hate, from the merely selfish to the truly dangerous. (I’m quite proud to admit that I guessed who the main villain was.) My favorite is Mrs. Kermode, who might as well be a Texas Umbridge.
This book is definitely being added to my favorites list. However, for anyone interested I would strongly advise starting the Pendergast series at the beginning. It’s marvelous to see how he has developed over the years.
Aww, look,they even signed it!