If you have not read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance yet--be warned-- there may be spoilers in this review. I don't think Two graves is a stand alone book, as there is a lot of back story in the first two books of this trilogy. You're lucky in a way, as you won't have to wait for each new book in this trilogy. You can go right to the next installment without so much as taking time to wave your fist in the air and say a few unpleasant words about the cliff hangers most of us have endured. So please- do yourself a favor and read those first.
Two Graves starts out where Cold Vengeance left us. Judson Esterhhazy (Helen's brother) has agreed to arrange to bring Helen back to Pendergast. Unfortunately, "The Covenant" has been tipped off, and an ambush ensues. Before Helen and Pendergast get to enjoy each other's company for more than a few minutes, Helen is once again kidnapped, Judson and Pendergast are both shot, and the only thing Pendergast has left to go on is a partial license plate number from the vehicle that whisked Helen away.
Pendergast is nothing if not persistent--not much stands in his way as he pursues those who abducted his wife, and when it comes to Helen, he doesn't much care who gets hurt in the process. Unfortunately, his efforts don't give him as much satisfaction as he was hoping for in the end--in one way much sadness, but then new information and people who come into his life who will help ease the pain.
This book is about so much more, however. At least three different story lines are woven into the novel back and forth, but so seamlessly that it amazingly all makes perfect sense. Cory Swanson is briefly back in the picture to steal some secret Nazi documents, give them to Pendergast, and then she is off into a completely different story line about her own life, where she finally meets her father and solves a crime. We also find out much more about Constance, wherein her past is finally revealed to us- with explanations about her age, her family, her baby, and how she came to be in her current situation.
Most shocking of all, though, is the information that comes to Pendergast as he helps D'Agosta with a serial murder case. What he learns makes him re-examine everything he thought he knew about his life with Helen and takes him deep into the forests of South America. He learns about the secret Nazi experiments that went on generations ago, and have continued to the present- affecting Pendergast in a very personal way.
Overall, a very enjoyable book. The only part I could say anything negative about is the extremely long (I thought) fight which went on and on with the Nazi's. I thought they could have cut it about in half.
The book leaves us with a lot to think about for the future--however NOT a cliff hanger.
One last thing--maybe the most important- Rene Auberjonois is superb. He is the best voice for Pendergast and also makes the other characters come to life as individuals. So glad he is the one who narrated this trilogy.
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