A secret chamber.
A mysterious shipwreck.
A murder in the desolate salt marshes.
A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated - and sinister - than Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated.
Pendergast, together with his ward, Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.
Pendergast and Constance soon learn that Exmouth is a town with a very dark and troubled history, and this skeleton may be only the first hint of an ancient transgression kept secret all these years. But they will discover that the sins of the past are still very much alive. Local legend holds that during the 1692 witch trials in Salem, the real witches escaped, fleeing north to Exmouth and settling deep in the surrounding salt marshes, where they continued to practice their wicked arts.
Then a murdered corpse turns up in the marshes. The only clue is a series of mysterious carvings. Could these demonic symbols bear some relation to the ancient witches' colony, long believed to be abandoned?
A terrible evil lurks beneath the surface of this sleepy seaside town - one with deep roots in Exmouth's grim history. And it may be that Constance, with her own troubled past, is the only one who truly comprehends the awful danger that she, Pendergast, and the residents of Exmouth must face....
©2015 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2015 Hachette Audio
I've been a longtime fan of this series, and I'd swear someone else wrote this. Pendergast and Constance have gone from a sophisticated pair to unbearable snobs. I'm not even all the way through the book yet and now there's hints of romance starting, that seems totally out of place. Suspense is lacking as well. I just don't know what to think. Please bring back the real Pendergast! What's going on?
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
A. X. L. Pendergast is back in a big way. This next installment starts off with a innocuous crime (wine theft) to be investigated. As always the story-line opens into a much wider, deeper and dangerous yarn within the first thirty minutes of listening. Preston and Child jump right in, just like that you are caught like a hapless fly in the story's web. Not only is the story fantastic, you get to have Constance Green in the story. I had been hoping to have a story with Constance as a main contributor again. It's been quite a while, she has been languishing as supporting character for a while, but she is in here big time.
Auberjonois IS the voice of Pendergast and did a fantastic job as always. His voice pulls you in and makes you believe. You see the images, feel the tensions, just what you want. Anyone who loves Sherlock types of stories will love it. You could read it standalone, but go back and read the first fourteen is my advice.
In this novel, the sleuth we love and all of his mannerisms are back. After dealing with his poisoning in the last novel and then the whole trilogy concerning his wife, I was greatly excited to see him focus on a story that pits he and Constance against external forces. Ok, so Exmouth, Massachusetts doesn't exists, I live in Massachusetts but I wish it did. Again, always at the edge of strange and exotic, evil lurks and puts our favorite hero through his paces. Also, does Pendergast start to put the moves on Constance as hinted in the last couple of novels? You will have to listen to find out. Your must listen. I give this book my uber-thumbs up and a great next addition to the series.
These two writers are amazing. So over the years we readers have very high expectations from their Pendergast stories. From anyone else, this would be a thrilling read, and it is really very good.
But there is a plot twist in this book that has been faintly foreshadowed in the last two books, and when it finally comes to fruition in this book everyone I know reading the Crimson Shore nodded sagely. Oh yes this makes sense. But the rest of the plot surrounding it is really contrived. This sort of thing does not bother me so much in lesser stories of grim reapers, vampires, were wolves etc., but these authors have been so consistently above this sort of cliff hanger, and twisting the current plot so that it is not really obvious that what is happening is just a reworking of plot points already worked to the point of fraying.
It will work too, because those of us invested in the weird world of Pendergast and his companions will not give up on these books.
But I am so prejudiced against cliff hangers, even ones like this that I can predict what will happen, that before I buy the next book, or any book I will pay close attention to reviews. I think I am especially angry about this one, because the writing flowed so consistently to the very end, that I spent time a great deal of time on this book.
I am just reminded that a a cliff hanger, by definition comes at the end, so I can't complain that I didn't see it coming. But like I noted before, if these were lesser writers, I would have seen it coming, and I could have done something less aggravating with my time.
I have been a fan of Special Agent Pendergast for years, and always pre-order and avidly await the next in the series. This one was awful. The plot was thin, as though the authors were bored with the series and just churning another one out. It had none of the suspense and complexity of earlier books in the series. Even though it ends on a cliffhanger, I'm not inclined to listen to the next one.
I've been a long-time fan of the authors. Long. Time. And the entire length of this book my main response was "fish or cut bait". We've been strung along for several books now with the Pendergast/Constance Green subplot. If you want to call it that. Meanwhile Diogenes is back? Seriously. This reads like a slightly uninteresting story until the last 3 hours of the recording. Then we finally get to the meat of the book. And without warning we are in an episode of Days of Our Lives from the 1980s. I thought Pendergast was "back" in his last two stories. Apparently I was wrong. It's just Stephano Demera.
To my suprise I found Pendergast and Constance's behavior and attitudes towards others tiresome and irritating in its excessive superiority. The initial storyline was interesting but went off the rails in the end. It felt like it was excessively graphic in its violence. Bringing the brother back feels like a cheap plot device. I've been dissatisfied with the last few books and am unlikely to purchase the next one. I've been a loyal reader and I'm a bit sad.
There are few books by this duo that I haven't read -- a few I wish I hadn't -- but generally the two authors' collaborations are reliably entertaining. Like most prolific writers that have found a route to blockbuster success, Preston & Child have worn that path into a deep groove that is recognizable immediately, whether it's their individual books, their Gideon Crew series, or the Pendergast series. But that's the fun of picking up one of their novels: you know the characters, their proclivities, and how far DP/LC can hang you over the cliff by your heels.
Reviews are all over the scale on this one, and that too is routine for a DP/LC book. I swore after reading the last 2 Pendergast novels I was done. Obviously, I caved. Crimson Shore must have been the right book at the right time for me. The formula is the same, the story just as benevolently preposterous, the mysterious relationship between Pendergast and Constance just as irritating, but I really enjoyed the location, the history twisted to serve the characters, and the comfort of curling up with old, well-known friends--even if one of them is a stinky relic-like thing with a tail, that runs around town stinking up the place and eating the citizens...and what about THIS ending!!!?? Could it possibly be SO?!
One of the better Pendergast books; good enough to take the bad taste of "The Lost Island" out of my mouth. And, let's hope Rene Auberjonois, THE voice of Pendergast, never changes.
This is a very engaging book. as usual lots of twists and turns,. i stayed up all nite listening to it. I am shocked at the ending!!! to leave us hanging. when is the next book coming out to continue this story????
We are now proud parents of a daughter and a wonderful son-in-law! He is also a child of The U. S. Navy, bonded over military time:)!
I would but. The last part was stupid. I can not believe I'm saying this about Preston and Child. I was so excited and then...I would still read it and it's definitely worth the credit.
His reading is like music! I absolutely love him, he's perfection!
Yeah, no. I can't see this as a movie much less what to name it.
I'm very disappointed, it's such a great story and then it hits a wall.
This is by far my favorite book series. Two things that made me take off one star.
1) The ending seemed like a cliff-hanger that left the book unfinished in my opinion.
2) They brought back my least favorite of their characters at the ending, which mean he'll be prominent the the next book. Oh well...
Having said that, it was a great Pendergast book well worth reading!
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