White FireRon Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at White Fire, A Special Agent Pendergast Mystery by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child from Vision Books.

WHITE FIRE
A Special Agent Pendergast Mystery
By Preston & Child
Vision
470 pages

When you read through 470 pages of a book and it seems like you only just started, you know it is a special book. When you read a book that takes place in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado while at the same time dealing with a lost Sherlock Holmes tale by Arthur Conan Doyle, it’s a good bet you’ve gotten into a truly unique and original adventure. All of which are the hallmarks of the Special FBI Agent Pendergast thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Easily one of the best New Pulp series on the market today, the adventures of Agent Perdergast are always a treat filled with the bizarre and unexpected. Alone, both Preston and Child are excellent masters of action fiction; together they are unbeatable.

In this, the fourteenth of the series. Pendergast’s young female protégé, Corrie Swanson, finds herself in the exclusive ski resort of Roaring Fork, Colorado. As a student of a prestigious criminal justice college, Corrie has traveled to the remote mountain town in hopes of examining the recently exhumed bodies of eleven miners who were supposedly killed and eaten by a grizzly bear in the late 1800s. All of this is for a thesis paper she is writing. But when she exactly sees a few skeletal remains from one of the bodies, Corrie spots an anomaly that doesn’t corroborate the recorded cause of death. Because of this revelation she is soon arrested and thrown in jail for trumped up charges by some of the wealthier townsfolk afraid of what she has accidentally uncovered.

Of course word of her incarceration doesn’t take long to reach Pendergast and he arrives days later to rescue Corrie and investigate why she was illegal imprisoned. But before his own detective work can get rolling, Roaring Fork is beset by a serial arsonist who targets the most expensive homes in the community. This unknown sadist invades the rich mansions, overcomes the residing families and leaves them to burn alive in the fiery conflagration. Thus it would appear Agent Pendergast is dealing with two separate cases and that beomces his conundrum; whether they are independent affairs or in fact actually related to each other. And if so, how?

And why does the hundred years old grizzle bear killings involve a lost Sherlock Holmes story?

The word page-turner is all too often carelessly dropped into a review without any real justification. In this case, there is no other way to correctly describe “White Fire.” We’ve been a fan of the Pendergast series since its inception and soundly declare “White Fire” to be one of the best thus far. It never misses a single beat in its literary melody of suspense and thrills.

 

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