Title: Crimson Shore
Authors: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Series: Pendergast, book 15
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
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 . . .
I don’t think there is much left to say after that very explanatory blurb. What I can say about the story is that I don’t think this is a good book to start the series. I thought that being a mystery series that I could jump into this book without a problem, but I found that was not the case. There is a lot of backstory between the characters that made me feel lost. So much, I tried reading the synopsis and some reviews of previous books to see if they could give me some light into their past, but it was not enough.
Another thing I wasn’t expecting about Crimson Shore was the paranormal aspect of it. I thought the Pendergast series was a standard mystery series, but that was not the case. Not only the story had a paranormal angle, but also, one of the main characters is kind of a supernatural being with an important (unknown to me) backstory.
Unfortunately, I also had problems believing Agent Pendergast behavior. He acted and sounded like a washout version of Sherlock Holmes. Due to his demeanor I think he would have been more believable -to me- if he were a British investigator rather than an American FBI agent.
Not everything was bad with Crimson Shore; there were things I liked about the story and about Pendergast investigative methods. I also liked Preston and Child’s writing. I just wish I knew what I was getting into before starting this book.
As I said before, I don’t think Crimson Shore is a good book to start the series with, for that reason I can only recommend it to fans of this series.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
The Cabinet of Curiosities
Still Life with Crows
Dance of Death
The Book of the Dead
The Wheel of Darkness
Other reviews Goodreads