Surprisingly, the 19th book in the FBI Agent at Large Aloysius Pendergast series takes place less than a month after Verses for the Dead (book 18).
In real world publishing time, there was a gap of 15 months between the two installments yet the avid reader (me) can dive straight back into the action, meeting new characters (with full back stories, making one care about their fates) in the first chapter.
Book 19 surprisingly features more of Constance Green, Pendergast’s very mysterious ward who first appeared in The Cabinet of Curiosities (book 3) and has made brief but intriguing appearances ever since. This story is set in Florida, where 99 human, severed, feet wash up on the beach each encased in a green sneaker.
Barely recovered from their injuries sustained in book 18, Pendergast is again joined by Special Agent Coldmoon at the behest of their FBI boss to investigate and stop any crime. Constance comes along too and, by the end of this engrossing thriller, one is glad for her support.
These books are best classified as action/adventure/thriller. Whilst not Literature, they offer absorbing enigmas set in the present day. They are a pleasure to read (and stand up to repeat visits at later dates).
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group