Verses for the Dead by Preston & Child

2019 Limelight Reviews
Mystery and Crime

The 17th mystery thriller in the Agent Pendergast series does not immediately follow the police procedural plots of prior novels.

This time Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast of the FBI New York office is sent to Miami to investigate and resolve a grisly murder. And, he is also saddled with a partner. For the Special Agent who is legendary for his solo case closures, high rate of perpetrator deaths, and proven record of partners being killed in the line of duty, all of the current circumstances are most trying.

The joy of this particular installment lies in observing the verbal swordplay between Pendergast, his superior SAIC Pickett, and his new partner Agent Coldmoon. The body count piles up (as is wont to do when Pendergast is assigned to any case), we learn more about the reticent Coldmoon and a couple of new characters are introduced: the local Miami-Dade police commander, and assistant ME (to help with the autopsies).

This novel was particularly surprising (and I’ve read all of the previous installments in sequence). Until the third last chapter, there is no clue as to the perpetrator’s true identity, nor the reason behind the murders whereas previous installments often informed the reader of the guilty party’s identity and motive, then followed Pendergast and his ad hoc partners as they unravelled the mystery. The final chapter is a hoot, a scene between Coldmoon, Pickett and Pendergast which left this reader smiling.  And ready for the next book!

Find Verses of the Dead by Preston & Child in the SMSA Library Catalogue 


Reviewed by

Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group