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Reviewed by Stephen B. for Readers' Favorite
In Preston and Child's book, Fever Dream, Special Agent Pendergast's wife, Helen, was murdered twelve years previously. He set out to find the murderer and uncovered secrets and scandals which involved Helen. In this second book, Cold Vengeance, Pendergast is against the person he has concluded is the murderer...Helen’s brother, Judsen. After surviving a gun battle in the moors, Pendergast continues his search not only for his brother in-law, but Helen herself who he is convinced is, somehow, still alive. Meanwhile, a reporter from a small Mississippi newspaper has reported the return of a mysterious couple (who we met in the previous book). This causes a secret organization, tied in with Judsen and Helen, to rear its ugly head, and the reporter is on its trail. From Scotland to Maine, from Louisiana to Ohio, and from Mississippi to New York, the truth starts to slowly unravel.
Can you imagine the outline Preston and Child developed for this story? This tale is complex enough to warrant a scorecard just to keep everybody straight. The authors bring in characters from previous books and ramp up the conspiracies. Plus, it raises more questions than it provides answers to questions raised in the previous book. The scenes, while being descriptive, are nonetheless tight and don’t wander. I found it a little difficult keeping track of the passage of time throughout the story, and there is no connecting link between the end of the previous book and the beginning of this one. Once you’re deep into it, you won’t necessarily care, because by the end, you’re more frustrated about the fulfillment of your desire for explanations. However, you’ll have to wait. This is only the second book in the current story arc, but another fine Pendergast tale.