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Thursday, April 20, 2023

Throwback Thursday - Fever Dream by Preston and Child

note: This is another review that I wrote many years ago for my old website. I'm still obsessed with the characters and the work from Preston and Child. Their books still are some of the best action/adventure/mystery stories going today. 

Since I sat down to read The Relic when it first came out years ago I’ve been a big fan of the work of the authors Preston and Child. Together they have written some very entertaining and thrilling books. Really more than once I’ve found myself watching the sun come up as I’ve spent a Friday or Saturday night reading an entire novel in one sitting! While I didn’t read Fever Dream in one sitting, I did enjoy the book immensely. 

The story involves a recurring character named Special Agent Pendergast, who has been the featured character in several of their novels. Here we the reader are introduced to his wife, Helen, who I don’t think has ever been mentioned before. Spoiler Alert: After a brief flashback that introduces her and then shows her terrible death the action moves to the present. Quite on accident Pendergast discovers evidence that proves his wife was murdered and sets off with the help of his old friend Detective D’Agosta (another reoccurring character) to track down who is responsible for her elaborate murder. To accomplish this they must retrace the last few years of Helen’s life, and while doing that they stir up a mystery from the past. Before you know it there are assassins taking shots at them and angry locals chasing them across the Bayou. 

This is such a great book. The story is very engaging and an excellent read. There is a fine balance between action and mystery. The plot isn’t overly complicated but does offer a few unexpected twists and turns that held my attention from the first page to the last. Though I will admit this is the first of their novels that I figured out before the end it didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Probably because I expected that I was wrong and was pleasantly surprised when the big reveal came. By now the characters are very familiar and well rounded, but even with that I love how each of the books that feature the Pendergast character gives us just a bit more of his background and family history. Here we get introduced to his life as a big game hunter and of course his brief marriage and wife. The authors do a wonderful job weaving this into the existing character without having to go back and “rewrite” history to make it fit. I also really dig how the book resolves nicely all while setting up a couple more plot lines that will need to be resolved in future works. 

Really if you haven’t taken the time to read one of the novels from Preston and Child you need to give one a try. I’ve been hooked since their first book and can say without qualification that I’ve yet to be disappointed by them. At least when the work together that is. Hell, my only real complaint is that I’m dying to figure out what happens with the plot lines they left dangling at the end of the book! Hurry up and get to writing damn it… 

© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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