Reviews for Two Graves


Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #2
Preston and Child's (Cold Vengeance, 2011, etc.) thriller completes the Helen trilogy featuring the weird and unworldly Aloysius Pendergast, special agent for the FBI. The conclusion opens with Pendergast called to meet Helen, the wife he presumed dead, in New York City's Central Park. There's a touching, tentative reunion, and then Der Bund strikes again, kidnapping Helen and leaving Pendergast wounded. Pendergast offers a treatise on detection perfection, tracing Helen from hither and yon to Sonora, Mexico. There's another shootout. Helen's killed, and principal bad guy, Wulf Konrad Fischer, escapes. Pendergast retreats to his Dakota apartment in New York City and into a grief-and-guilt-driven drug addiction. Friends intervene. Lt. D'Agosta, city police detective, pleads for Pendergast to help search for a serial killer. Corrie Swanson, criminal justice student, is in danger after stumbling on a Nazi safe house in her quest to help Pendergast. With Pendergast's aid, Corrie takes refuge with her estranged father, only to find him framed for a bank robbery. Psychiatrist Dr. John Felder discovers the institutionalized Constance Greene may truly be a century and a half old. Pendergast, intrigued by the bizarre serial murders, applies DNA analysis, which leads him to think the murderer is his brother Diogenes, a villain supposedly dead in a Sicilian volcano. Further analysis reveals truths even more grotesque. The most simplistic of the narratives follows Corrie clearing her father; the most gothic follows Felder seeking proof of Greene's age; and the most violent follows Pendergast as he uncovers secrets about Helen and then takes revenge by breaching a Nazi refuge in Brazil. Pendergast's narrative offers angst and ample bloodletting in gothic locales and confrontations with the issue of Mengele's twins experiments mated with quantum mechanics and genetic manipulation. If Preston and Child fans haven't read the first two volumes in the Helen trilogy, confusion will reign. Pendergast--an always-black-clad pale blond polymath, gaunt yet physically deadly, an FBI agent operating without supervision or reprimand--lurks at the dark, sharp edge of crime fiction protagonists. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 July #1

Taking its name from the Confucian saying "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, first dig two graves," this novel concludes Special Agent Pendergast's mission to discover what happened to his wife, Helen. He's holed up in Manhattan when he's asked to investigate several mysterious hotel fires that turn out to be a message from the very men he's been tracking. Then he ends up deep in the jungles of South America, confronted by an ancient evil. Cold Vengeance, second in the trilogy, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best sellers list, so there will be big demand.

[Page 55]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 October #2

In this conclusion to the authors' Helen trilogy (Fever Dream; Cold Vengeance), Special Agent Pendergast finally discovers what happened to his wife, Helen, who was supposedly mauled by a lion while game hunting in Africa 15 years ago but who may have been kidnapped and forced to collaborate in her own death. Having lost the kidnappers' trail, Pendergast is asked to investigate a string of mysterious hotel fires in Manhattan, and the clues lead him to South America and the kidnappers. VERDICT Across these three titles, Preston and Child weave a dense and, oftentimes, boring and unimpressive plotline running over 1200 pages. With the final volume, eager fans will at last learn what really happened to Helen--unfortunately after plodding through a lot of insignificant and inconsequential details. Regardless, order multiples. [See Prepub Alert, 6/3/12.]--Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA

[Page 70]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #4

Preston and Child's high-adrenaline 12th thriller featuring maverick FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast wraps up the trilogy that began with 2010's Fever Dream and continued with 2011's Cold Vengeance with a bang. Just as Pendergast is reunited one evening in Manhattan's Central Park with his beloved wife, Helen, who he thought died 12 years earlier, Helen falls victim to a gang of well-organized kidnappers. Despite Pendergast's impressive combination of brains and brawn as well as network of helpers, his efforts to rescue Helen don't play out as he anticipated. Meanwhile, a serial murderer dubbed the Hotel Killer has been targeting guests of Manhattan hotels, mutilating his victims and leaving behind a piece of his own body (e.g., a finger, an ear lobe) to taunt the NYPD. Given the growing cast of characters and their complex backstories, those already familiar with the bestselling authors' fictional world will most enjoy this intelligent suspense novel. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Dec.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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