Review: 'Two Graves' is exceptional thriller

"Two Graves" (Grand Central), by Preston & Child

The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and "Two Graves" delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters.

A good thriller forces the reader to finish the book in one sitting. An exceptional thriller does that plus forces the reader to slow down to savor every word. With "Two Graves," authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book.

The novel is the conclusion of a trilogy that started with "Fever Dream" and last year's "Cold Vengeance," though one could easily pick up this book and not feel lost. The protagonist, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, has none of the usual qualities that make a hero. He's addicted to drugs, socially inept and has the appearance of a living ghost. But he has the most brilliant mind imaginable, and his keen insight and ability to think outside the box are desperately needed to solve a bizarre string of murders occurring in New York City hotels. He's just learned that his wife, long presumed dead, is alive. The hunt for answers to the murders and what happened to his wife take Pendergast to the edge of his sanity — and career.

The gothic atmosphere that oozes from the pages of "Two Graves" will envelop the reader in a totally unique experience. Pendergast is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, quirks and all, who would live more comfortably in the past but must suffer through the inconveniences that living in the 21st century brings. The mystery tantalizes, and the shocks throughout the narrative are like bolts of lightning.

Fans will love the conclusion to the trilogy, and newcomers will seek out the authors' earlier titles.

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