Review: Two Graves, Preston and Child

Two Graves
Two Graves by Douglas Preston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

True rating: 4.5 stars

Lovers of Agent Pendergast may be thrilled or horrified by the opening of Two Graves. But it is a hint, and perhaps a warning, of the depth of treachery and danger Pendergast will face in this story. I took it as an indication of the depths of his misery. Pendergast doesn’t wallow. He acts, and boy, it would have been quite the final act.

But I hate spoilers, so I’ll try to keep them to a minimum here!

I was entranced throughout the story. It lived up to the reputation of the series, with suspense and action to spare even. Well, mostly.

With so much going on, about three-quarters of the way through I thought another book would be needed to wrap up the many story lines. And there were many. Pendergast was hopelessly entangled in South America, rather far for D’Agosta to be of any help. Never mind how they’d left things when D’Agosta and Pendergast had last spoken! Then, in the span of twenty pages, things took such a turn for the worse, I was hoping D’Agosta might come in to help Pendergast.

Corrie Swanson’s story line was a bit confusing, though. Aside from the fact that she found the Nazi papers that drove her into hiding, there was no clear reason for her to be in the story. Perhaps it’s going to tie in to the next book, but it didn’t seem related to the main story line at all. If I were the sort of person who skims, I would have skipped over those parts (I rarely can bring myself to do that). I just didn’t see what her subplot had to do with the rest of the story. And with the suspense of the predicament Pendergast had found himself in, it was a bit of a let down to then be taken to suburban Pennsylvania to deal with a framed bank robber.

I would’ve liked more D’Agosta in the story. Usually D’Agosta comes to Pendergast’s aid or to assist him, but this story was different. This was really Pendergast’s story. He was teetering on the edge much of the time, came close to giving up, didn’t care if he lived or died a number of times, was actually suicidal, had to face the grimmest of realities… To add his friend—one of a very few—as a witness to his turmoil might have been too much for him. I would have liked to see the repairing of the relationship between those two, though. I needed a bit more than D’Agosta telling Laura that Pendergast once again called him ‘my dear Vincent.’ Perhaps more in the next book?

Don’t get me wrong—Two Graves was gripping, at times shocking, and a true couldn’t-put-it-down read. Pendergast got himself into a far worse mess than he has before, came closer to having no escape than I can remember, left behind many more bodies, and faced a far more frightening enemy.

As I’ve read through the Pendergast series, I got used to lining up the next one while I was reading. Now I’ve caught up. I can’t move on to the next one. There isn’t a next one. I have to wait for it to be written. I’m not happy about that. I’ve been getting a Pendergast fix about once a month for maybe a year now. What am I going to do now?

Mr. Preston? Mr. Child? Get busy!

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