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Cemetery Dance
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing, 435 pages

Cemetery Dance
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have collaborated on other novels: The Relic, Mount Dragon, and Reliquary. Preston is the author of two non-fiction works, Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold. His brother is Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone, which inspired Mount Dragon. On his own, Child has collected and edited a number of ghost and horror story anthologies, including Dark Company and Dark Banquet.

ISFDB Bibliography: Douglas Preston
ISFDB Bibliography: Lincoln Child
SF Site Review: The Cabinet of Curiosities
SF Site Review: Reliquary
SF Site Review: Riptide

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

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Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is their latest book featuring Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast and his various friends and acquaintances. A reporter is brutally murdered by someone who had been found dead two weeks earlier. Pendergast joins forces with NYPD Detective Vincent D'Agosta to solve the crime and bring those responsible to justice.

As the voodoo nature of the crime gets made public, the citizens get more and more riled up until at the climax of the book an Animal Rights group leads a tactical assault to destroy a semi-secret temple of squatters who practice a bastardized version of Obeah.

And yet, this is not speculative fiction. It's given the dressing of a horror novel and even fooled me into thinking it was one, but in the end it was just hiding the trick. The authors did quite well, throwing in a couple of obvious red herrings as well as some subtler ones. I didn't mind following along as characters got misled but the authors also added sections that were there only to mislead the reader and while I understand that there should be suspense, I think that's cheating.

The other thing was that the characters felt a little incomplete. As this is the ninth book that Pendergast et al. have appeared in, it's my lack of information on their story arcs. This was probably not the best point to jump into the series, but the authors provided enough information that I was never lost, just desiring more details.

That being said, the characters still evolved as the story unfolded and I very much appreciate an author who can see how to grow a character. The main characters are all friends of the murdered man and the authors to a great job showing how each of them deals with the grief of losing someone they care about.

It is worth reading if you like mysteries that the authors don't let you try to solve.

Copyright © 2009 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.


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