MYSTERY

Crooked River

Grand Central. (Special Agent Pendergast, Bk. 19). Feb. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781538747254. $29. THRILLER
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Sanibel and Captiva Islands on the Florida Gulf Coast are known for their beauty and the abundance of beautiful seashells that wash up on the pristine beaches. When nearly 100 severed feet clad in identical shoes begin washing up on the beaches, the FBI calls in Special Agent Pendergast. A joint task force is quickly gathered, with the Coast Guard in charge. The case is fraught with infighting and jurisdictional conflicts. Pendergast quietly conducts his own investigation but realizes too late that there is a mole in the task force passing information to the bad guys, placing Pendergast and his colleagues, including junior agent Coldmoon, in danger. The authors remain true to their established characters, but the development of the peripheral characters is a little flat and stereotypical.
VERDICT Preston and Child’s latest could be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Recommended for mystery readers who enjoy bizarre twists.

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