White Fire

White Fire - Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child Corrie Swanson has gotten herself into some trouble with the local law in a small Colorado skiing town, so Special Agent Pendergast, much to her chagrin and (quiet) gratitude, arrives to save the day. It seems Ms. Swanson’s research into some long ago “bear attacks” has the town worried about what she may uncover. Add that to some sudden mysterious cases of arson of multi-million dollar mansions, and Aloysius knows he has a little investigating to do. Coincidentally, there is also a connection with a long lost Sherlock Holmes story.

So …
… the reader gets a little bit of Hounds of Baskerville, something a little reminiscent of the Donner Party, and as another reviewer pointed out as well, some striking similarities to Still Life with Crows. Somehow it all blends together into an interesting story, but not one of team Douglas/Child’s best. Aloysius is absent through much of this book, so Corrie Swanson is left to carry the story. I understand that she is, or at least would like to be Pendergast’s new protégé but I missed the presence of Constance (given a mere mention in this book after playing a tantalizingly larger role in last book) as well as his usual big city entourage.

Aloysius is by nature a very solemn and serious character and other than mourning his dead wife readers have not seen a lot of emotion from him, so I did enjoy a little display of his softer side in this book. I also have to confess that I laughed out loud at one scene where he could only be described as uncharacteristically disheveled. Does this portent of a change in Pendergast? I really hope not. I’ve really come to like his uber-intelligent aloofness.

Another Goodreads reviewer wrote that she enjoyed this book despite not having read any previous Pendergast books. I can see how this one worked well as a stand alone, or a “jump into the middle of the series” introductory book because of the lack of the peripheral characters, however as a constant reader I hope they come back in subsequent books and I certainly encourage anyone starting with this book (and enjoying it, of course) to go back to the beginning of the series, it’s well worth it.