A Pendergast Novel
By Preston & Child
Grand Central Publishing
As we said dozens of times before, our favorite new pulp series today is the Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. “Bloodless” is the twentieth in the adventures of Special FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast and probably one of the most blatantly outrageous yet. This is saying something as this series kicked off with Pendergast dealing with a mutated jungle monster loose in the Museum of Natural History to be followed by his encounter with a mysterious young lady well over a hundred years old but still retaining her physical youth. As we said, outrageous, and yet Preston and Child have so much fun telling these stories, the reader is instantly swept along for the ride and leaves all rationality behind.
In “Bloodless” the story begins with a retelling of the FBI’s most famous and still unsolved cases; the plane highjacking by the man known as D.B. Cooper who, after being paid his ransom, parachuted out of a plane over the Northwest and was never seen again. From this prequel, the book then springs to Savannah, Georgia today and the body of a murdered man washed up along the banks of the river…without a drop of blood in it. Pendergast, his ward Constance Greene and partner Agent Armstrong Coldmoon are assigned the case. Before too long, a second bloodless corpse literarily falls out of the sky one night nearly crushing a tourist couple out for a stroll. As events continue, the case simply becomes more and more macabre until our heroes are faced with the possibility that the killer may not be of this world.
Like all such long-running series, the Pendergast adventures have had their ups and downs. Some tales were a bit awkward and clumsy while others were spot-on thrillers with panache. “Bloodless” may possibly be the finest since our personal favorite, “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” book # 3. Not to be missed, pulp fans because this is really what great pulp writing is all about.