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Country: Europe, UA, Ukraine
City: Ivanov, Vinnyts'ka Oblast'
I have loved all the Pendergast books, some more so than others of course, but this one stood out. The previous volume seemed to try to turn Pendergast into a more action-oriented figure a la James Bond, but in "White Fire" he returns to his original, quirky Sherlockian roots. In fact, this is underlined with a mock "undiscovered" Conan Doyle story embedded in the novel, and Pendergast uses it and some more of his Tibetan memory journey tricks to reveal the story within the story.
There is an historic mystery pursued by Pendergast's protégé (?) Corrie Swanson, the headstrong young woman from the wrong side of the tracks who is now studying criminology. Her self-centered rashness perfectly captures her youthfulness, even as it irritates the reader; she is all fire while Pendergast is cool and almost always collected. The town that draws them is a former mining town turned ski mecca for the ultra-rich and celebrity crowd, intentionally painted as a Gomorrah headed for a fall. When a serial murderer/arsonist strikes, the overstretched police chief enlists help from Pendergast. He does his usual thing and his investigation, along with the first storm of the winter, helps bring past and present together in an explosive and thoroughly entertaining story as only Messrs. Preston and Child can deliver.
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