William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor-a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta undertake their own private-and decidedly unorthodox-quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and vodou which no outsiders have ever survived.
This is the first book by these two authors that I have read and I jumped at the opportunity when I found out what the book was about. It is not an easy task to take on writing a novel, but to write a novel with another author must be a very interesting undertaking to say the least. The writing in this novel is flawless, although predictable at times.
This book certainly starts off with a bang – a murder of one of the “cast” of characters that these two have created. This leaves everyone in a state of shock and grief and they are left to try and solve the crime and do justice to their fallen comrade.
As crazy as it seems, this murder seems to have been committed by Colin Fearing. What makes that strange? Well, he committed suicide several weeks earlier. All signs point to him as the murderer, and when they follow the trail they are led to a cult – a cult that the victim was investigating due to animal cruelty allegations.
What they find when investigating the cult is shocking – they practice Voodoo (Vodou) in order to create zombies to eliminate people that stand in their way.
Although this type of book has been written before, these two authors seem to breathe new life into the world of Voodoo and the types of people that believe in this ancient practice. I will be certain to pick up some more by these two – I want a better understanding of the characters and believe the only way to do this is to read more by them, something I am really looking forward to!
Lincoln Child is a former book editor and systems analyst who has published numerous novels and anthologies.