Thursday, August 27, 2009

Still Life with Crows

Still Life with Crows (Pendergast, #4) Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Still Life with Crows, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: In Medicine Creek, Kansas, a town where little changes, where Main Street is a two-block stretch of dusty businesses, a peculiar and grisly murder has taken place. The body mutilated and placed carefully in an elaborate tableau in the middle of the endless cornfields. Now eagle-eyed and even-tempered FBI Agent Pendergast arrives to turn upside down this small community to find the killer who must be one of them. The killings are timed to coincide with the arrival of the Extension agent with genetically modified corn. Can there be a connection?

I was disappointed to walk away with this book on my last trip to the library, but the moment I started reading, my disappointment changed to interest and attention. I was spellbound. The language was poetic, the pacing delicate and well timed, and there was humor among the horror. I normally don’t like this type of novel, but this was so well-written, I truly enjoyed it, despite its ghastly nature. The characters are engaging. And at times surprising. If you’d have told me I’d like this, I’d have laughed out loud—but I did. I was sorry for the book to end and am eager to read another. Also, I found out just now it is part of a series—I vaguely suspected it might be—but it hangs together as an individual unit so well that the fact that it’s fourth in the series sis not diminish it readability! I’m going back tot eh library to get the FIRST one and read them all, maybe. We’ll see how the next one is.

One thing about reading this type of book is that it makes me nervous walking around alone at night in Detroit.

And here’s something more eerie: four dead birds have appeared in a certain spot where I walk every day, appeared, disappeared, and reappeared—I kid you not. It’s under some low bushes where I have to duck into darkness to get through. Four different kids of dead birds, a sparrow, a blackbird, a wood thrush and a starling. Where’s Pendergast when I need him?

One thing I don’t like about this novel and others like it is the expendable people. I’m tempted to write my own novel about their lives. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child would probably consider ME one of the expendable people the could toss into a crevice in the cave or leave in a field surrounded by dead crows.

I didn’t think they answered the question of why the tableaus very well—look at the example Job had of the 45. But that’s just me. One tiny tweak in an otherwise super book. (But scary and horrifying!)

I also finished another book, but no time for more reviews right now.

View all my reviews >>

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