Crooked River (Pendergast, #19)
Before he can return to New York from Miami, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is called to investigate something very strange that has happened on the west coast of Florida. Dozens of human feet, identically clad in blue have washed up on beaches. All exhibit unmistakeable signs of violence. Beyond that, nothing is known about the feet, except that they are fresh and haven't been in the water long. Pendergast reluctantly makes his way to the barrier islands off South Florida to investigate a case he believes to be outside his area of expertise and his interest. Once there, he finds the case both disturbing and intriguing, and is drawn into the mystery almost against his will. A preliminary pathology report indicates the feet were chopped, torn, or even wrenched from their bodies in the crudest of ways. Over the next few days, still more continue to wash in, until the number tops one hundred. Soon the case begins to take a most surprising and complex turn, and Pendergast finds it necessary to call in Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon for a risky and very specific undercover assignment. And when, at last, the true origin of this awful gift from the sea becomes clear, the former partners are forced to confront an enemy, and a horror, more powerful and deadly than any they have faced before.

Crooked River (Pendergast, #19) Details

TitleCrooked River (Pendergast, #19)
Author
ReleaseFeb 4th, 2020
PublisherHead of Zeus
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Audiobook

Crooked River (Pendergast, #19) Review

  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic!!! And what an epic ending!Going with 4.5 stars on this one.Crooked River is the 19th book in the Pendergast series and just published this month.Yes, you read that right!There have been 19 books in this series and I feel like Preston & Child are still knocking them out!Crooked River starts off with Agent Pendergast and his ward, Constance Green finally having a vacation on a secluded island. While on vacation, Pendergast's supervisor, Assistant Director in Charge Pickett comes to Fantastic!!! And what an epic ending!Going with 4.5 stars on this one.Crooked River is the 19th book in the Pendergast series and just published this month.Yes, you read that right!There have been 19 books in this series and I feel like Preston & Child are still knocking them out!Crooked River starts off with Agent Pendergast and his ward, Constance Green finally having a vacation on a secluded island. While on vacation, Pendergast's supervisor, Assistant Director in Charge Pickett comes to the island to ask for Agent Pendergast's help.He needs Pendergast to investigate strange things happening off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Dozens of severed human feet have come ashore and the Coast Guard and local agencies have no idea what is going on or where the feet came from.Enter our favorite and eccentric FBI agent to the rescue!The mystery and case of the floating feet in Crooked River was well done. I was engrossed from the beginning until the end. And the end was pretty epic and cringe worthy!I would definitely suggest reading this book after reading the first 18 books in the series. There are continuing characters along with knowing why the characters act the way they do. I think backstory with this series and characters will give you the best reading experience on understanding motive and actions.I'm sure you could still read this as a stand alone book and enjoy the experience. It's a complex and intriguing thriller!Super excited for the next Pendergast adventure that's sure to come!
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  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    No disappointment at all for me in the continuation of the Pendergast series in book#19. 4.5/5.0 stars! I still love these characters, and the mystery here is just as.... well, mysterious as ever. I was guessing wrong all the way to the end (in a fun way ). While the last couple of books felt a little different to me (Not even sure I could put a finger on what it is that felt different) I would say that this book feels more like a throwback to some of the earlier books, in a good way. If you’ve No disappointment at all for me in the continuation of the Pendergast series in book#19. 4.5/5.0 stars! I still love these characters, and the mystery here is just as.... well, mysterious as ever. I was guessing wrong all the way to the end (in a fun way 😁). While the last couple of books felt a little different to me (Not even sure I could put a finger on what it is that felt different) I would say that this book feels more like a throwback to some of the earlier books, in a good way. If you’ve enjoyed the series so far, I think you’ll have no problem loving this one just as much. If you’re new to the series, I would definitely go back to read the earlier books first to maximize the enjoyment of the overall character arcs to this point. Despite that, it could be read standalone just fine as well. Can’t wait for the next adventure!
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Following the death of long term narrator Rene Auberjonois, I had doubts that Jefferson Mays could fill his impressive shoes but I have to say that he has done a stirling job of this book and I am assured the future of Pendergast is in good hands. A classic Pendergast novel is here, more of what everyone expects wrapped around a mysterious crime that seems to have no cause or motive. Even Constance has something to do here outside her normal angst and bringing people tea, and the story is better Following the death of long term narrator Rene Auberjonois, I had doubts that Jefferson Mays could fill his impressive shoes but I have to say that he has done a stirling job of this book and I am assured the future of Pendergast is in good hands. A classic Pendergast novel is here, more of what everyone expects wrapped around a mysterious crime that seems to have no cause or motive. Even Constance has something to do here outside her normal angst and bringing people tea, and the story is better for it, as she is one of the most interesting characters in the series.
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    Plots that border the implausible and characters who do the impossible make this series especially appealing to me. The star of the show, FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast, and his young, mysterious ward, Constance Greene, are so intriguing that I simply can't get enough. In this one, it's clear from the outset that something grisly is afoot - literally; but while Pendergast performs his usual feats of mental brilliance, it is Constance who steals the action scenes this time around.Enjoying Plots that border the implausible and characters who do the impossible make this series especially appealing to me. The star of the show, FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast, and his young, mysterious ward, Constance Greene, are so intriguing that I simply can't get enough. In this one, it's clear from the outset that something grisly is afoot - literally; but while Pendergast performs his usual feats of mental brilliance, it is Constance who steals the action scenes this time around.Enjoying some rare downtime, Pendergast is annoyed to get a call ordering him to a crime scene on Florida's Sanibel Island. There, he learns that dozens of identical green sneakers are floating ashore with the tide - all containing human feet. But from whence did they come? Are the rest of the bodies still intact and alive, and if so, where?Other police and Coast Guard officers and FBI agents (the latter including Assistant Director Walter Pickett, with whom I developed an immediate affinity given that Pickett is my maiden name) are there to help. Theories run all over the map, for a time centering on a Cuban prison. But only when Pendergast commandeer's the research boat of a Dr. Gladstone and her capable tech-savvy assistant do they discover the true origin - and it's too close to home for comfort. Meanwhile, a local hot-shot reporter finds a clue and sets off on his own to get the scoop - putting his own life in peril - and Pendergast calls on another of his cohorts, Agent Coldmoon (a Native American who will be familiar to readers of previous books), to kick in his special brand of assistance.But the more the investigation gets a leg-up on the truth, the more the powers-that-be insist that Pendergast and his team to toe the official line. Needless to say, stay the course has never been part of Pendergast's crime-solving strategy, and it certainly rankles him this time around. But this case just might the one to do him in; and it will be up to Constance, with some help from Coldmoon - to keep this, the 19th book, from becoming the end of the series. But no, I never really believed that was a possibility, and a cliffhanger at the end assured me there will be a 20th. Bring it on!
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  • Tamara Thorne
    January 1, 1970
    If Sherlock Holmes was confronted by dozens of shoes - filled with feet - washing up on the banks of the Thames, what would he do? I can only imagine that his methods would be the 19th century equivalent to Preston & Child's Agent Pendergast's. I was attracted to Crooked River because of the severed feet. In the story, feet clad in identical shoes begin washing up on a Florida Beach. We've all seen news reports about such feet stumbling ashore, often in the Pacific Northwest, and there are If Sherlock Holmes was confronted by dozens of shoes - filled with feet - washing up on the banks of the Thames, what would he do? I can only imagine that his methods would be the 19th century equivalent to Preston & Child's Agent Pendergast's. I was attracted to Crooked River because of the severed feet. In the story, feet clad in identical shoes begin washing up on a Florida Beach. We've all seen news reports about such feet stumbling ashore, often in the Pacific Northwest, and there are many theories about these phenomena, most of them well, rather pedestrian that when Preston & Child decided to explore their own version of this mystery, I couldn't resist.If you're unfamiliar with Preston & Child's enigmatic FBI agent, it won't be a problem. The authors have written this book so that you can walk right into the story and know and understand Pendergast and his beautiful but deadly assistant without floundering.In Crooked River, Pendergast is partnered with Special Agent Coldmoon, and as we follow the three protagonists, we're drawn into action and adventure so exciting that I, for one, missed out on a lot of sleep. But it was well worth it.Crooked River is a complex tale that will have your heart pumping as you turn the pages. To say more about the story itself would be hard without giving spoilers, so I'll leave you with this: If Sherlock Holmes were alive today and had access to the technology and science that Agent Pendergast does, I doubt he could solve the crime any quicker than Pendergast. But I would love to see him try.
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  • Bryan
    January 1, 1970
    As far as being a faithful reader, I haven't missed a new Preston & Child novel since Relic; and I haven't missed a new Pendergast either.I'm unsure how to properly comment my feelings in reading this one. The talent and voice(s) is there, but the vision seems to be muddied or perhaps lost? I loved the first Pendergast novels; Relic, Reliquary, up through Still Life...; and was blown away by the Helen trilogy. Then it seems as if the authors did a radical reset of the character. There really As far as being a faithful reader, I haven't missed a new Preston & Child novel since Relic; and I haven't missed a new Pendergast either.I'm unsure how to properly comment my feelings in reading this one. The talent and voice(s) is there, but the vision seems to be muddied or perhaps lost? I loved the first Pendergast novels; Relic, Reliquary, up through Still Life...; and was blown away by the Helen trilogy. Then it seems as if the authors did a radical reset of the character. There really hasn't been any evolution of character since.I excitedly thought, reading a short story where the authors were joined by R. L. Stein, that there might be a change in the air in some way. Sadly there hasn't been. I genuinely mean that. I am sad that I find myself asking if I'll even bother with the next one.I hate to suggest it. but it reminds me of a production studio, where the studio heads "...simply have to have this, this, this and this!", and the writer's break with something more interesting and give in to the demands. Maybe there was too much word of mouth comparing Pendergast to Holmes. Even Holmes got his proper upgrades (see Elementary and the new Edinburgh series, by C. Lawrence, for starters).I was unable to finish the book. I gave this two stars out of respect for the character and writers that give me an amazing book to read back in the nineties, with an amazing mid-intro main character. I wonder where that fellow is today?
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  • Stewart Tame
    January 1, 1970
    A beachcomber hunting for shells spies a shoe washing up on the beach. And there is a severed foot within! Dozens more begin to float ashore …That macabre opening scene kicks off the latest Preston & Child novel in fine style. Naturally, special agent Pendergast is persuaded to investigate. While this definitely is not the first novel in the series, it's a decent enough place to start if you're curious. Plenty of time to delve into the history of the characters if you like this sample. The A beachcomber hunting for shells spies a shoe washing up on the beach. And there is a severed foot within! Dozens more begin to float ashore …That macabre opening scene kicks off the latest Preston & Child novel in fine style. Naturally, special agent Pendergast is persuaded to investigate. While this definitely is not the first novel in the series, it's a decent enough place to start if you're curious. Plenty of time to delve into the history of the characters if you like this sample. The mysteries and action unfold at a steady pace leading to a grand and satisfyingly thrilling climax.I’m feeling moderately pleased with myself for figuring out the reason for the severed feet. Without giving too much away, let's just say that I read about it in an Oliver Sacks book years ago, and leave it at that. Anyone who's read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat probably knows what I’m talking about already …I’ve been a fan of Preston & Child’s work since almost the beginning, and they never fail to impress. Highly recommended!
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  • Nilesh
    January 1, 1970
    Crooked River starts well and completely loses its way soon after. The authors devise an ingenious crime scene. The resolution process begins earnestly with inventive analysis involving ocean currents. The actual crime was always going to challenge anyone's credibility notions, given the starting points. What hurts are-- the simple unfolding process-- An even simpler crime narrative despite its heinous manifestations-- And the climax involving near-supernatural powers to get the heroes out of an Crooked River starts well and completely loses its way soon after. The authors devise an ingenious crime scene. The resolution process begins earnestly with inventive analysis involving ocean currents. The actual crime was always going to challenge anyone's credibility notions, given the starting points. What hurts are-- the simple unfolding process-- An even simpler crime narrative despite its heinous manifestations-- And the climax involving near-supernatural powers to get the heroes out of an inescapable situation. The authors just conjured up mystical powers on tap to defeat the villains.The main tale is so simple that authors had to insert side stories and other distractions in the book to beef up its length to the minimum permissible for a novel.
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  • Cynde
    January 1, 1970
    Sanibeland Captiva Islands on the Florida Gulf coast are known for their beauty andthe abundance of beautiful seashells that wash up on the pristine beaches. Whennearly one hundred severed feet clad in green shoes begin washing up on thebeach the FBI calls in Special Agent Pendergast to solve this bizarre case. Ajoint taskforce is quickly gathered,the Coast Guard is put in charge. The investigation is fraught with infightingand jurisdictional problems. Pendergast quietly conducts his own Sanibeland Captiva Islands on the Florida Gulf coast are known for their beauty andthe abundance of beautiful seashells that wash up on the pristine beaches. Whennearly one hundred severed feet clad in green shoes begin washing up on thebeach the FBI calls in Special Agent Pendergast to solve this bizarre case. Ajoint taskforce is quickly gathered,the Coast Guard is put in charge. The investigation is fraught with infightingand jurisdictional problems. Pendergast quietly conducts his own investigationbut realizes too late that there is a mole in the taskforce passing informationto the bad guys which puts Pendergast and his colleagues lives in  danger. Thebook is fast paced and action packed. The authors remain true to theirestablished characters in this series. The character development of theperipheral characters is a little flat and stereotypical The series has changed in focus to Special Agent Pendergast's work on cases forthe FBI, where earlier in the series the cases had been more personal.  The book  could be read as a standalone novel.Recommended for mystery readers who enjoy bizarre twists.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    A shoe complete with a severed foot inside is not what the average beachcomber is looking to find. To make matters worse the foot is not alone...soon more a hundred more bob up. Special Agent Pendergast teams up with the junior Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon to investigate this strange phenomenon.. The source remains a mystery although Pendergast and Coldmoon come up with quirky ideas... but that isn't unusual for Pendergast. "Quirky" is a good word as any to use to describe this story as well A shoe complete with a severed foot inside is not what the average beachcomber is looking to find. To make matters worse the foot is not alone...soon more a hundred more bob up. Special Agent Pendergast teams up with the junior Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon to investigate this strange phenomenon.. The source remains a mystery although Pendergast and Coldmoon come up with quirky ideas... but that isn't unusual for Pendergast. "Quirky" is a good word as any to use to describe this story as well as this entire series. There is plenty of suspense... but readers be warned that the action gets bloody. It's a great addition to this series that never becomes dull even after nearly 20 books.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Story- 4.2Narration- 4.5Wow! Quite a story with a wild ride for an ending. The narrator is quite good, but the main character, Pendergast, is a bit too good for my credulity. (Maybe i should have started this series at #1 instead of #19.)I may have a nightmare from this one, though.
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  • Lukasz
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been following Pendergast series for years. It had its ups and downs. Fortunately, the last installments were good. Crooked River may be the best in a long while.This time Pendergast, helped by Constance, lands in Florida, where more than a hundred shoes containing severed human feet wash ashore Sanibel Island. He deals, as only Pendergast can, with arrogant Coast Guard commander, nefarious conspiracy, and dark secrets. The book offers nothing new, but it gives readers what they’re craving I’ve been following Pendergast series for years. It had its ups and downs. Fortunately, the last installments were good. Crooked River may be the best in a long while.  This time Pendergast, helped by Constance, lands in Florida, where more than a hundred shoes containing severed human feet wash ashore Sanibel Island. He deals, as only Pendergast can, with arrogant Coast Guard commander, nefarious conspiracy, and dark secrets. The book offers nothing new, but it gives readers what they’re craving - Aloysius’ lofty attitude toward fools, his unmatched effectiveness, and undisturbed calm in the face of danger. I love Constance who is a divisive character amongst the series’ fans. Her intellect and preternatural skills shine in this installment. The ending promises another interesting adventure and I can’t wait to read it.
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  • Denise Mullins
    January 1, 1970
    I'm ashamed to admit that having read two other books in the Pendergast series- and not enjoying them- I made the effort to give the series one more try. Sure, the premise of sneakered feet floating up on a small resort island beach sounded intriguing, but the effort to get to the unsatisfying reveal was a tedious struggle. With one dimensional characters whose development remains stuck in repeated superficial descriptions of cool linen suits or otherworldly confections of chiffon from a bygone I'm ashamed to admit that having read two other books in the Pendergast series- and not enjoying them- I made the effort to give the series one more try. Sure, the premise of sneakered feet floating up on a small resort island beach sounded intriguing, but the effort to get to the unsatisfying reveal was a tedious struggle. With one dimensional characters whose development remains stuck in repeated superficial descriptions of cool linen suits or otherworldly confections of chiffon from a bygone era, it seems that the author has mistakenly placed all his eggs in one basket, hoping the mystery would sustain reader interest. At least for this reader, his hunch didn't pan out. The final confrontation involving the outnumbered good guys going up against an endless number of highly trained-but clearly inept- military personnel had the believability of an Austin Powers movie, which may justify the generous two stars: it was laughably awful.
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  • Mae Clair
    January 1, 1970
    Preston and Child deliver another outstanding Pendergast tale, this time involving detached feet that wash up on a beach in Sanibel Island. Based on actual occurrences of this strange phenomenon happening in the Pacific Northwest, P&C have spun their own twisted explanation and moved the location to southern Florida. Pendergast, a special agent with the FBI, is unlike any other fictional detective I’ve encountered, which is why, nineteen books in, this series continues to deliver. He’s Preston and Child deliver another outstanding Pendergast tale, this time involving detached feet that wash up on a beach in Sanibel Island. Based on actual occurrences of this strange phenomenon happening in the Pacific Northwest, P&C have spun their own twisted explanation and moved the location to southern Florida. Pendergast, a special agent with the FBI, is unlike any other fictional detective I’ve encountered, which is why, nineteen books in, this series continues to deliver. He’s unbelievably brilliant, obscenely wealthy, and cool as ice, even in the worst of circumstances. The fact that he consistently ignores established procedure and can verbally vivisect someone without batting an eye only adds to his appeal. Watching him piece together and solve a crime is entertainment of the nth degree. Preston and Child have also given him an excellent cast of supporting characters, who filter in and out of the series through various books. Pendergast’s “ward,” Constance Greene gets to shine in Crooked River. Most of the time, Constance is prim and proper, but when needed, she becomes a skilled and lethal assailant as she proves in this book. I also love Agent Coldmoon, a Native American FBI agent Pendergast worked with in the last book. The contrasts between these two and how they interact is always fun. The book keeps you flipping pages with several divergent plot threads that converge for an explosive ending. Over the top, yes, but for sheer entertainment value, you can’t beat Preston and Child, and especially not Pendergast. Loved it!
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  • Lukasz
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been following the Pendergast series for years. It had its ups and downs. Fortunately, the last installments were good. Crooked River may be the best in a long while. This time Pendergast, helped by Constance, lands in Florida, where more than a hundred shoes containing severed human feet wash ashore Sanibel Island. He deals, as only Pendergast can, with arrogant Coast Guard commander, nefarious conspiracy, and dark secrets.The book offers nothing new, but it gives readers what they’re I’ve been following the Pendergast series for years. It had its ups and downs. Fortunately, the last installments were good. Crooked River may be the best in a long while. This time Pendergast, helped by Constance, lands in Florida, where more than a hundred shoes containing severed human feet wash ashore Sanibel Island. He deals, as only Pendergast can, with arrogant Coast Guard commander, nefarious conspiracy, and dark secrets.The book offers nothing new, but it gives readers what they’re craving - Aloysius’ lofty attitude toward fools, his unmatched effectiveness, and undisturbed calm in the face of danger. I love Constance who is a divisive character amongst the series’ fans. Her intellect and preternatural skills shine in this installment. The ending promises another interesting adventure and I can’t wait to read it.
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  • Vicky
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a big fan of the Pendergast series. This one did not disappoint
  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    Love Pendergast, but Constance kicks ass. I still want to hear her back story.
  • Denis
    January 1, 1970
    Love the Pendergast series. read all of them and really enjoyed reading them. Can't wait for #20
  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    I have always been a highly observant person of the world around me. Some of this is due to the fact that I have been an actor since childhood, and part of that process includes being a “student of life” and using what you have seen, heard and experienced in creating or finding your characters. What always intrigued me --- and, in the back of my mind, seemed like the perfect impetus for a horror or sci-fi novel --- were the countless single discarded shoes that I would see along the side of I have always been a highly observant person of the world around me. Some of this is due to the fact that I have been an actor since childhood, and part of that process includes being a “student of life” and using what you have seen, heard and experienced in creating or finding your characters. What always intrigued me --- and, in the back of my mind, seemed like the perfect impetus for a horror or sci-fi novel --- were the countless single discarded shoes that I would see along the side of various highways. This made me think: How did they get there, and who would get rid of one shoe? My mind would race to everything from alien abductions to other horrific causes. Unfortunately, my curiosity ended there, but those shoes always remained great fodder for a future story.Well, not only did Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have similar thoughts, they actually based CROOKED RIVER on a series of bizarre events that took place in British Columbia in 2007. I subscribe to their email newsletter, and the latest edition talks about it in great detail. A young girl found an Adidas shoe washed up while beachcombing and was horrified to find a severed human foot inside it. But it didn't end there, and actually the foot count reached 15. Some of the feet were matches for those previously found, but, in most instances, miles apart from each other. It seems only natural that two masters of psychological thriller plotting combined with extensive research would tackle such an intriguing case. And who better to investigate it than the brilliantly enigmatic Agent Pendergast?The primary mystery at the heart of this terrific installment in the series revolves around a complex answer to a simple question: “What could possibly make someone chop off their own foot?” Crooked River itself is set in the middle of the large, uninhabited Tate's Hell State Park in rural Florida. Setting the narrative in motion is a fictional incident inspired by the horrific events in British Columbia. In this telling, we find Ward Persall, a young boy who is enjoying his beach vacation with his family on Captiva Island in Florida. When a sneaker washes up with the surf, Ward picks it up. Upon further inspection, which is followed by his sister's shrieks, he finds the remains of a human foot still inside it.Chief P. B. Perelman of the local police department is on-site almost immediately after the incident is reported. It will not be long until heavier hitters in law enforcement are called in --- especially when the one shoe leads to the discovery of many more, with a final count tallied at 92. FBI Assistant Director Walter Pickett knows that the right person for this type of case is none other than Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. Since this is the 19th Pendergast novel, loyal readers instantly will feel comfortable when their literary hero is back for another adventure. This one, however, will prove to be too much for him to handle alone.Pendergast arrives with his ward, Constance Green, in tow and is eager to jump into what initially looks like the most horrific case he has ever been handed. A taskforce is put together, combining local law enforcement with other government agencies, including the FBI. Immediately the speculation begins in an attempt to try to understand how 92 shoes containing severed feet could become a reality. Some suggestions range from a doomsday cult to medical experimentation somewhere in Central America.Meanwhile, there are additional plotlines. One involves the house that Pendergast and Constance decide to rent while they are investigating. The place, known locally as the Mortlach House, was the site of a bloody murder, and rumors of hauntings followed. There are also characters from prior novels in the series who play big roles here. One is feisty reporter Roger Smithback, who will get himself into some precarious situations with dangerous people in an effort to cover this baffling story. Another welcome return is Armstrong Coldmoon, a Native American FBI agent who worked on Pendergast’s previous case. They make a good team; Coldmoon is able to bring enthusiasm and a keen eye, which balances well with Pendergast's methodical and intellectual approach.Chapter by chapter, we see this case move in several directions, and Pendergast will have to operate outside the boundaries of the law as he knows it. With that, of course, will come moments where he takes things a bit too far and lands in hot water. The confrontation with those responsible for the horrors found within CROOKED RIVER is worth the price of admission, and Preston & Child find themselves with another surefire hit on their hands.Reviewed by Ray Palen
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  • Krupal Kulkarni
    January 1, 1970
    I must say that though it was a nice read the latest offering of pendergast has nothing new or particularly noteworthy to recommend it. The authors tried to weave a mystery out of a particular horrifying scenario but they fall short of achieving a truly electrifying read. Further more the character of Constance has been elevated to such a status that it's almost a given that if she is in the book then she will march out and rout the enemy forces like a female Rambo and rescue Pendergast. I would I must say that though it was a nice read the latest offering of pendergast has nothing new or particularly noteworthy to recommend it. The authors tried to weave a mystery out of a particular horrifying scenario but they fall short of achieving a truly electrifying read. Further more the character of Constance has been elevated to such a status that it's almost a given that if she is in the book then she will march out and rout the enemy forces like a female Rambo and rescue Pendergast. I would think that getting her out and bringing in Corey as her replacement would add more to the series as Constances character constantly threatens to overshadow Pendergast completely. It was a novelty the first time but it is getting old fast. In addition Pendergast has almost no instances of his characteristic brilliant intuition. He feels like he is going through the motions. The homage paid to Sherlock Holmes story through the subplot seemed to be inserted solely for Constance to demonstrate how she has grown into a formidable investigator who doesn't need Pendergast except for her weird predilection for a man of his type. She has managed to snag the uncle, brother and almost got Pendergast too. I won't be surprised if a trilogy particularly focussing on her won't be up next. It could involve Pendergast's brother learning of his son( the great Tibetan Lama or something; they just can't let any offspring of hers be a simple child :D) and kidnapping him and Pendergast and Constance chasing him prompting a global hunt or something of the sort. Got to say that I enjoyed the previous book of the authors involving Corey and Nora more than any of Pendergast's books. Perhaps they just don't have anything substantial to add further to his narrative. He is seemingly being reduced to Batman and Sherlock Holmes who mostly are characters frozen in status quo with some associates aiding them from time to time. He even has got a weird ersatz Count of Monte Cristo love interest who plays 'The Woman' to his Sherlock or as the authors have name-dropped her Catwoman to his Batman. Interestingly though it seems the authors are making him somewhat nomadic with his return back to his usual habitat getting delayed. Perhaps they are turning him into the new Reacher who travels all over the landscape and solves whatever comes across his way.( Interestingly Reacher seems to be the Superman to Pendergast's Batman.)
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  • Joshua Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    First, let me state my disappointment with the authors for following the formulaic 80s action movie villain recipe, and for breathing a little life into this story only to have it lead to such a disappointing resolution (for me). In large part, my irritation is driven by a view that well-written antagonists are made the same way as well-written protagonists. A character usually benefits from character development, interesting and plausible motives, has realistic drives, and exhibits quirks or First, let me state my disappointment with the authors for following the formulaic 80s action movie villain recipe, and for breathing a little life into this story only to have it lead to such a disappointing resolution (for me). In large part, my irritation is driven by a view that well-written antagonists are made the same way as well-written protagonists. A character usually benefits from character development, interesting and plausible motives, has realistic drives, and exhibits quirks or oddities that flesh them out as a person rather than a mustache twirling cardboard cutout. Usually Preston Child novels have a fun and fresh take on these sorts of ideas, and this is why I enjoy their works. In this particular effort, we instead get served up a warmed-over movie plot bristling with ner' do wells as our primary antagonists, lazy plotting and pacing. In addition, we are also force-fed a dose of transparent commentary on social issues, gender and identity politics power dynamics, and a barely veiled hard-edge political subtext, despite the authors forcing their main character to mouth the talking point that he's uninterested in politics. Give me a break. I wanted to like this book, but ultimately it came off like a half baked manuscript unready for prime time. Too bad.
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  • itchy
    January 1, 1970
    I kept waiting for Constance to say, "They drew first blood." Haha.I suggest to have Materia Primoris (Mark Snow) at hand for background music, especially in the last quarter.(view spoiler)[Percy Bysshe. I was afraid it would be something like that. (hide spoiler)]titular line:p240: Gladstone leaned over his shoulder. It seemed that not too long ago, a developer in Carrabelle had been fined for illegally dredging the Crooked River to his new marina. Ripped out a lot of mangroves in the process, I kept waiting for Constance to say, "They drew first blood." Haha.I suggest to have Materia Primoris (Mark Snow) at hand for background music, especially in the last quarter.(view spoiler)[Percy Bysshe. I was afraid it would be something like that. (hide spoiler)]titular line:p240: Gladstone leaned over his shoulder. It seemed that not too long ago, a developer in Carrabelle had been fined for illegally dredging the Crooked River to his new marina. Ripped out a lot of mangroves in the process, too—a big no-no.
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  • Jeff Harris
    January 1, 1970
    Another good edition to the Pendergast novels. I was worried about the narration as I loved what Rene Auberjonois did to bring these characters, especially Pendergast, to life over the last books. Jefferson Mays was the perfect person to carry the torch. His narration was his own, but still stayed true to what Mr. Auberjonois established. The story itself was entertaining. My biggest complaint is that I never grew to care about them which made their peril less "exciting".
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  • Denyse Prendergast
    January 1, 1970
    Shortly after the start of the book, the residents of Captiva Island witness many severed feet, still in shoes, wash up on the beach. The police chief, in an excess of zeal, shoots a dog running off with a sneaker. The dog was his. He shot the dog to protect the evidence.I don't believe a dog owner would kill his dog for stealing one piece of evidence among many. In fact, I can think of damn few reasons that an owner would shoot his dog, and they're all life threatening scenarios.This episode Shortly after the start of the book, the residents of Captiva Island witness many severed feet, still in shoes, wash up on the beach. The police chief, in an excess of zeal, shoots a dog running off with a sneaker. The dog was his. He shot the dog to protect the evidence.I don't believe a dog owner would kill his dog for stealing one piece of evidence among many. In fact, I can think of damn few reasons that an owner would shoot his dog, and they're all life threatening scenarios.This episode disgusted me; I abandoned the book. Exteme? Perhaps.But there were other ways to do this, seagulls for instance. Gratuitously adding the murder of a dog spoiled my reading, so be warned, dog lovers.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Was by far not as good as previous Pendergast novels. It felt like they didn’t try to write a good story. I didn’t like the immigration story, it seemed like they were trying to push their own personal feelings. Please don’t get political in your books. I hope the next story which they alluded to happening in Georgia will be better.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    "Crooked River" is the 19th in the great Pendergast series...It's Interesting to note that this particular typical and horrible Pendergast crime, like the others, has few clues, cause or reason’s and is set in and around Fort Meyers where we’ll be for two weeks in March...In this one, hundreds of cheap green tennis shoes filled with severed feet wash up on Sanibel Island’s shore...Pendergast, Constance, Jack McAvoy & Coldmoon are on the case overcoming the usual over officious meddling!!!
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    I rounded down from 3.5 because it did not uniformly hold my interest. However, the premise of dozens of shoes holding amputated feet washing up on a Sanibel beach was certainly unique, and the action scenes were riveting.
  • Deirdre Lohrmann
    January 1, 1970
    When you finish a book in 2 days of borrowing it from your library... this was a good book. I love the Pendergast series and cant wait to see what is up for the Special Agent next.
  • Katie Whitt
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boy. I've been faithfully reading these books since college, but I have to say that this entry felt off to me. I thought the characterizations were off (Constance and Pendergast came off as jerks in this one, with Constance putting Coldmoon in the servants quarters, Pendergast bitching about his hotel, etc) and it was really violent and intense in parts (Bighead threatening to rape Smithback, the comments about Constance, etc) which made me feel like this was different from previous entries, Oh boy. I've been faithfully reading these books since college, but I have to say that this entry felt off to me. I thought the characterizations were off (Constance and Pendergast came off as jerks in this one, with Constance putting Coldmoon in the servants quarters, Pendergast bitching about his hotel, etc) and it was really violent and intense in parts (Bighead threatening to rape Smithback, the comments about Constance, etc) which made me feel like this was different from previous entries, but maybe I'm just not remembering them correctly. I thought the idea of an injection that makes you cut off your own foot was horrifying, but also what was the point of that? In a tactical way how does that really help? I don't know, it felt kind of tacked on and odd. Overall I'm giving this 3 stars mostly for nostalgia but I think I may not be so quick to read the next in the series.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome as always!
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