When a straightforward murder case spirals out of control, Pendergast and his ward investigate an ancient witches' colony in a sleepy New England town where a terrible evil awaits . . . A secret chamber. A mysterious shipwreck. A murder in the desolate salt marshes.
A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated-and sinister-than Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated. Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.
Pendergast and Constance soon learn that Exmouth is a town with a very dark and troubled history, and this skeleton may be only the first hint of an ancient transgression, kept secret all these years. But they will discover that the sins of the past are still very much alive. Local legend holds that during the 1692 witch trials in Salem, the real witches escaped, fleeing north to Exmouth and settling deep in the surrounding salt marshes, where they continued to practice their wicked arts. Then, a murdered corpse turns up in the marshes. The only clue is a series of mysterious carvings. Could these demonic symbols bear some relation to the ancient witches' colony, long believed to be abandoned?
A terrible evil lurks beneath the surface of this sleepy seaside town-one with deep roots in Exmouth's grim history. And it may be that Constance, with her own troubled past, is the only one who truly comprehends the awful danger that she, Pendergast, and the residents of Exmouth must face . . .
About the Author
The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm. Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.
"New readers will be hooked...Die-hard fans will add this to their must-read lists."—Library Journal (Starred Review) - November 2015 LibraryReads Pick
"One of the best thriller series of all time."—Examiner.com
"It's like Christmas for lovers of suspense when the words Preston & Child once again appear on a book cover. It's a truly great Christmas when the main character of that novel is Aloysius X.L. Pendergast. For those who have read these books voraciously, it's not a surprise to learn that this latest tale is one that will keep you riveted until the very end...Preston & Child continue to make these books the absolute best there is in the suspense realm."—Suspense Magazine
"Pendergast is an appealingly quirky hero...a modern Sherlock Holmes."—Kirkus
"Secrets and mysteries abound...the shock and twist are perfect. The unusual becomes believable and normal in the authors' capable hands."—Associated Press
"Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have created one of the most distinctive-and eccentric-sleuths in the history of crime fiction. FBI Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast...solves crimes as no one else does." —Maine Sunday Telegram
"The Pendergast novels combine elegant prose with sharp-witted storytelling, and the FBI agent continues to be one of thrillerdom's more engaging characters."—Booklist
"Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have fashioned their most complex, ambitious entry yet in their stellar Aloysius Pendergast series...a perfect puzzle of a tale that would challenge the wits of even Sherlock Holmes. A twist-filled, tour de force of classical storytelling."—Providence Journal