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A Christmas Carol à la Pendergast ...
am 23. Dezember 2013
... But what could have been a decent thriller has been spoiled by the capricious behavior of a twen, who I personally do heavily dislike.
At Roaring Fork, a very pricey ski resort in the mountains of Colorado, which is expanding always more to fulfill the ample request of HiSo villas and "huts" for multi-millionaires up to billionaires and over, a cemetery has recently been excavated to bury the remains of over 100 citizens in an other place. Make room - make room, the development cries!
But in 1876, when Roaring Fork was nothing else but a remote mining camp high in the Rocky Mountains, eleven silver miners were killed, their bodies horribly mutilated, their flesh devoured. It seems to be an attack of a grizzly bear having found its taste for human flesh. Some year after those killings Oscar Wilde went to this miner's camp to speak about poetry and other futile things, to be rewarded by a man with a story so grisly that he rarely spoke about it. But at a dinner in London he met Arthur Conan Doyle, who - after being told the whole story, seems to be very sick...
And here enters the cause of my personal aversion for large parts of this oh so well started thriller: Aspiring forensic pathologist Corrie Swanson goes from N.Y of all places properly to Roaring Fork to study these bones. Because she wants to win a price! And she is behaving like she is never willing to enter in criminal investigation at any time in the future - she breaks EVERY rule and more laws a detective-to-be is told or has to learn on his or her own expense...
She is blackmailing, nosey, out of every place, trusting the wrong persons, lying to Pendergast and others and has well earned the prison time she is looking at!
But our good agent Pendergast, instead of putting her on the next plane or better bus out after the first murders have occured - no, he's patting her hands and let her get away with her stupid lies! And she is a danger, a walking bomb, not only for herself, but also for other, innocent beings!
What held me on board was the missing Sherlock Holmes story.
As we all know very well, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a very special way of writing. And here enters the magic of the two authors: In a wink of the eye the reader is catapulted into an other time, to enjoy the real finesse of Victorian or pre-WW2 written English!
Only for "The Adventure of Aspern Hall" the book earns an extra-star, because I really was tempted to give it only 3 stars - because of that Corrie Swanson character.
But what made me also rethink my final opinion was the mature figure of Captain Stacy Bowdree, USAF, and "the worst nightmare that can happen to a scumbag of a hired killer". THAT is a female character to understand, her post-traumatic stress disorder and the void in her life after her tours to Afghanistan. And I hope that we will read more of her, instead of that "annoying Corrie"!
And Pendergast? He is his old self after the dark adventures we could follow in "Two Graves". Eccentric as he normally behaves, he fits well into the billionaires resort.
And Vince D'Agosta? Not present - but... read and You will learn!
In the end everything ends how it has to end, bad ones going down or even worse.
Christmas presents will be given to the ones who merit them, and also to those who don't. But at this time of the year we are all better persons, aren't we?