Pendergast-the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent-returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult. A prominent New York Times reporter, was killed in a brutal attack in his Upper West Side apartment His wife, an archeologist at the Museum of Natural History, was injured a well. Multiple eyewitnesses identified the assailant as a neighbor n the building: a man who, by all reports, was dead and buried ten days ago. 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 voodoo which no outsiders have ever survived.
I received an advance copy of Cemetery Dance from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions or the content of my review. This review contains affiliate links and is in compliance with FTC guidelines.Zombies in New York City? Is this something like Vampire in Brooklyn, the 1995 Eddie Murphy movie? Are Shaggy and Scooby Doo going to suddenly jump out of the Mystery Machine? These were my first thoughts when I read this introduction.
I had never read anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs before Cemetery Dance, but I knew their genre and reputation, so I was a bit surprised and intrigued. I am not one for horror books, but I gamely jumped into Cemetery Dance and found that this is definitely not a horror book, but a crime story. There are so many interesting elements involved: rivalry between newspapers, politics in the police department, laws of squatters’ rights and eminent domain, and of course the “is it real” element of people coming back from the dead as a zombies to kill. The information about religions that believe these things is interesting and explained well, and the description of the Ville de Ziondrilles is so vivid I felt like I could draw it myself, if I knew how to draw. Actually, all of the key things that would be difficult for someone with little background information to envision, such as ancient underground crypts, religious fetishes, and even what a zombie looks, sounds, and smells like, are amazingly detailed, which I really appreciated.
Cemetery Dance features many of the series’ recurring characters including archaeologist Nora Kelly, police detective Vincent D’Agosta, FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast, and Captain Laura Hayward, who all work somewhat independently and sometimes together to figure out the bizarre happenings in Manhattan and specifically Inwood Hill Park, the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan. I had never heard of this beautiful, natural park and found the history presented in the book very interesting. Although this is my first book by these authors, I felt I knew the characters quickly and most of them well. Laura Hayward is written as a strong, professional law enforcement officer, who tries to hold back her more feminine traits at work, which is difficult considering that she and Vincent D’Agosta, although no longer together, have strong feelings for one another. Vincent, also, is a well-rounded character, although he has a few traits that some might consider stereotypical. Between Vincent’s hot head and Agent Pendergast’s desire for information before lab tests are complete, their entire investigation is truly a “cowboy” experience.
I definitely enjoyed Cemetery Dance and will go back to the library to get the first book in the Pendergast series, Relic. I’m also passing this on to my nephews who are going to LOVE it!