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Wednesday 12 August 2020

‘Crooked River’ by Preston and Child

Published by Head of Zeus,
4 February 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-789-54455-8 (HB)

A teenage boy is beachcombing, and finds a shoe – with a hacked-off foot still inside. He looks out to sea and there are dozens more floating ashore ... It’s a case which will cost several lives and bring FBI Agent Prendergast into the tightest corner of his career.

This is a roller-coaster ride right from the gruesome opening on the beach. Suave, rich, mysterious Prendergast is persuaded to take an interest in the case, and along with his equally enigmatic ward, Constance, he has to subvert the police commander, who’s already decided on the solution. Both are great characters, and the local police chief, P B Perelman, adds an ‘ordinary man’ dimension. The writing is atmospheric, the dialogue snappy, the setting moves from a beautiful Florida beach to Central America, China, and a secret facility, and the action is non stop.

A page-turning action novel with an intriguing mystery, plenty of skulduggery and a gripping conclusion.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the suburb of Wellesley. He attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Preston attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature. After graduating, Preston began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  Preston also taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University and served as managing editor of Curator, a journal for museum professionals. His eight-year stint at the Museum resulted in the non-fiction book, Dinosaurs in the Attic, edited by a rising young star at St. Martin's Press, a polymath by the name of Lincoln Child. During this period, Preston gave Child a midnight tour of the museum, and in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to Preston and said: “This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!” In the early 1990s Preston and Child teamed up to write suspense novels; Relic was the first, followed by several others.

Lincoln Child was born in Westport, Connecticut. Lincoln graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in English. Discovering a fascination for words, he made his way to New York in the summer of 1979, intent on finding a job in publishing. He was lucky enough to secure a position as editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press. Over the next several years, he clawed his way up the editorial hierarchy, moving to assistant editor to associate editor before becoming a full editor in 1984. While at St. Martin's, he was associated with the work of many authors, including that of James Herriot and M. M. Kaye. He edited well over a hundred books--with titles as diverse as The Notation of Western Music and Hitler's Rocket Sites--but focused primarily on American and English popular fiction. In 1987, Lincoln left trade publishing to work at MetLife. In a rather sudden transition, he went from editing manuscripts, speaking at sales conferences, and wining/dining agents to doing highly technical programming and systems analysis.. He now lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.
Click on the title to read a review of her recent book
Death on a Shetland Isle

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