cover image Blue Labyrinth

Blue Labyrinth

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Grand Central, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4555-2589-8

The uneven 14th Aloysius Pendergast thriller (after 2013’s White Fire) from bestsellers Preston and Child gets off to a dramatic start. The eccentric FBI agent is enjoying a quiet evening reading poetry at home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when his ward, Constance Greene, answers a knock at the door, only to discover the bound corpse of one of his twin sons, Alban, who was revealed to be a serial killer in a prior series entry. Pendergast’s search for Alban’s murderer takes him to California’s isolated, eerie Salton Sea, which is skillfully evoked by the authors. Meanwhile, Pendergast’s longtime friend and inside man on the NYPD, Vincent D’Agosta, investigates the bludgeoning death of a technician at the New York Museum of Natural History. Less creepy and less suspenseful than the best entries in the Pendergast series, this installment also suffers from unimaginative explanations for the two crimes. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Nov.)