My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Some *spoilers* here: be warned:
I looked forward to another Pendergast novel, having read them all, and all the standalone novels by the authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. But, parts seemed roughly written, digressions to stretch things out rather than deepen and enhance the actual story.
The things behind the killer seemed vague, and never really understood “Action,” or “Journey” or whatever. It would have been useful and interesting to see one of those in flashback, to clarify some of that. I don’t see the hearts on graves as explained, nor the name, Mr. Lonelyhearts. Pieces seem not to fit together very well in the backstory, at least to me.
Some seemed to enjoy the taxi ride, but I found it not fitting any important part of the story –long, a digression, didn’t see the point. Unless I missed it, no reason why Pendergast didn’t talk with Constance during this story; it was setup he would, but no payoff.
The ending to me, was difficult to follow, how the agent shot and under muck, mud, and water survived during the gunfight and escape for Pendergast who then gets to him “just in time.”
I found the narration frustrating –who is telling the story? I know they avoid 1st person (from Pendergast’s POV), but I find him the most interesting part of the series, and yet he’s always observed from the outside. I imagine the new agent and Smithback will reappear to handle POV from that distance, outside view of Pendergast.
I guess I was hoping for more, and was overall disappointed at the end.