After I finished Still Life with Crows, I believe Aloysius XL Pendergast, who is a special agent of the FBI, should join the rank as a formidable detective in literature.
Let me put it this way: Imagine, a serial killer is running loose in your neighborhood. Who you gonna call? I tell you, Agent Pendergast is the man for the job.
Who is Agent Pendergast? He is a fictional character, created by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, who are two novelists writing in collaboration. Pendergast made a debut in Relic, a techno-thriller novel published in 1995. Since then, Agent Pendergast's adventures have spanned over 15 books up to date. Still Life with Crows is standing as the fourth installment in this thrilling series of novels. Reading Still Life with Crows makes your heart pound against your chest, as if you are hanging on for your dear life on a roller coaster ride.
In America's heartland rests a small Kansas town called Medicine Creek. Nothing changes in this town; its surrounding cornfields seem boundless, and along the town's main street squats a two-block stretch of dusty and old businesses.
Although Medicine Creek is dwindling, but its residents are leading a peaceful life. Amidst a summer's blazing heat, Medicine Creek's serenity shattered, abruptly, when a series of ghastly murders and mutilated bodies were discovered in the town's seminal cornfields.
These harrowing murders drew Agent Pendergast's attention to Medicine Creek. He arrived at the town, aiming at catching the killer like a hunting wolf sniffing for its prey. But soon Pendergast discovered the one behind these murders is no ordinary serial killer. This time, Pendergast stares into the eyes of evil, an evil lurking under the shadows from Medicine Creek's haunted past.
My thoughts on this book:
Macabre, is my choice of word for describing Still Life with Crows. In this fast-paced thriller novel, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child spun a riveting yarn. Its story morbidly fascinates a reader with bizarre murders, and it will send a chill down your spine. Taut with nerve-wracking suspense, this book's convoluted plot turns and twists as its storytelling blasts a reader in the face with unexpected surprises. This book kept me turning the pages from its beginning until its very end, and I loved every page it.
Characters, Still Life with Crows boasts a cast of vividly colored characters. Agent Pendergast, charismatic and intelligent, rocks the story's centre stage with a performance worthy of Sherlock Holmes. This man's deductive power is simply off the chart! Yet, the adventure in Still Life with Crows does not light its stage with a one man show. Supporting characters, notably a Goth teenage girl named Corrie Swanson, shined brightly along side Pendergast's staging. The author(s) blended Corrie's side story smoothly into the main plot like a pair of matching gears.
Without a terrifying, dangerous villain a thriller novel cannot come to life. This book takes its readers on a perilous journey, a journey staring into the face of an utterly terrifying villain. I will not spoil the story in this review, but I think it suffices to say the villain in this book is an individual so strange, so menacing, yet so fascinating that most fictional villains pale by comparison.
A good thriller novel can make a reader's heart pound frantically even if you are resting in the comfort of a couch. Still Life with Crows kept me at the edge of my seat. The cornfields! In this book, scenes of abominable horror transpired in the cornfields, and those scenes are among the most frightful events I have ever encountered in a novel. When I was turning the pages in this book, its atmospheric settings engulfed me in torrents of suspense, horror and mystery. I could not put this book down! I burned with the need to know the story's end and I finished this 560 page book in 2 sittings. A word of advice, I recommend reading this book during a weekend instead of on a night after work, lest you stay up the whole night racing through the book and then struggling at work the next day because you are sapped of energy.
My review for Still Life with Crows comes with high praises. But you might ask:
“Is there any negative aspect about this book?”
I answer this question with a big “NO”. In all honesty, I could not recognize any item to be criticized in this book. I loved Still Life With Crows from the first page until the very last one. I had a blast of a time reading it. This book, and its predecessor (The Cabinet of Curiosities, check it out if you haven't read it yet) nestled themselves at the very top of my list for favorite thrillers novels. I highly recommend Still Life with Crows to lovers of the thriller genre, especially if detective and horror stories appeal to you.
P.S. I will be away on a holiday in the upcoming 2 weeks. During this time, I will not be able to read books or writing reviews. But fear not, my gentle readers, Daniel's Corner Unlimited shall return in the month of April. So until the next time, happy reading!