‘Bloodless‘ by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is the 20th installment in the bestselling series featuring the character of F.B.I. Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast.
The story starts with a blast from the past, as a man in 1971 is hijacking a plane. He lets the passengers deplane, gets a ransom payment, then orders the plane to take off with a skeleton crew for freedom, but jumps out of the plane somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
We then fast-forward to the present day, for a different kind of hijacking.
Special Agent Pendergast, his ward and assistant Constance Green, and his F.B.I. partner Agent Coldmoon have just wrapped a case in Florida when the helicopter they are on is diverted by the bureau from Miami to Savannah where a strange case has been developing.
A man has been found dead, his body drained of all blood. It’s followed by another unrelated body, dead by the same means.
With very little clues to go on, the trio immerses themselves in the supernatural legends of Savannah, including the infamous “Savannah Vampire.”
Interfering with their efforts are a paranormal “documentary” director and his crew, his rival debunker – an author with his own agenda, and a self-important politician who insists the murders are solved before his political rally in the city.
Following all the threads will lead Pendergast and crew all over Savannah, as they find the killer may not be of this Earth, and the mystery may also intersect with the legend of D.B. Cooper.
‘Bloodless’ progresses along rather slowly, at first, kind of like moving on a hot humid Southern summer day. There are scenes relevant to the mystery, but a lot of red herrings, and a lot of conversations between Pendergast and Constance that probably make more sense if you’ve read other books in the series.
I didn’t really connect with the story or the characters until later in the book, when the mystery takes an extreme sci-fi turn I definitely didn’t see coming. That part of the story was riveting.
Constance actually ended up being my favorite character of the book, with the reveal of her past and her actions. Agent Coldmoon ended up being my least favorite, as he just seemed to be always complaining. There were also a lot of secondary characters that were unlikable, too.
I’m giving ‘Bloodless‘ by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 3.5 stars out of 5. If you’re a fan of the Pendergast series, or want an unusual type of murder mystery, give this a try. Trigger warning for scenes of animal violence and some gruesome kills.
The book will debut August 17, 2021, and is available for pre-order at book retailers.
Disclaimer: I received an advance e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
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