by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
3 stars - some nice plot twists and an interesting enough story
ALR Blue - no animal characters
I'm feeling lazy, so I'll quote from the dust jacket.
Behind the fabulous Hampton estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers the carnage of a gruesome crime - a nightmare of seemingly supernatural origin. The smoldering remains of infamous art critic Jeremy Grove, a melted cross branding his chest, are found in a locked, barricaded attic. The hoof print singed into the floorboards and the smell of brimstone recall the legendary horrors that befall those who make a pact with the devil.
Well, ew. Soon enough, there's another gross body and it's up to Agent Pendergast and his sidekick, Vincent D'Agosta to figure things out. Is it the devil? Well, a lot of New Yorkers seem to think so and pretty soon you've got a whole end of days camp set up in the park.
Pendergast and D-Agosta follow clues that eventually lead them to Italy and some wicked awesome castles, full of oozing walls, creepy staircases, and innumerable corridors and dungeons.
The book has some interesting twists, but the overarching story isn't terribly surprising. Still, I enjoyed reading it. Despite some nasty deaths, I didn't find the horror to be disturbing. It was more like an action movie. The near misses and escapes of the main characters were pretty over the top. That added to the "takes a licking and keeps on kicking" feel of the book. That's OK. I got into the craft of the authors. Their creativity in getting characters out of messes was pretty good.
I recommend this as a nice, distracting read. It does draw one in.