The newest book from Preston and Child about FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. This is sort of a return to form after being the slightly disappointing previous two books (The Wheel of Darkness and Cemetery Dance).
Agent Pendergast, in a chance examination of the gun his wife Helen was carrying during the lion hunt twelve years before that resulted in her death, realizes that Helen was murdered. Determined to find out the reason, he drags his friend, NYPD cop Vincnet D'Agosta, into a leave of absence to help with the hunt. What was the motive for Helen's murder? Was it connected to her apparent fascination with John James Audubon, and her search for a apparent lost Audubon painting? They must travel to Africia and then back to the American Gulf Coast as they unravel the secrets behind Helen's life before she met Pendergast.
I've always liked how Preston and Child craft their novels around what appears to be some supernatural event, eventually pulling out a rational explanation for what's going on (though again we get a bit of Constance Greene, Pendersgast's ward, who is the biggest stretch in their books). With this book, there's less of that, since it's primarily a murder mystery, though there is evenutally an unexpected answer to what caused several esipodes of madness. How that ties in with Audubon is a bit far fetched, but still rational.
I do worry a bit about their focus on Pendergast. I know that he's by far their most popular creation, but I actually perfer their books where we see more of the supporting cast. This is now the sixth book to focus narrowly on the agent, and I'd like to see more of their general mystery/thrillers. He also has been even more of a super human character, where he always had the necessary knowledge at hand, along with his physical skills. I am happy to see that their new book, Gideon's Sword, has a new protangist and is the start of a new series.