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Bloodless: A Pendergast Novel


Bloodless: A Pendergast Novel

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are two of my all-time favorite authors, whether they write individually or in tandem. BLOODLESS is their 20th novel featuring one of the most unique protagonists in all of thriller fiction, Agent Aloysius Pendergast, and may rank as one of the finest books they have ever penned together.

D.B. Cooper, aka Dan Cooper, was an unidentified hijacker of a Boeing 727 traveling between Portland and Seattle on the afternoon of November 23, 1971. Wearing four makeshift parachutes, he jumped from the plane with nearly $200,000 in ransom money strapped to his body. Neither he nor the cash was ever seen or heard from again. You may be asking what this unsolved mystery has to do with a Preston & Child novel set primarily in modern-day Savannah, GA. Well, I am not going to make that connection for you here. All I will say is that it is a whopper of a plot twist from two of the most inventive minds in the business.

"Keeping D.B. Cooper in the back of your mind, the connections that Pendergast will make during the course of his investigation are nothing short of brilliant."

In present day, we find Agent A.X.L. Pendergast of the Federal Bureau of Investigation heading to Savannah with his companion and ward, Constance Greene, and new partner Armstrong Coldmoon, a Native American with a chip on his shoulder. This is all at the behest of their leader, Walter Pickett, who learns that the body of a local hotel manager has been found washed up on the banks of the Wilmington River. Shockingly the corpse has been completely drained of every ounce of blood. Pendergast and Coldmoon fear that cult involvement, Satanists or some kind of supernatural phenomenon is behind this murder and a subsequent series of similar grisly discoveries.

Barclay Betts, a well-known blogger and cable TV host, is there with a crew filming throughout Savannah and is joined by spiritualist Gerhard Moller. Additionally, Daisy Fayette, a local expert in the otherworldly, has teamed up with true crime/horror writer Francis Wellstone Jr. for their own collaboration. The most sinister of all outside characters is Miss Frost, an elderly woman who resides on the top floor of the Chandler House, where Pendergast and company are staying.

Betts is able to interview Pendergast on camera and peppers him with questions about the Savannah Vampire. Pendergast is willing to participate in anything that could provide answers for the case, and this includes visits to local cemeteries and midnight rendezvous at purportedly haunted old churches. While he and Coldmoon are out doing dangerous things, Constance is spending her time at the Chandler House in the hopes of getting time with the mysterious Miss Frost. When she does come upon her, those moments are priceless and some of the best parts of the novel.

Keeping D.B. Cooper in the back of your mind, the connections that Pendergast will make during the course of his investigation are nothing short of brilliant. At the heart of the mystery is a device that Pendergast claims is the answer to whoever or whatever is plaguing Savannah. BLOODLESS is a pure pleasure to read and is like candy to thriller fans --- candy from which readers will drain every ounce of flavor in pure delight.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on August 20, 2021

Bloodless: A Pendergast Novel
by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

  • Publication Date: April 26, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1538736721
  • ISBN-13: 9781538736722