Welcome to Alternative-Read.com – ‘The Official Book Reviews and Tour Blog’ for WritingWarriorsUnited.com
Today we are really pleased to welcome back bestselling authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child!
Crooked River by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child combines a sinister global threat, a mystery using modern medical science, and a powerful, sadistic antagonist. Who better than to combat these but unorthodox FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast.
The story opens with Pendergast being called to investigate a bizarre disaster that turned up on the quiet beach of Sanibel Island, Florida. He was there taking a well-deserved vacation with his ward and researcher, Constance Greene. She declines to be involved with it because of her past history, and instead decides to search for the ghost at their vacation residence, Mortlach House.
Pendergast wonders how dozens and dozens of shoes with severed human feet inside wash up on an island off the southwestern coast of Florida. Called in to help him is his former partner, FBI Junior Agent Armstrong Coldmoon. They decide he should work on the case from a different angle that sends him to Central America. They must placate and avoid the arrogant Coast Guard commander who has tunnel vision, insisting that the shoes belong to convicts executed at a Cuban prison. Not convinced, Pendergast enlists the aid of oceanographer Pamela Gladstone to analyze currents in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their source. All have to be very careful because lives are at stake, including their own.
This compelling story moves forward in unexpected ways. Readers will enjoy going on a journey with Pendergast and company.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Douglas Preston: It is based on a true story. There have been cities where severed feet washed up that were inside sneakers. We thought who were these people? Then it occurred to us it would make an awesome first chapter in a Pendergast novel. But there is a big journey from an idea to a plot for a book. We had to figure out who were these people, where did they come from, and why did their feet wash up on this beach at that particular time? We also wanted a credible scientific explanation.
Lincoln Child: I read about a bizarre psychological condition. It was so new and rare that there is not a name for it yet. We also wanted to have a story that would keep readers guessing. Sometimes the scenarios can become odd and outrageous but it was important to us to keep the characters, setting, and details credible.
EC: Why this setting?
DP and LC: We chose Captiva because it is so beautiful and peaceful and famous for its “shelling.” The contrast with severed feet washing up on the beach was too good to pass up. Imagine Florida beachcombers’ shock when they discover a shoe with a severed foot inside. Soon they see dozens more feet, all in identical shoes, bobbing toward the beach. Police and the FBI ultimately count more than a hundred of them washing up on Sanibel and Captiva Islands’ tranquil shores.
EC: How would you compare and contrast Pendergast to Constance and Coldmoon?
DP and LC: Pendergast is hardly a stereotypical FBI agent, given for example his lemon-colored silk suit, his Panama hat, and his legendary insistence on working alone, until Coldmoon arrives. Pendergast is a maverick who does not play by the rules. Coldmoon is more down to earth: part Lakota, part Italian, and every inch a Fed. Constance is extraordinarily beautiful, smart, and a sarcastic young ward who has eyes that had seen everything and, as a result, is surprised by nothing. She is like the guitar solo that comes in at just the right time.
EC: What about your next books?
DP and LC: There is a good chance Coldmoon and Constance will be in it. We are figuring out the crime as we speak. There will also be a book with Nora Kelly, an archeologist, and FBI Agent Corrine Swanson, that has them involved with the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Racing to uncover the mystery of several light green-shoe-clad severed feet found floating in the Gulf of Mexico, Agent Pendergast is faced with the most inexplicable challenge of his career in this installment of the #1 NYT bestselling series.
A STARTLING CRIME WITH DOZENS OF VICTIMS.
Appearing out of nowhere to horrify the quiet resort town of Sanibel Island, Florida, dozens of identical, ordinary-looking shoes float in on the tide and are washed up on the tropical beach–each one with a crudely severed human foot inside.
A GHASTLY ENIGMA WITH NO APPARENT SOLUTION.
Called away from vacation elsewhere in the state, Agent Pendergast reluctantly agrees to visit the crime scene–and, despite himself, is quickly drawn in by the incomprehensible puzzle. An early pathology report only adds to the mystery. With an ocean of possibilities confronting the investigation, no one is sure what happened, why, or from where the feet originated. And they desperately need to know: are the victims still alive?
A WORTHY CHALLENGE FOR A BRILLIANT MIND.
In short order, Pendergast finds himself facing the most complex and inexplicable challenge of his career: a tangled thread of evidence that spans seas and traverses continents, connected to one of the most baffling mysteries in modern medical science. Through shocking twists and turns, all trails lead back to a powerful adversary with a sadistic agenda and who–in a cruel irony–ultimately sees in Pendergast the ideal subject for their malevolent research.
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!