Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast of the FBI, one of modern thrillerdom’s most engaging and complex heroes, returns once again to protect the world from the forces of evil. An important object, the Agozyen, is stolen from a monastery in Tibet. The monks know who stole it. On the other hand, although the relic has been in the monastery for a thousand years, no one there knows what it is or what it looks like. They do know, however, that the Agozyen has a chilling purpose: to cleanse the planet of its human inhabitants. As usual, the authors have crafted an intricate and suspenseful story and peopled it with well-drawn characters who come in various shades of good and evil. A few more layers of Pendergast’s enigmatic character are peeled away (but revealing plenty more layers left to go), and his relationship with his ward, the resourceful Constance Green, is explored from a few new angles. Separately, Preston and Child write workmanlike novels. Together, they create magic, and this is another excellent thriller. Special Agent Pendergrast isn’t nearly as widely known as he ought to be: spread the word, he’s too good to miss.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, September 2007.