A Book Spy Review: ‘The Obsidian Chamber’ By Preston & Child

preston-and-child-the-obsidian-chamberFollowing last year’s Crimson Shore, the whereabouts of FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast are unknown. For now, he’s presumed dead, having gone missing after a violent confrontation in Massachusetts. 

The thought of Pendergast being dead is nearly too much for the wealthy FBI investigator’s ward, Constance Green, to bear, especially after he’d recently rebuffed her affection. Saddened and lost, she opts to stay in her quarters underneath the family mansion. Eventually, though, she’s forced to leave against her will when she’s kidnapped by a mysterious figure who has a history with Pendergast. 

Upon realizing that Constance has been taken, Proctor, Pendergast’s trusty bodyguard, goes in pursuit of her captor. Always ready for whatever situation might arise, Proctor is able to hit the road in a hurry, following small clues he stumbled upon at the crime scene. 

Shortly after his search for Constance leads him to Namibia, where the bad guys elude him after they use sophisticated technology to trick him into going to the wrong place, a clue to Pendergast’s situation and whereabouts surfaces. 

But instead of Pendergast stepping into the light, alive and well, it’s another character once thought to have been dead who reveals themselves. Without giving any of the many surprises away, this person has a special interest in Constance and takes her to a remote location near Halcyon Key off the coast of Florida. 

With Constance’s captor, someone longtime fans of the series will recognize and remember well, keeping her against her will in a secret location, she has little hope for a rescue. Especially when, unbeknownst to her, Proctor has been lured into an equally damning situation. With both characters unwilling to accept their grim fate, each clings to the same improbable hope that Pendergast it out there, somewhere, alive and looking for them. 

Mystery, suspense, and relentless pacing make The Obsidian Chamber one of Preston and Child’s best thrillers in years, as readers will unable to set the book down for even the briefest of moments. However, newcomers to the series, or fans who aren’t completely caught up on the backlist, will likely miss a lot of references to characters, events, locations, and missions from past books. Even so, the authors do a pretty good job filling in the gaps. If you feel lost at some point, don’t worry. Just power on, and it’ll all make sense later. 

With Pendergast taking a backseat in this one, the secondary characters really shine. But, as much as readers will want to find out who the bad guy is and what their motives are, nothing can replace the constant speculation as to what’s really happened to Pendergast and when our hero might return…if ever.  

The Obsidian Chamber starts with a bang before leveling off for a straightforward middle of the book. However, the real fireworks go off towards the end, where Preston and Child give fans a truly satisfying conclusion, unlike the cliffhanger ending in last year’s novel, Crimson Shore 

Book Details

Author: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Series: Agent Pendergast #16
Pages: 403 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1455536911
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: October 18, 2016 (Order Now!)

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  • MICHAEL SOULE

    “Preston and Child give fans a truly satisfying conclusion, unlike the cliffhanger ending in last year’s novel, Crimson Shore.” This ending was anything but satisfying.

  • Jean Paul

    The series has stuck into a creative ruck.