The Wheel of Darkness
Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child
Grand Central, Aug 2007, $25.99
Following their struggle with his insanely evil but brilliant brother Diogenes (see BRIMSTONE, DANCE OF DEATH and THE BOOK OF THE DEAD), FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast knows he and his ward Constance Greene need time away. They head to the extremely remote but still not destroyed by the Chinese Gsalrig Chongg Buddhist monastery on the Tibet-Nepal border. They hope some solitude will lead to needed mental healing.
However, Abbot Tsering, who is one of the few Buddhist monks who speak English, informs “Friend Pendergast” that women are not allowed here as none have come before the thousand years the edifice existed and in fact he has not seen one since he was two years old; that the Most High Lama Rimpoche is dead and they seek his nineteenth reincarnation; and finally they are the keepers of the sacred Agozyen, which used wrongly could make humanity extinct; the artifact was just stolen from a secure locked area. The almost visiting Americans agree to search for the relic, which takes them to a luxury cruise ship, where brutal murders imply the evil has been freed.
Fans of this great series will find the Tibetan journey with its "locked room" (actually niche) mystery and the subsequent lethal cruise trip a refreshing change from the previous terrific Pendergast paranormal sagas. Adding to the always well written supernatural suspense besides the trademark save the world from evil thriller prime story line is whether Constance still carries Diogenes’ offspring that humanizes the hero. THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS is a fabulous frightening battle between good and evil with the bad spirits seeming to have the upper hand.