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Crooked River

(Pendergast #19)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  10,953 ratings  ·  1,135 reviews

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.


Called away from vacation elsewhere in the state,
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
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Maria Rose I just finished a first edition book and the color is green like the green used for Crocs. The material is made of a waterproof substance which is why…moreI just finished a first edition book and the color is green like the green used for Crocs. The material is made of a waterproof substance which is why all the feet floated and were still inside the shoes.(less)
Ron Chicaferro Well, no, not really - - like any long-term series you would sort of miss the evolution of the main character and other characters that may or may not…moreWell, no, not really - - like any long-term series you would sort of miss the evolution of the main character and other characters that may or may not still figure in the new stories. But, you can enjoy each book out of sequence - - (less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, 2020
Super entertaining!!! And what an epic ending!
Going with 4.5 stars on this one.

Crooked River is the 19th book in the Pendergast series and just published this month.

Yes, you read that right!
There have been 19 books in this series and I feel like Preston & Child are still knocking them out!

Crooked River starts off with Agent Pendergast and his ward, Constance Green finally having a vacation on a secluded island. While on vacation, Pendergast's supervisor, Assistant Director in Charge Pickett come
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Strange things are “afoot” in Florida again! You would say that the happenings in these Preston & Child books are too crazy for real life, but when I see articles like this one coming out of Florida just this week, nothing surprises me:

Jars filled with tongues, other human remains dating back to 1960s found in Florida home

Preston & Child continue their adventures with “Florida Man” and this book is definitely weird and action packed. From the get-go, the m
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine and entertaining book, no doubt about it. Where do the mysterious cut off feet come from that are washed upon the shore? What about the haunted house Pendergast and Constance Green buy? Besides we have entertaining sidekicks and go to different and dangerous places. Some character involved in the story dies. But sometimes I think the story simply was too over the top. We have too much of a James Bond villain here (the general) and too much 80s conspiracy (I never thought that I wo ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As far as being a faithful reader, I haven't missed a new Preston & Child novel since Relic; and I haven't missed a new Pendergast either.

I'm unsure how to properly comment my feelings in reading this one. The talent and voice(s) is there, but the vision seems to be muddied or perhaps lost? I loved the first Pendergast novels; Relic, Reliquary, up through Still Life...; and was blown away by the Helen trilogy. Then it seems as if the authors did a radical reset of the character. There really has
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library, 2020
Crooked River, the 19th entry in this series, is one of the better ones and the best since Crimson Shore. Pendergast is back in all of his Sherlock Holmesian glory, attempting to solve a seemingly impossible mystery: the washing up of over 100 severed feet on the shore of a Florida beach. He is joined by his partner from the prior novel, Agent Coldmoon, and their banter is again an enjoyable part of the tale. Constance Green, always the enigma, is at her most fearsome and plays a key role in th ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No disappointment at all for me in the continuation of the Pendergast series in book#19. 4.5/5.0 stars! I still love these characters, and the mystery here is just as.... well, mysterious as ever. I was guessing wrong all the way to the end (in a fun way 😁). While the last couple of books felt a little different to me (Not even sure I could put a finger on what it is that felt different) I would say that this book feels more like a throwback to some of the earlier books, in a good way. If you’ve ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pendergast is a more refined, mannerly Sherlock Holmes minus the ego. I know going in that it’s going to be an outlandish, entertaining ride. And, it was just what I needed to read. There was nothing depressing or agonizing here just great fun.
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Agent Pendergast takes on a new case when dozens of feet wash up on the beach of Sanibel Island in Florida. Yes, feet do regularly wind up on beaches. (Warning: There is a scene with a dog that's not going to make anyone very happy at the beginning. I honestly don't even know why it's there other than to get people upset as it never figures into the plot.) The book is a little slow after the initial scene for the first third of the book. It's still well written so it didn't even notice until ref ...more
Sheila Beaumont
Well, this was a weird one. For me, it got off to a bad start with what the police chief did to his dog. (This is not a spoiler; it happens very early on.) On the whole, I found the book as entertaining as all the others in the series. Constance Greene was more amazing than ever. I think this is the first one I've rated only 4 stars. Of course, I will continue following Pendergast's adventures and exploits. ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following the death of long term narrator Rene Auberjonois, I had doubts that Jefferson Mays could fill his impressive shoes but I have to say that he has done a stirling job of this book and I am assured the future of Pendergast is in good hands.

A classic Pendergast novel is here, more of what everyone expects wrapped around a mysterious crime that seems to have no cause or motive. Even Constance has something to do here outside her normal angst and bringing people tea, and the story is better

Great premise but then it took my two favorite gentlemen authors another 20% of the book to put all their literary machinations into motion.

And just as I was beginning to doubt where it was all going, the action started and the second half of the book flew by in a few fun hours.

Minus a star for not enough Pendergast and Greene until the last third of the book. Another half-star ding for the slightly simplified plot-line which was tied up fairly neatly by the end.

A shout out for the empathe
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastically entertaining. I really enjoyed the inclusion of Coldmoon in the last book and I was pleased to see him involved in this case too. I was so intrigued by the premise for this book that I couldn’t wait to read it. The denouement was very satisfying. Go, Constance!
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plots that border the implausible and characters who do the impossible make this series especially appealing to me. The star of the show, FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast, and his young, mysterious ward, Constance Greene, are so intriguing that I simply can't get enough. In this one, it's clear from the outset that something grisly is afoot - literally; but while Pendergast performs his usual feats of mental brilliance, it is Constance who steals the action scenes this time around.

Tamara Thorne
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Sherlock Holmes was confronted by dozens of shoes - filled with feet - washing up on the banks of the Thames, what would he do? I can only imagine that his methods would be the 19th century equivalent to Preston & Child's Agent Pendergast's.

I was attracted to Crooked River because of the severed feet. In the story, feet clad in identical shoes begin washing up on a Florida Beach. We've all seen news reports about such feet stumbling ashore, often in the Pacific Northwest, and there are many
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Crooked River is a very enjoyable mystery with a tiny teaser for the next one!

Pendergast is still in Florida from previous book, on vacation after his last case. His boss, ADC Pickett flew in with a mysterious case and wanted Pendergast to take a "quick look". Hundreds of feet in green rubber shoes were washed ashore which left Pendergast bewildered and took on the case.

Meanwhile, Constance Green seek out a temporary accommodation for them and rented a to be demolished historical Victorian shin
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
I kept waiting for Constance to say, "They drew first blood." Haha.

I suggest to have Materia Primoris (Mark Snow) at hand for background music, especially in the last quarter.

(view spoiler)

titular line:
p240: Gladstone leaned over his shoulder. It seemed that not too long ago, a developer in Carrabelle had been fined for illegally dredging the Crooked River to his new marina. Ripped out a lot of mangroves in the process,
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-fiction
Crooked River starts well and completely loses its way soon after. The authors devise an ingenious crime scene. The resolution process begins earnestly with inventive analysis involving ocean currents. The actual crime was always going to challenge anyone's credibility notions, given the starting points. What hurts are

-- the simple unfolding process
-- An even simpler crime narrative despite its heinous manifestations
-- And the climax involving near-supernatural powers to get the heroes out of an
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Severed feet still in shoes wash up onto the beach at Sanibel Island, Florida--a hundred or more. What a nasty surprise for visiting tourists! Many investigative bodies get involved with the usual macho chest-thumping over who has the ultimate authority in the case, with the Coast Guard winning out. But FBI Special Agent Pendergast and his partner Coldmoon don't buy into the commander's theories about Cuban prisoners being tortured and accomplish a lot more on their own on the sly. But could Pen ...more
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Agent Pendergast and his ward, Constance Green, are recuperating in Florida when he is asked to look into why severed feet are washing ashore on Captiva Island. Quickly, he is dragged into a Task Force, run by exactly the kind of imperious man that rubs Aloysius the wrong way. Naturally, he investigates on his own, befriending the local police chief, assisting the coroner with some thoughtful lines of inquiry, hiring a crazy pair of scientists to study ocean drift, and eventually reaching out to ...more
Another winner from the writing team Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. As the novel begins, Pendergast is vacationing in Florida with his ward Constance Greene, enjoying some R&R after his recent case with Agent Coldmoon. But the peace is too good to be true as his boss, ADC Pickett arrives at their retreat with a request. Will Pendergast look into an odd, potentially very serious case , set on the island of Captiva, not far away. Eventually, Aloyicious decides to check the unusual situation ou ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love Pendergast, but Constance kicks ass. I still want to hear her back story.
Stewart Tame
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beachcomber hunting for shells spies a shoe washing up on the beach. And there is a severed foot within! Dozens more begin to float ashore …

That macabre opening scene kicks off the latest Preston & Child novel in fine style. Naturally, special agent Pendergast is persuaded to investigate. While this definitely is not the first novel in the series, it's a decent enough place to start if you're curious. Plenty of time to delve into the history of the characters if you like this sample. The myste
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
A four star Pendergast, which means that by comparison with some of the earlier books in the series, it's not quite the outstanding, creepy-atmosphere, deep mystery that I love most about these books. It's okay, it's good - it's just not GREAT. Part of the problem, IMO, is the location. Florida...

Lovely beaches, the ocean, the swamps, the warmth. Florida has it all. What it doesn't have is the undefinable sense of long history and old buildings and museums and the atmosphere that NYC has, or the
Jordan Anderson
It’s happened people. After almost 10 years and probably just as many books, the duo has finally, finally, FINALLY made the first 5 star Pendergast story since Cemetery Dance: Crooked River.

It shouldn’t be shocking, but to be honest, it kind of is. P & C used to write great novels. And I used to eagerly anticipate each new book, even when things started to take a bit of a downturn. And I kept with them, through their boring Helen trilogy where it was pretty freaking clear that Douglas and Li
Joshua Johnson
First, let me state my disappointment with the authors for following the formulaic 80s action movie villain recipe, and for breathing a little life into this story only to have it lead to such a disappointing resolution (for me). In large part, my irritation is driven by a view that well-written antagonists are made the same way as well-written protagonists. A character usually benefits from character development, interesting and plausible motives, has realistic drives, and exhibits quirks or od ...more
Denise Mullins
I'm ashamed to admit that having read two other books in the Pendergast series- and not enjoying them- I made the effort to give the series one more try. Sure, the premise of sneakered feet floating up on a small resort island beach sounded intriguing, but the effort to get to the unsatisfying reveal was a tedious struggle.
With one dimensional characters whose development remains stuck in repeated superficial descriptions of cool linen suits or otherworldly confections of chiffon from a bygone
Denyse Prendergast
Shortly after the start of the book, the residents of Captiva Island witness many severed feet, still in shoes, wash up on the beach. The police chief, in an excess of zeal, shoots a dog running off with a sneaker. The dog was his. He shot the dog to protect the evidence.

I don't believe a dog owner would kill his dog for stealing one piece of evidence among many. In fact, I can think of damn few reasons that an owner would shoot his dog, and they're all life threatening scenarios.

This episode di
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
I finished this a while ago and forgot to write a review.

Let’s see. This was an interesting installment. I can’t say I was blown away by it. It was an average read. I thought Constance’s investigation fell short.

I never really felt the danger for Pendergast. I felt unfulfilled with resolution to why they were in FL. Why mention this and then nothing about it the rest of the book? It served no purpose except to piss me off.

The narrator sounded a lot like Rene and not. It was weird.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very disappointing read for loyal Pendergast fans. Bottom line, the whole resolution to this book screams of amateur politicization and ill-conceived plotting on behalf of the antagonists. Are they even writing this books anymore, or just phone in ideas to their editors? I'm so disappointed that I stayed up to finish the book and that I'd so anxiously awaited its release. ...more
Fred Forbes
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What could make the Pendergast series more fun? Why move the action just down the street from me on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, a favorite location of mine. As in any Pendergast novel, the story is a bit over the top, elements strain credulity but he is a fascinating character - a wealthy, "do what I want" FBI agent whose ingenious thought processes are fun to observe. (Especially when he is deflating someone with a high opinion of their power and capabilities.) So, I enjoyed the location descr ...more
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Horror Aficionados : Crooked River - Preston & Child 137 63 Feb 21, 2020 11:21AM  

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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more

Other books in the series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Relic (Pendergast, #1)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • Dance of Death (Pendergast, #6; Diogenes, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)

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“Pendergast thought for a moment. Finally, his silvery eyes turned to her. “Failure is always useful.”

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