At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle - her only protection from the beast - had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?
With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden. Helen Pendergast had nursed a secret obsession with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon, in particular a long-lost painting of his known as the Black Frame.
As Pendergast probes more deeply into the riddle - the answer to which is revealed in a night of shocking violence, deep in the Louisiana bayou - he finds himself faced with an even greater question: who was the woman he married?
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"Starred Review. Their restraint in the book's early sections make the payoffs all the more compelling. " - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Not to be missed by either newcomers or die-hard fans." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. This may be the best of the Pendergast novels, if for no other reason than we are permitted to see the man beneath the cold, steely exterior." - Booklist
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Lincoln Child is an author of multiple techno-thriller and horror novels. Though he is most well-known for his collaborations with Douglas Preston (including the Agent Pendergast series and the Gideon Crew series, among others), he has also written solo novels, including the Jeremy Logan series. Many of the collaborative novels have become bestsellers, and their first novel together, Relic, was adapted into a feature film.
Child and Preston's books are notable for their thorough research.
In 2002, Child began his solo career with the debut novel Utopia. He has since written Death Match in 2004, Deep Storm in 2007, Terminal Freeze in 2009, and The Third Gate in 2012.
Child is now a resident of Morristown, New Jersey.
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