Wheel of Darkness is the sixth book in the Agent Penderghast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. These books usually move fast…by fast I mean that they usually grip you by the throat around page 50 and never really let go. And while the action is fantastic, the books are built around this crazy character named Agent Penderghast — the ingenuity of McGyver, the social pretentiousness of Higgens, and the kick-assery of an Indiana Jones.
After six books, they’re also predictable. Especially the last two. There’s usually a HUGE cast of characters (most of which will be slaughtered), an ancient evil (that can usually be explained at the end like Scooby Doo), and of course, Agent Penderghast.
While I had enjoyed the other books in the series (several of them ranking among my favorites), after the last two books, I was worried that perhaps they had become too predictable (and therefore losing their ability to amaze).
Wheel of Darkness put those fears at ease. It moves fast and never really lets go. Predictable? Yes, but it didn’t matter. Like a ‘then there was one’ horror movie, knowing that everyone is going to die doesn’t really matter.
In this one, their chase takes them on the Britannia, the world’s largest ocean liner on its maiden voyage. On board are the richest (and most pathetic) human beings on the planet, Penderghast, a murderer, and an ancient evil artifact.
Now, I know that by the end of the book, half the passengers will be dead (especially the rich ones), the murderer will get his comeuppance, the ocean liner will probably be at the bottom of the sea…and Agent Penderghast will be just fine.
But did it matter that I knew all this? Nope, not one bit. Hate to use the cliche, but this is a roller coaster book. Loved it. Finished it in two days. Now I have to wait a year for the next book in the series…