Monday, January 7, 2013

Short Story Review: Extraction by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Ah, Agent Pendergast. That spindly, silver-eyed southern gent. How I do love your stories. Preston and Child's Agent Pendergast books always rank near the top of my to-read list every time one is released, and in truth, they do pump them out rather frequently. I've nearly read them all, in fact, I'm currently reading the tenth title in the series, Fever Dream. They just released the twelfth in the series, Two Graves, and it along with #11, Cold Vengeance, lie in wait on my Kindle. But nevertheless, prior to releasing Two Graves, the duo released their first ever original short story featuring the iconic investigator, Extraction.

While Agent Pendergast and his ward, Constance Green, are waiting for dinner to be prepared, Pendergast purveys a story to Constance from his youth in the French Quarter. The tale focuses on Pendergast's younger brother, Diogenes, at a time when he loses a tooth. According to local legend, Diogenes has to take the tooth and set it in a box on the doorstep of a nearby recluse. Legend says that if you lose a tooth and you do not appease the man with the tooth, he will exact his retribution. 

Diogenes is not one to tempt fate, so he makes his way to the recluse's house to make his deposit. But, Pendergast is not convinced and sets out to prove to his younger sibling that the legend of this "tooth fairy" is a lark. What happens is a pivotal point in the complicated relationship between the two brothers and a truly entertaining read indeed. It was such a great short story, I was left wishing it was longer.

I give Extraction ***** out of *****. It's everything a short story should be and then some!  Pick it up for your Kindle today -- it's only $0.99!

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