THE CABINET OF DR. LENG
A Pendergast Novel
By Preston & Child
Grand Central Publishing
We’ve a good friend who every Christmas sends us a book.
Many years ago he sent along “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” a thriller by Preston and Child that introduced us to FBI Special Agent
Pendergast. It was the third in the series featuring this truly remarkable hero
who is easily one of the greatest pulp protagonist ever created. The wealthy
investigator with the peculiar Southern heritage we soon discovered was one
quarter the Shadow, one quarter Sherlock Holmes, and one quarter Chandu the
Magician. We’ll divulge that final quarter in a few minutes.
As a dedicated lover of pulp fiction, we were instantly
enamored and soon became a dedicated fan. Although the third in the series,
“Cabinet of Curiosities” was a definitive shift in the saga as it not only
introduced Constance Green, a nearly immortal young lady who would become
Pendergast’s ward, but also the insidious evil scientist Dr. Leng. By that
book’s finale, the series was clearly propelled into the genre of the
fantastic. Now, seventeen books later, Preston
and Child have come full circle and revived that villain in a truly remarkable
Spoiler alert. “The Cabinet of Dr. Leng” is only the first
part of the story and ends with a dire cliffhanger. At the end of the previous
adventure, Constance managed to time-travel
back into the past; her goal to find and kill Dr. Leng. She left Pendergast a
note asking him not to follow her. Naturally, he ignores it and manages to
reconstruct the ruined time machine to go after her. And now, after all these
great stories, we see he is also one quarter Captain Future.
From that first book, the Pendergast series has been our favorite new pulp series. It is exciting, innovative, fresh; full of wild, craziness with remarkable, heroic characters and the most black-hearted monsters and villains. “The Cabinet of Dr. Leng” is unrelenting in its pacing and we cannot wait for the second half to arrive. Oh, yeah.