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Verses for the Dead is the eighteenth installment in the Agent Pendergast series, released on December 31, 2018, by Grand Central Publishing. It is the twenty-seventh full-length Preston-Child collaboration.

Plot Summary

After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI’s New York field office, A. X. L. Pendergast is abruptly forced to accept an unthinkable condition of continued employment: the famously rogue agent must now work with a partner.

Pendergast and his new teammate, junior agent Coldmoon, are assigned to Miami Beach, where a rash of killings by a bloodthirsty psychopath are distinguished by a confounding M.O.: cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them—along with cryptic handwritten letters—at local gravestones, unconnected save in one bizarre way: all belonged to women who committed suicide.

But the seeming lack of connection between the old suicides and the new murders is soon the least of Pendergast’s worries. Because as he digs deeper, he realizes the brutal new crimes may be just the tip of the iceberg: a conspiracy of death that reaches back decades.

–Publisher's synopsis

Returning Characters

First Appearances

Bonus Epilogue

An exclusive epilogue was included in the Barnes & Noble versions of the hardcover release, and was later reprinted and included with special signed copies of Crooked River from the Poisoned Pen bookstore.

The epilogue chronicles an interview with Pendergast conducted by Roger Smithback at the Riverside Drive mansion. The interview mostly contains Pendergast's further ruminations on Mr. Brokenhearts's motivations, and while it is not essential to any of the book's storylines, it was notable for the revelation that Roger and Bill were, in fact, twins (Bill was born first, and held the "older brother" title over Roger's head throughout their childhood).

Also of particular note is that it features Pendergast's first mention of the authors and the book series in print; previous acknowledgements had been limited to internet postings.