Extraction packs quite a creepy punch

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Extraction by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

For most children, the idea of a Tooth Fairy is a pleasant one, but in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the reality is much darker than any children’s tale. For instead of leaving their tooth under a pillow, children must deposit their tooth in a small bowl on the porch of a recluse’s mansion lest the old man Dufour come after what’s rightfully his.

For years, young Aloysius Pendergast has always viewed this ritual with scorn and derision, and he’s horrified when his younger brother, Diogenes, adamantly insists on honoring the superstitious tradition. Determined to teach his brother a lesson, Aloysius retrieves his brother’s offering and discards it.

But when Diogenes disappears the next day, Aloysius begins to wonder if the legends might be true…

Set between Cold Vengeance and Two Graves, this creepy, little gem of a story provides valuable insight into the relationship between FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast and his brother, Diogenes. Although Diogenes didn’t become unhinged until later in life, it’s easy to discern how Aloysius’s actions unwittingly helped shape the monster Diogenes would eventually become.

As always, René Auberjonois’ narration was excellent. The dulcet tones of Pendergast seem to come effortlessly to him, and I cannot imagine listening to anyone else bring our favorite Special Agent to life. It’s always a treat to listen to him slip between the characters and the narrator, and oftentimes, I forget I’m listening to only one person read the story.

Set at 30 pages, the original short is a quick read. If you choose to listen to it as an audiobook, the story clocks in at a mere 67 minutes – easily finished within one or two day’s commute.

If, like me, you haven’t finished Cold Vengeance yet, take heart: this story can be read without fear of spoilers!

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