The Dead of Night
Review: Amy and Dan Cahill continue their quest to free their friends and family from the evil Vesper One by retrieving another obscure object he has demanded, this time "a stale orb" from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in The Dead of Night, the third book in the "The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers" series by Peter Lerangis.
But first the siblings have to save Dan's best friend Atticus Rosenbloom, who has been kidnapped in Prague by twin brother and sister Cheyenne and Casper Wyoming, allies of Vesper One. They take him to a Vesper stronghold, a cave in Turkey, but he has cleverly managed to reveal his location via a hidden GPS device on his keyring. Amy and Dan rescue him but have no time to celebrate before Vesper One directs them to deliver to him "a stale orb". There's no indication what this may be, but the object's location in Uzbekistan suggests it may be related to astronomy, one of the oldest sciences practiced in the country.
The Dead of Night is not the most exciting entry in this series, lacking the dynamic action scenes and pulse-pounding chases and close calls of previous two books and "The 39 Clues" as a whole. There is also a significant amount of narrative devoted to Dan's personal mission to accumulate the 39 ingredients that represent the power of the Cahill clan and a new subplot involving his presumably dead father, Arthur J. Trent, AJT, one that is already wearing thin after just two books.
The search for the mysterious orb doesn't begin until about a third of the way in, at which point the storyline decidedly takes a turn for the better. An ancient poem serves as the source of clues as to not only what the object is, but where it may be found. The object is delivered and their family and friends continue to live as captors while Amy and Dan fly off to Berlin, presumably the site of the next book in the series.
Puzzles to be solved in The Dead of Night include the star map on the cover and the page numbers represented by symbols of the Periodic Table of the Elements.
Acknowledgment: Scholastic provided a copy of The Dead of Night for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Viper's Nest
Scholastic (Hardcover), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9780545060479; ISBN-10: 0545060478
Location(s) referenced in The Dead of Night: Prague, Czech Republic; Göreme, Turkey; Samarkand, Uzbekistan
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