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Fever Dream

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Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all . . . Who murdered her? FEVER DREAM Revenge is not sw Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all . . . Who murdered her? FEVER DREAM Revenge is not sweet: It is essential.


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Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all . . . Who murdered her? FEVER DREAM Revenge is not sw Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all . . . Who murdered her? FEVER DREAM Revenge is not sweet: It is essential.

30 review for Fever Dream

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I have been in the habit lately of using gifs in my reviews, so it is likely that you will see some here. Oh, wait! I feel one coming on - this was me this entire book: Holy cow! This book was a rush! I thought things were intense and suspenseful in previous Preston and Child books, but they raised the bar and way outdid themselves. I have no clue how they fit so much action, mystery, suspense and general bad-ass-ery into one book. Here is a quick summary in gifs: Finally - if only Antonio Banderas I have been in the habit lately of using gifs in my reviews, so it is likely that you will see some here. Oh, wait! I feel one coming on - this was me this entire book: Holy cow! This book was a rush! I thought things were intense and suspenseful in previous Preston and Child books, but they raised the bar and way outdid themselves. I have no clue how they fit so much action, mystery, suspense and general bad-ass-ery into one book. Here is a quick summary in gifs: Finally - if only Antonio Banderas was a bit paler: Read this series . . . That's just it - clear your TBR, grab Relic (first in the series), and start at the beginning - don't start here!. If you like all the things I previously mentioned, especially the bad-ass-ery, then you will love ALL this!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    Sometimes you crave food because it’s predictably good—Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, for example, nature’s most perfect glowing yellow, boxed food. Other times, you want to experience something you’ve never had before, and so you set your taste buds to open-minded (because, yes, tongues have brains—it’s basic biology, people, which you would know if you am as smart as me am). What happens, though, when you’re expecting one kind of flavor and you get another? It can go one of two ways: the mistaki Sometimes you crave food because it’s predictably good—Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, for example, nature’s most perfect glowing yellow, boxed food. Other times, you want to experience something you’ve never had before, and so you set your taste buds to open-minded (because, yes, tongues have brains—it’s basic biology, people, which you would know if you am as smart as me am). What happens, though, when you’re expecting one kind of flavor and you get another? It can go one of two ways: the mistaking-pistachio-ice-cream-for-mint-chocolate-chip way (exceedingly unpleasant, and I curse to the deepest bowels of hell the people who decided to make those two flavors, one abominable and one like an angel making sweet, vigorous love to your mouth, virtually identical in color), or the thinking-you’re-getting-eggs-and-toast-and-winding-up-with-chicken-and-waffles way. Fever Dream is the latter. It all began during a rare childless getaway, highlighted by a stay at a bed and breakfast that is literally just begging to host a murder mystery (case in point: https://twitter.com/Gibknight/status/...). In fact, I swear I heard it say, “Please kill someone here, but conspire with the butler and make sure to sprinkle some red herrings about before you do” when I walked in. In addition to preparing to happily comply with the house’s wishes, I also decided, given that I might actually have some quiet reading time, that a good mystery/thriller was in order and, knowing that Preston and Child (and Pendergast) are always reliable, decided to crack open the next book in the series that I hadn’t read. Only Fever Dream isn’t really like its predecessors; for one, we start out in the sweltering heat of an African safari and progress to an unusually emotional Pendergast intent on solving a 12-year-old cold case involving someone very near and dear to him. It was most definitely not eggs; it was something completely unexpected, and something my literary palette was neither prepared for nor, did I think, in the mood for. Now, while I am what you might call a picky eater (c’mon…I was born and raised in southwest suburban Michigan, where the Panda Forest at the mall is the most exotic cuisine one can experience), I have tried to expand my taste vocabulary over the years, particularly when I’m in a public setting, and especially when I’m in a public setting where I have no alternatives other than starvation and/or a bowl of stale hard candies in the parlor. And so, with an eager proprietor looking on, I shoveled a forkful of sweet waffles and savory fried chicken into my piehole and it was…well, it was good. The texture was odd, and it felt like a weird thing to consume in the stately dining room of a 150-year-old mansion, but it was delicious. I ended up scarfing it down, licking the plate clean, and belching like a bullfrog into a bullhorn, much to the dismay of the proprietors of the B&B. Likewise for Fever Dream. It was an unexpected joy, and while I might have preferred a slightly more conventional setting given where I was, it all worked out in the end, despite the fact that Pendergast really went off the rails, Laura Hayward joined him, and there were a lot of creepy swamp rednecks running around shooting things. No matter how ridiculous these stories get, though—and they’re getting more ridiculous by the book—Preston and Child remain masters of craft who keep pages turning. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go paint “Rache” on a wall, snuff out a party guest, and throw some KFC on my Eggo.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    5 STARS! Good grief, what a book!! I was not bored once while reading Fever Dream and this was one of the craziest Pendergast books that I've read in the series. This is the 1st book in the Helen trilogy and it involves the mystery of Helen Pendergast, the late wife to Special Agent Pendergast. Damn, I really don't know what to say in this review that will not be a potential spoiler! This book goes in many different directions and CRAZY plot twists. I loved it! So, I'll elaborate just a bit. Fever D 5 STARS! Good grief, what a book!! I was not bored once while reading Fever Dream and this was one of the craziest Pendergast books that I've read in the series. This is the 1st book in the Helen trilogy and it involves the mystery of Helen Pendergast, the late wife to Special Agent Pendergast. Damn, I really don't know what to say in this review that will not be a potential spoiler! This book goes in many different directions and CRAZY plot twists. I loved it! So, I'll elaborate just a bit. Fever Dream involves a lion, some birds, swamp people and set in the South. That's all you get! hahaha I'm so excited to read the rest of this trilogy to find out more about Helen and what she was involved in. If you've never heard of the Pendergast series and you love suspense, a bit of horror, kick ass action and cool science, look no further. If you want to check this series out, I suggest starting with Relic. I'm so glad I started this series last year. Yeah, I've read 10 Pendergast books in a year and a 1/2! I love this series, writing and the main character of Pendergast! All the characters in this series have become favorites of mine and feel a bit like family now. It's always an enjoyment when I start a Pendergast book and settle in for a rollercoaster of a ride!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    So far, this book is my favorite in the Agent Pendergast series. Fever Dream is the 10th book in the 16-book series. A 17th book, City of Endless Night, is coming out in 2018. Pendergast's wife, Helen, died 12 years before during a safari in Africa. She was attacked and killed by a lion. While in New Orleans at his family's home, Pendergast discovers evidence that Helen's death was not an accident. It was murder. Immediately he knows he must investigate, identify Helen's killer, and get justice So far, this book is my favorite in the Agent Pendergast series. Fever Dream is the 10th book in the 16-book series. A 17th book, City of Endless Night, is coming out in 2018. Pendergast's wife, Helen, died 12 years before during a safari in Africa. She was attacked and killed by a lion. While in New Orleans at his family's home, Pendergast discovers evidence that Helen's death was not an accident. It was murder. Immediately he knows he must investigate, identify Helen's killer, and get justice (or revenge) for his wife. He enlists the help of NYPD officer Vincent D'Agosta. As they investigate, Pendergast discovers that there were things about his wife that he didn't know. She was researching a dangerous, mind altering virus and illegal medical experimentation and someone wanted her silenced. Pendergast is willing to go from the jungles of Africa to the swamps of Louisiana to find out who killed his wife. Pendergast is still tall, pale, brooding and upper class snooty. A'gosta remains city tough and NYPD through and through, with a strange loyalty to Pendergast. And Captain Laura Heywood is still pissed that Pendergast always seems to get A'gosta injured or in trouble. This story gives some new insight into Pendergast....his past and how he deals with emotion. We see some chinks in the FBI agent's armor. There were so many things about his wife that he didn't know, and he struggles with that knowledge while hunting for her killer. This book is an action-packed thriller. I think the series has found new direction following the ending of the Diogenes storyline. I can't wait to see where it goes from here. I don't really care for the Constance Green portion of the story. I felt like it was inserted inbetween portions of the investigation just to keep readers reminded that Constance is still around....still strange. She goes from being in a tibetan monastery, to on board a ship, to in a mental hospital....bleck. I know that her storyline will be picked up in a subsequent book, but I almost feel like it's an unnecessary cord attached to the Diogenes plot. I'd rather the series just moved forward with new, creepy investigations without opening the can of worms that is his time-displaced, strange ward, Constance. But, I know it's coming......like a strange black cloud on the horizon. I enjoyed this book....and I love this series. It's creepy, weird and exciting. I'm definitely moving on to book #11! I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of this book. It was narrated by Rene Auberjonois.He reads at a nice, even pace and is easily understood. I have partial hearing loss but am able to easily hear and understand him. I also like his accent and the way he does dialogue for Pendergast. After listening to most of this series on audiobook, I prefer Auberjonois as narrator. The audiobook is about 14 1/2 hours long. The quality is great. Enjoyable listen! To find out more about the authors and their books, check out their website: https://www.prestonchild.com/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Fantastic! A different setting for this story and Laura Hayward and Pendergast are in the driving seat. Most of the action takes place in the South this time and one of the many things Preston and Child’s do very well is setting. Tons of action and a cliff hanger...thoroughly enjoyable read. Recommended series but start with the first book. #Pendergast for President .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    Fever Dream could have been a good book. The central premise -- that Pendergast finds out his dead wife was murdered, seeks revenge on her killers, and goes on to discover secrets she kept from him -- is intriguing, and there are a few good set-pieces, such as a car chase through a Louisiana swamp. And Preston & Child aren't terrible authors; I enjoyed the two Diogenes-featuring novels in this series, albeit only by ignoring a lot of extraneous words that were probably meant to sound clever. Fever Dream could have been a good book. The central premise -- that Pendergast finds out his dead wife was murdered, seeks revenge on her killers, and goes on to discover secrets she kept from him -- is intriguing, and there are a few good set-pieces, such as a car chase through a Louisiana swamp. And Preston & Child aren't terrible authors; I enjoyed the two Diogenes-featuring novels in this series, albeit only by ignoring a lot of extraneous words that were probably meant to sound clever. But I literally couldn't finish this book. I forget exactly how far I was, but at some point after the reveal of the painting built up as so horrifying that nobody would talk about it, I put it down and haven't been able to bring myself to pick it up again. There are just so many things to read that interest me more, such as ingredients lists on the backs of cereal boxes. Speaking of that painting, did anyone reading this actually get to the reveal and feel that the painting deserved its build-up? I can't have been the only one who didn't buy that every man, woman and child who'd looked at it would had been shocked into lifelong silence. Part of the problem is that the writing is so lazy. A lot of the novel's flaws -- such as sentences just an edit away from fluency, and inconstancies like a character having a New Zealand accent in one chapter and an Australian one in another -- seem like they came out of a lack of effort rather than a lack of talent. And the story is full of flat bit characters who have no personality besides a duty to shove the plot along, and clichés presented with a completely straight face. I couldn't stop laughing when Pendergast and D'Agosta were driving through creepy skeletal trees towards a mansion, and the mansion was silhouetted by a bolt of lightning that must have taken a wrong turn on its way to a Hammer horror movie. The Pendergast universe seems to operate on the rule that if the authors think it's cool, it doesn't have to make sense -- and while turning off your brain to enjoy something isn't inherently bad, this book pretty much requires it all the way through, which is likely to annoy anyone who cares that a bullet shouldn't throw somebody backwards into a wall. As for the characters, I couldn't stand them. They just weren't likeable for me at all. The authors can't go five minutes without reminding the reader that Pendergast is handsome, aquiline, cultured and frighteningly intelligent. When he quotes the classics you can taste the authors' self-satisfaction, and when he talks you start to feel sorry for their thesaurus. And the reverse is true for D'Agosta: he's working class and A Regular Guy and it must be true because the reader is constantly told it. He'll be swigging a Bud while his upmarket partner delicately sips from a glass of 300-year-old Château de Fancier Than You, which will be described with a loving obsession I haven't seen since the feast scenes in Brian Jacques' Redwall books. Wordiness isn't a problem for me (I love Tolkien to pieces), but this book has words for the sake of words instead of using them for interesting description or anything like that. Smart or cultured or eloquent protagonists don't automatically get my back up, but when a character is eloquent like a thirteen-year-old in a wolf roleplay on Proboards, I can't even start to take them seriously. Clichés don't piss me off inherently, but to throw them prefabricated into a would-be serious drama and expect them to still be scary or emotionally engaging just stinks of laziness on the part of the authors. Several of my friends absolutely adore this book, and it was recommended to me as if it had descended from Heaven on a moonbeam to bring peace and love to the world of literature. I was looking forward to reading it. I just wish I'd actually liked it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    Fever Dream is a great whodunnit. Pendergast finds out that his wife was murdered rather than being killed in a hunting accident. So he gets on the trail along with D'Agosta. This book has all the trademarks of a good Pendergast story - an intriguing mystery, a new antagonist, some great action, subtle humour and a deep look into Pendergast's background. Specifically, I liked how Pendergast shows the same characteristics as Diogenes towards the climax of the book. I am looking forward to the next Fever Dream is a great whodunnit. Pendergast finds out that his wife was murdered rather than being killed in a hunting accident. So he gets on the trail along with D'Agosta. This book has all the trademarks of a good Pendergast story - an intriguing mystery, a new antagonist, some great action, subtle humour and a deep look into Pendergast's background. Specifically, I liked how Pendergast shows the same characteristics as Diogenes towards the climax of the book. I am looking forward to the next book in this new trilogy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Agent Pendergast accidentally discovers his wife's death was not an accident, but murder. He immediately calls on D'Agosta, and the two start traipsing around the world, looking for leads. It turns out his wife had a secret life, connected to a mysterious foundation located in the swamps of Louisiana. Not bad, maybe a little lowball compared to some of the rest of the series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Ahhhh! Curse these authors! I was up past dawn reading this book, slept for a few hours, and after bolting awake, made some coffee and got back to reading. And I won't know the final end of this plot line until the next book, so will have to wait another year at least! Not really a spoiler so much, since the authors do this with like 90% of the Pendergast series. Part of why these books are so clever and fiendishly addictive is because the reader kibitzes for most of it. I'm not going to reveal Ahhhh! Curse these authors! I was up past dawn reading this book, slept for a few hours, and after bolting awake, made some coffee and got back to reading. And I won't know the final end of this plot line until the next book, so will have to wait another year at least! Not really a spoiler so much, since the authors do this with like 90% of the Pendergast series. Part of why these books are so clever and fiendishly addictive is because the reader kibitzes for most of it. I'm not going to reveal Villain #1, but the authors do fairly early on. Very few suspense novels or movies do this, which is strange because it's so effective. Knowing something that the protagonists do not and seeing how they're going to fall into a trap, I think heightens things rather than just springing cheap surprises on the reader. Also because I'm so distracted with information I know that the heroes don't, when twists do come I'm totally taken aback by them. So kudos to Preston & Child--they can work a plot that very very few other authors can do (I put them up there with Christie in how they can pace a story--and perhaps are better than her, because she is the Queen of Trick Endings). One thing I am a little bored with is the Constance Green plot lines. I think more could have been done with her from the her introduction and I was okay with her being promoted to a more major role in the Diogenes Trilogy of books, even though I found her slightly annoying in those. However, Wheel of Darkness (and the whole stupid Tibetan monastery drama) was by far the worst book of the whole series in my opinion and her popping up here kind of continued that line which I hoped was forgotten. Maybe something good will come of it though. And bits with her were very minor--obviously just setting something up for the next book or books (since the note to reader says not to worry, more Pendergast books are coming, even though they're working on a new series). All the Audubon parts were neat as well. Did not know that John James Audubon was French and came to America to escape conscription to Napoleon's Army. I read up on him after reading this book and yeah, all the facts of his life neatly synched up with the plot (though I'm sure not the big reveal at the end). Not sure how I'm going to make it till the next book comes out. I hate waiting!

  10. 4 out of 5

    TS Chan

    I'll call it right here, right now. This is the best Pendergast novel I've read so far, and I'm going to stop holding back on the 5-star rating. Why? Because it got really personal for Special Agent A.X.L Pendergast, and we get to see a side of this enigmatic man which we've never seen before. It was intense. It was almost scary. And it was exciting! From the very first book, Relic, we were made aware that Pendergast had a wife who died many years ago. Twelve to be exact. How she died was relive I'll call it right here, right now. This is the best Pendergast novel I've read so far, and I'm going to stop holding back on the 5-star rating. Why? Because it got really personal for Special Agent A.X.L Pendergast, and we get to see a side of this enigmatic man which we've never seen before. It was intense. It was almost scary. And it was exciting! From the very first book, Relic, we were made aware that Pendergast had a wife who died many years ago. Twelve to be exact. How she died was relived most brutally in the first few chapters of Fever Dream; a flashback to that fateful day in which Pendergast witnessed what I deemed one of the most horrifying ways of seeing your loved one die. Fast forward to the present day where Pendergast discovered that his wife did not die of a tragic accident, but was instead murdered. This cool, calm, collected and ever-so-composed man was consumed by vengeance. Had Pendergast been a man of lesser control, the hinges of his sanity might have weakened under the emotional intensity of his thoughts. The ferocity of his investigation to follow a cold trail of a dozen years was immensely engaging to read. Mysteries upon mysteries surrounded his wife, which baffled even the man who was full of secrets himself. Make no mistake, Pendergast is a ruthless man if he wants or needs to be. And frankly, I love it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    If you want to get in the full spirit of this review the background music should be a Kidz Bop version of "Oops...I Did It Again". 1. First response: Outrageous, bloody, awful (& bloody awful too) but still somehow entertaining. The Audubon plot and bio-entrepreneurship elements are fascinating. Found myself realizing how fortunate I have been to be able to view Audubon's double elephant folio at the Cal Academy library. 2. Plot elements somehow couldn't be more ridiculous. 3. OTT Example: (v If you want to get in the full spirit of this review the background music should be a Kidz Bop version of "Oops...I Did It Again". 1. First response: Outrageous, bloody, awful (& bloody awful too) but still somehow entertaining. The Audubon plot and bio-entrepreneurship elements are fascinating. Found myself realizing how fortunate I have been to be able to view Audubon's double elephant folio at the Cal Academy library. 2. Plot elements somehow couldn't be more ridiculous. 3. OTT Example: (view spoiler)[The scene with the bad ole' fat southern guy ripping open the female officer's blouse and bra with the tip of a hunting knife so her 'breasts swung free' to the delight of the other assembled good ole boys b4 he got his turnabout is fair-play come-uppance (hide spoiler)] . WTF? 4. If it is possible, this got even more over the top before it finally drew to its false cliff-hanging conclusion. NEVER AGAIN. ARRRGGGH. 5. I hate this audiobook production. It is so irritating. I might have given this book a two if I hadn't listened to it via this audiobook. double ick. Why never again? "Fool me twice, Shame on me!" It's been FOUR times now: Blasphemy or better yet Impact. It's been FIFTEEN years since Pendergast first appeared in Relic you'd think I'd have learned by now to READ SOMETHING else. duh.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    My mental rating was 4 stars throughout, until I got to the delicious ending that rivals the end of Hannibal.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    Loved it! Such a super suspenseful book. While it was over 400 pages, it kept you enthralled throughout with Agent Pendergast and his team solving another mystery. Makes one want to go back and read the entire series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Another great installment in the Pendergast series, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. With this being the first book in the Helen trilogy, we're drawn into another great mystery with lots of surprising twists and turns that promise to keep us in suspense for two more books to come. This book, maybe more so than the prior in the series, kept me guessing the whole time and led to lots of "What the ..." moments! Great fun from start to finish. As before, I definitely recommend this series to an Another great installment in the Pendergast series, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. With this being the first book in the Helen trilogy, we're drawn into another great mystery with lots of surprising twists and turns that promise to keep us in suspense for two more books to come. This book, maybe more so than the prior in the series, kept me guessing the whole time and led to lots of "What the ..." moments! Great fun from start to finish. As before, I definitely recommend this series to anybody that likes mystery, thrillers and action stories. I continue to feel like these are very well-written books, making them very easy to read and enjoy. Can't wait to get to the next one! 5.0/5.0.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andre Farant

    I have been following the Pendergast series of books since Relic, published in 1995. Since then, nine more books (with a tenth on the way) have been published featuring the clever and eccentric FBI agent. Like Arthur Conan Doyle before them, Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston have created in FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast a character that elevates any plot in which he might feature and, similarly, enlivens the reading experience. There is more than a little dose of the Holmsian in Penderga I have been following the Pendergast series of books since Relic, published in 1995. Since then, nine more books (with a tenth on the way) have been published featuring the clever and eccentric FBI agent. Like Arthur Conan Doyle before them, Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston have created in FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast a character that elevates any plot in which he might feature and, similarly, enlivens the reading experience. There is more than a little dose of the Holmsian in Pendergast’s genius and eccentricities, his method and madness. With Fever Dream, Preston and Child delve deeper into the history of the enigmatic FBI Agent, as they send him on a mission with intensely personal roots. Pendergast uncovers new information that leads him to suspect the death of his beloved and long-lamented wife might not have been accident, as originally believed. As usual, New York cop Vincent D’Agosta is along to help out but, as a real treat and fun change of pace, we also see Pendergast teaming up with Captain Laura Hayward, Vinnie’s boss and lover, and a person who does not count Pendergast among her favourite people. Preston and Child are kings at infusing a crime-suspense narrative with Crichton-like techno-thrills. Fever Dream is a perfect example of such mastery, with strange science masquerading as the supernatural, and the life and art of John James Audubon playing an intriguingly unlikely role in the mystery. An interesting subplot involves Pendergast’s ward, Constance Green, who, with her every action and very presence, seems to foster more questions than answers, promising that she will remain an important player in Pendergast’s continuing adventures. Still, the strength of the series is in its main character and, In Fever Dream, Pendergast is in excellent form, despite the emotionally draining aspects of his investigation. As an added bonus, Fever Dream sets off yet another unofficial trilogy and introduces a brand new villain. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    You know how you buy a bag of Chee-Tos? And you sit down, open the bag and absently eat a handful, and even as you're thinking, "Yeah, that was probably enough of that," your hand is already snaking back into the bag? And then the next thing you know the bag is completely empty and you're covered with orange dust and feeling vaguely ill? Yeah, these books have that effect on me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    It was good. I liked the finale to the Diogenes trilogy much better, but this series is consistently good and addicting. It has a bit of a formulaic feeling to it, but it’s a formula that works and if it isn’t broke why fix it. I keep coming back for more and plan to finish the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    807656 Yowsa! I really liked this book. Had me turning pages late into the night. Doug and Lincoln can be overly concerned at times with minute details in describing things or places, but man the action scenes really get your heart pumping! Well done Preston and Child! Can't wait for the next one, which has been ordered for me at my library! (Large Print)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wendell

    Get set for the usual irritating tics one expects from this pair of talented and dangerously complacent writers, who either eschew or don’t have editors and, if you listen on CD, for René Auberjonois to be perfectly awful as a reader. His Africans sound Italian; his women sound like RuPaul; his southern crackers sound like someone trying to satirize an old Hee-Haw sketch. He doesn’t know—and his “director” apparently never told him—that the airport in Florida is pronounced Sarasota-BRAYdenton (n Get set for the usual irritating tics one expects from this pair of talented and dangerously complacent writers, who either eschew or don’t have editors and, if you listen on CD, for René Auberjonois to be perfectly awful as a reader. His Africans sound Italian; his women sound like RuPaul; his southern crackers sound like someone trying to satirize an old Hee-Haw sketch. He doesn’t know—and his “director” apparently never told him—that the airport in Florida is pronounced Sarasota-BRAYdenton (not “Bradd-enton”), or that the secret avian flu project is called Aves because it refers to the class of birds (and, thus, is pronounced /ävāz/ and not “aves” (as if it rhymed with “braves”). The story itself is interesting enough—and would have been more interesting still if the authors had cut about 20% of it. Child and Preston have been at this long enough to know what their weaknesses are; so all one can conclude is that they just don’t give a damn (and that they must be getting paid by the ounce): Pendergast sits down and “throws one leg over the other” at least 25 times in this book and, in describing their hero’s physical and emotional aspect, the writers have worn out the page in their thesaurus that gives synonyms for “cold.” We get it you guys. You know what else? We also didn’t forget, 20 pages after the last time you told us, about P’s pallid skin, pallid eyes, pallid hair, or pallid demeanor, or about his hair so light it seems white/silver/invisible/transluscent/colorless/platinum/frosted blah blah blah blah bla blah. Please stop torturing us. We freakin’ get it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Pendergast searches for his wife's killer, unearthing another mystery along the way. The plot was interesting, as were the characters. Although the storyline will continue in the next two books of the series, this book was more of a stand-alone read, which I liked. Fast-paced and entertaining. I really enjoy these authors.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    The book that started it all for me was Relic when I was first introduced to the eccentric FBI agent – Aloysius Pendergast and also to the gruff yet valiant NYPD lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta. From then on I have been following these gentlemen on their adventures across the globe while they settled personal vendettas, fought zombies and monsters and investigated serial killers. While the quality of storytelling has wavered at times, Preston and Child have been able to retain a relatively stable st The book that started it all for me was Relic when I was first introduced to the eccentric FBI agent – Aloysius Pendergast and also to the gruff yet valiant NYPD lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta. From then on I have been following these gentlemen on their adventures across the globe while they settled personal vendettas, fought zombies and monsters and investigated serial killers. While the quality of storytelling has wavered at times, Preston and Child have been able to retain a relatively stable standard for their stories over the years. To me their success lies in one aspect of the storytelling – they do not reveal much about Pendergast from a personal standpoint. Even when we follow the character, a lot of his personal side is in the dark. While the Diogenes trilogy explored the background story of Pendergast from a sibling rivalry standpoint, there were still blanks to be filled in. These blanks make for further interesting storylines and this is the start of one such. Very early in Relic, Pendergast mentions his wife dying in an accident while on safari in Africa and this singular thread of dialog is expanded into a book here. The story opens in Africa with a safari that throws Pendergast’s marital life to the dust. Years later when he figures out that there is more to his wife’s death than meets the eye, he goes all guns blazing to figure out the truth behind the death. In a journey that takes him across Africa and then to the swamps of Florida, Pendergast painstakingly places together clues as to who was behind his wife’s murder. Typical to the Preston/Child books there are gun battles, chases and investigation all rolled into one enjoyable package. It must also be said that the plot points are not fully resolved and it paves way for yet another trilogy. I am a devoted Pendergast fan so don’t listen to my recommendation !

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I gave this an extra star because I thought Agent Pendergast had about run his course in the Diogenes trilogy of this series of books and even in the last one, 'Cemetery Dance.' However, even in those books of theirs where my interest wanes, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write stories that you can't help but keep turning the page, reading just one more chapter. Any of these books are just plain fun to read, and people tend to forget that sometimes, reading just needs to be fun. So, on to this I gave this an extra star because I thought Agent Pendergast had about run his course in the Diogenes trilogy of this series of books and even in the last one, 'Cemetery Dance.' However, even in those books of theirs where my interest wanes, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write stories that you can't help but keep turning the page, reading just one more chapter. Any of these books are just plain fun to read, and people tend to forget that sometimes, reading just needs to be fun. So, on to this book. Like I said, I thought Pendergast had run his course, when Preston/Child bring out ... his wife! His late wife, to be exact, killed on a safari 12 years ago. But it turns out, it was actually murder most foul. And complicated. Like cheesy Bond villain/Dr. Evil needlessly complicated (although it's a lion, not ill-tempered sharks with frickin' lasers). So Pendergast enlists Vincent D'Agosta (of course) at the drop of a hat to help him solve his wife's murder. (Mild spoiler coming) And when D'Agosta can no longer, um, assist in the case, D'Agosta's girlfriend, NYPD Capt. Laura Hayward. is drafted to help. Like I said, this book is full of all kinds of ridiculousness, not the least of which is Pendergast's bad-assery coupled with how trouble seems to blow away with a couple sentences or fight moves. But again, these books are just plain fun. Do yourself a favor and read them all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Do you know how Pendergast sits? If you read the series, yes, you do. "Pendergast seated himself, throwing one leg over the other." "Pendergast...one black-clad leg draped over the other..." "Pendergast threw one leg over the other." It's apparently contagious, because "Felder leaned back in his chair, casually throwing one leg over the other." The latest P&C tic is characters "tenting." "Pendergast nodded over tented fingers." "Pendergast tented his fingers." This too is spreading: "She laid her Do you know how Pendergast sits? If you read the series, yes, you do. "Pendergast seated himself, throwing one leg over the other." "Pendergast...one black-clad leg draped over the other..." "Pendergast threw one leg over the other." It's apparently contagious, because "Felder leaned back in his chair, casually throwing one leg over the other." The latest P&C tic is characters "tenting." "Pendergast nodded over tented fingers." "Pendergast tented his fingers." This too is spreading: "She laid her hands on the desk, tented her fingers." I thought we were going to make it through the whole novel without a single susurrus, and then suddenly on p. 375 there it was: "...Hayward gradually made out a rapid susurrus of words." At least nobody was scrabbling for purchase as they scrambled over a defile. But the most putrid thing here is what the authors do to Captain Hayward. We have been told incessantly over the course of the series, ad nauseam, how fullbreasted Captain Hayward is. Here there is an ugly scene in which a crowd of armed bayou rednecks cut open Hayward's shirt and bra until her "breasts swung free" (a noxious phrase which has 544 results in googlebooks) as Pendergast stands by helplessly. This would be traumatizing for many women, but P&C don't see it that way. Hayward is able to immediately put it out of her mind and concentrate on other things as the book wends to its close. And here's the oddest thing: In a previous novel we saw how Constance, Pendergast's very young yet very old ward, got sent away to have her abortion but found herself unable to kill Diogenes' spawn, the product of rape. Yet here she suddenly finds the emotional wherewithal to (view spoiler)[toss two-month-old Diogenes Jr. into the Atlantic on an oceanliner crossing because the infant was the embodiment of pure evil. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)

    This book starts out in Africa with Agent Pendergast and his beloved wife, Helen, on a mini-safari. A German photographer is killed by a lion at a nearby lodge, and Agent Pendergast is called to the scene. Pendergast, Helen, and a native guide go through the stand of Fever trees to hunt the lion down, as Helen is herself a formidable force with a gun. When the lion attacks, both Pendergast and their guide are injured, and Helen is dragged off after shooting at the attacker and apparently missing This book starts out in Africa with Agent Pendergast and his beloved wife, Helen, on a mini-safari. A German photographer is killed by a lion at a nearby lodge, and Agent Pendergast is called to the scene. Pendergast, Helen, and a native guide go through the stand of Fever trees to hunt the lion down, as Helen is herself a formidable force with a gun. When the lion attacks, both Pendergast and their guide are injured, and Helen is dragged off after shooting at the attacker and apparently missing her target. Pendergast later finds what remains of her body and, in turn, shoots and kills the lion that attacked them. Cue to 12 years later. Agent Pendergast is still mourning the loss of his wife when he sees that her gun, which he has kept meticulously preserved in a display case, has a spot of rust showing on it. As he takes it down to clean it, he opens the barrels and finds wadding inside: wadding that shouldn't be there. This means that she didn't miss her target when she shot at it - the gun was purposely rigged to shoot a blank round. Up to this point, Agent Pendergast seemed to have come to a sort of peace with his loss, but finding that his wife's gun was deliberately sabotaged shatters that illusion of peace. He then embarks on a cross-continent quest to find his wife's murderer. Here is where I wish I had true writing skills. This book is a work of art, with evocative imagery and description that paints a true picture in one's mind of each setting and of all of the action therein. It is multi-faceted and multi-layered, with even side characters fully fleshed-out and brought to life. It is superbly read by Rene Auberjonois, who skillfully allows the listener to know exactly which character is speaking with his many voices. Even the side storylines are interesting and informative. I was especially intrigued with the storyline about Pendergast's ward, Constance, who is accused of tossing her child overboard on a sea voyage. If I could get more fully in-depth without spoilers, I would. This book provides everything that a literary hound looks for. By the end of the book, we know that there will be another, hopefully equally as enjoyable, book to follow. Bravo to Child and Preston for a book that offers so much more than a mundane murder mystery.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian Regan

    In their latest novel about Agent Pendergast (their 10th??), Preston and Child return to form with a great page turner that stands well on its own while providing a great deal of background on the enigmatic FBI Agent. It begins with a flashback to the accidental death (by lion!) of Pendergast's wife, some 12 years earlier. Returning to the "now", the agent makes an unexpected discovery that completely changes his understanding of her death. What follows is a crazy roller-coaster ride involving J In their latest novel about Agent Pendergast (their 10th??), Preston and Child return to form with a great page turner that stands well on its own while providing a great deal of background on the enigmatic FBI Agent. It begins with a flashback to the accidental death (by lion!) of Pendergast's wife, some 12 years earlier. Returning to the "now", the agent makes an unexpected discovery that completely changes his understanding of her death. What follows is a crazy roller-coaster ride involving John James Audobon, an extinct parrot, a missing painting and the mysterious figures we've come to expect from Preston and Child. Their best in years.

  26. 4 out of 5

    it'chy

    first time fun: laura hayward finally got a firsthand experience of the pendergast sop; get well soon, vinnie; wassup with constance, though?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ally Rowe

    That is one hell of a book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    For a long time, the Pendergast novels teetered on the edge of the supernatural for me. That made many of the novels interesting as I tried to figure out non-supernatural explanations for those factors which seemed to be supernatural. On some occasions, Preston and Childs tantalized without offering any overt explanation. I liked that, too. There should always be room for some mystery in one’s mystery novels. Fever Dream doesn’t offer any hint of the supernatural. This one teeters on the verge o For a long time, the Pendergast novels teetered on the edge of the supernatural for me. That made many of the novels interesting as I tried to figure out non-supernatural explanations for those factors which seemed to be supernatural. On some occasions, Preston and Childs tantalized without offering any overt explanation. I liked that, too. There should always be room for some mystery in one’s mystery novels. Fever Dream doesn’t offer any hint of the supernatural. This one teeters on the verge of science-fiction for me. The solution to the mystery presumes certain biochemical research to be probable if not possible. The idea is fascinating, though it isn’t developed enough to argue “yea” or “nay.” It seems possible. Since both a blurb on the back cover of this novel and my own previous posting has compared Special Agent Pendergast (the most unorthodox F.B.I. agent you’re ever likely to encounter inside or outside of literature) to Sherlock Holmes (Doyle’s “great detective” as opposed to the bumbling incompetent of the M. J. Trow canon), it seems fair to note that whereas Pendergast had his genius villain (his brother) in previous novels, the mastermind behind the conundrum in Fever Dream is as much a victim of his genius as perpetrator of his scheme. And, even as other Pendergast novels have occasionally left a loose thread hanging in cliffhanger fashion, there is a cliffhanger at the conclusion of Fever Dream. Fever Dream is fascinating in that the original mystery to be solved occurred twelve years ago in Pendergast’s fictional chronology, but the key to the mystery is locked (as it were) in another century—in the work of John James Audubon. Pendergast's wife has been killed and the realization hits him at the beginning of this novel. And the mystery, the globetrotting mystery that takes you from the veldt of Africa to the swamps of Louisiana, is a fascinating mix of genius, greed, “ghosts” (figuratively speaking) and ‘gators (what’s a swamp without ‘em?). To be sure, the solution had nothing to do with my original expectation. When I discover that a protagonist’s spouse or lover had a “secret life,” I have a temptation to jump to a very different conclusion than was warranted in this novel. The authors even telegraphed the issue in one way, but I was too busy hurdling to a premature conclusion to be able to track the initial clue. And, just in case you are a reader who, like me, loves novels in a series because of the way the lives of supporting characters unfold, you’re going to love Fever Dream. Detective D’Agosta’s relationship with Captain Hayward finds a new level in unexpected ways and Pendergast’s ward, Constance Green plays an eerie but important role. Her baby, spawn of what was heretofore the series’ ultimate bad guy, plays a very different role than I had expected when that plot wrinkle was introduced. In short, Fever Dream was everything I would normally expect from a novel in this series and more. It offered that mixture of comfort and surprise that keeps me coming back for more. What better recommendation can I give than to say that even though I have a huge stack of books to get through, I’m looking forward to getting the next one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Chancellor

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was very excited to read this novel after how great of a novel Cemetary Dance was. They have really cranked their writing up a few notches lately and the idea of Pendergast trying to find out whom murdered his wife (he thought her death was an accident). The result was kind of am mixed bag. From a character point of view Pendergast was his usual awesome. The added benefit of getting to see him lose his cool because what he was going through was too personal was interesting as hell. Normally he I was very excited to read this novel after how great of a novel Cemetary Dance was. They have really cranked their writing up a few notches lately and the idea of Pendergast trying to find out whom murdered his wife (he thought her death was an accident). The result was kind of am mixed bag. From a character point of view Pendergast was his usual awesome. The added benefit of getting to see him lose his cool because what he was going through was too personal was interesting as hell. Normally he is very cool and does not let things affect him. But his wife being murdered? And getting to see how it happened? Wow. As for D’Agosta, I have always liked him but he does seem like a sidekick for Prendergast sometimes. As a NYC detective, he has a lot of street smarts and is a great asset, but Pendergast is such an intelligent man, it just feels off sometimes. The added addition of Laura Hayward with a more prominent role again wax mixed. It is fun to see how exasperated she gets with the way Pendergast does things, but she doesn’t really bring much more to the book than that. The plot was ok, but considering it was dealing with the death of Pendergast’s wife, I guess I expected more. The beginning was very interesting to see a different side of Pendergast, as he was married and before his life changed. But after the original coolness of how she died and what happened after that, the mystery aspect of the book never really took off. The threat of someone dying is really pushing these novels in a new direction. I happen to like that in my novels so you don’t always think everyone can get out of any situation. Best thing about book. Getting to see how the discovery that Pendergast’s wife was actually murdered was fun. Worst thing about book. The actual mystery was not as well done as previous novels.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruthanne Davis

    I have to confess, I have yet to read a Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book about FBI agent Pendergast that I didn't thoroughly enjoy! This is a duo that manage to get better with each and every book they write together. I have not read any of their individual works, they've kept me too busy with this 15 book Pendergast series! Aloyisious Pendergast has lost his wife in a horrible hunting accident in Africa. Okay, so that is sort of a spoiler...but don't bet on it! Revenge is on his mind but he ha I have to confess, I have yet to read a Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book about FBI agent Pendergast that I didn't thoroughly enjoy! This is a duo that manage to get better with each and every book they write together. I have not read any of their individual works, they've kept me too busy with this 15 book Pendergast series! Aloyisious Pendergast has lost his wife in a horrible hunting accident in Africa. Okay, so that is sort of a spoiler...but don't bet on it! Revenge is on his mind but he has so mujch to learn while mourning her loss. Suddenly it seems as though he never knew the woman he is learning about and he even begins to doubt her motive for marrying him. The plots in these books get thicker and thicker and, just when you have a "eureka" moment and think you've figured it out...forget about it! The twists and turns continue and, so many, that this book turns out to be the first one in the "Helen" Pendergast series of three! I find myself putting off reading other books that I should be reading because these two authors have been holding me captivated...not quite captive...for more than a year! And I hope they never stop! Keep writing guys! I love your work, despite the chills and sleepless nights!!!

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