Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

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by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

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Pendergast-the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent-returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult.

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of

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Pendergast-the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent-returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult.

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor-a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta undertake their own private-and decidedly unorthodox-quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and vodou which no outsiders have ever survived.

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Editorial Reviews

Aloysius X. L. Pendergast is an FBI special agent as enigmatic as his name. In this case, the stylish sleuth grapples with a culprit even more singular than himself. A Museum of Natural History archaeologist and his wife have been savagely attacked in the Upper West Side apartment; the assailant, identified by eyewitnesses and a security camera, is someone believed on incontestable evidence to be dead. As the case proceeds, Pendergast, Detective Laura Hayward, and Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta begin to wonder whether they have a zombie monster on their hands!

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Special Agent Pendergast Series, #9
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 7.56(h) x 1.29(d)


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Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 298 reviews.
Aki More than 1 year ago
I was just stunned when Bill Smithback was brutally murdered in chapter one. Bill was in Thunderhead along with Nora Kelly which happens to be my favorite of all books. So I was in tears when he was killed. I liked Bill who was funny, kind, loved Nora, an unlikely hero, and a reported who just bummbled into a newspaper story. Preston and Child are good at characterizations and make you feel like you know the character personally.. The plot is about a voodoo cult who sacrifice animals in the name of their beliefs. There is a zombie on the loose murdering people connected to a society to protect animals from ritual killings. The scenes where the animals are sacrificed are heart wretching. There is also a creepy underground tunnel that chilled me to the core. I was glued to this chair until I finished those chapters. D'Agosta is assigned to solve Smithback's murder. Pendergast gets involved in the case because he was Smithback's friend also. They begin to slowly research and piece the crimes and evidence together. The plot is not slow and just takes off like a roller coaster ride. The evil person is just as intelligent and cunning as Pendergast which makes the final chapters exciting and thrilling. It is like Sherlock Holmes versus Professor Moriarty with Pendergast as Holmes of course. The end is clever, witty, and very creative. I have to say I rather loved the epilogue. I can't give anything way here so I will say it was a beautiful way to say good-bye to Smithback. Well written and an exciting plot. If you have not read Thunderhead, you have to read it. That is Bill Smithback and Nora Kelly's story. This book is one of Preston and Child's best books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Manhattan, New York Times William Smithback and his wife Museum of Natural History anthropologist Nora Kelly arrive home after celebrating their first anniversary with plans to do more rejoicing. Instead they are attacked in their apartment building by a neighbor, out of work British actor Colin Fearing. To the horror of Kelly; her beloved spouse is killed during the assault while his crazed killer leaves.---------------- NYPD obtains testimony from Nora and others who saw Fearing murder Smithback and the building's surveillance tape captures Fearing leaving dripping blood everywhere. The case is solved except for one problem as FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast and New York Police Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta learn; Fearing died two weeks ago having been found in the Hudson River.-------------------- Fans will be stunned with the opening sequence when long time secondary character Smithback is killed. That just sets the table for a great tense police thriller as Agent Pendergast investigates how could a dead man commit murder? The above paragraphs are the beginning of a great taut tale that fans will appreciate and newcomers will look for Aloysius' back cases (see THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS).---------------------- Harriet Klausner
Boiler1974 More than 1 year ago
Perhaps my favorite setting for Pendergast, I always learn more about the nooks and crannys of the big city. All the usual characters are here, with a fast and furious plot building to a big finish. This series is not the best choice for the late night read, not if you plan on getting a full night's sleep!
a_x_pendergast More than 1 year ago
Despite what some critics here say, this one will NOT disappoint true Preston-Child fans. I could not put this one down! Ok, the zombie angle may be schmaltzy, but it is ALL EXPLAINED in the end. I could not BELIEVE they had Smithback killed in this - I will miss him terribly like an old friend in real life. The authors are THAT good. Pendergast and D'agosta make one of the best sleuthing teams in literary history, in my opinion, and this one lives up to expectations. The book has a few moments where I had to put it down and shrieked out loud. These guys know how to write! I highly recommend this to readers; however, you may want to read their earlier books to know the characters first. R.I.P. William Smithback - your fans will miss you more than we can say. Preston & Child - congratulations on a FINE offering.. Keep up the fantastic work!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First let me say that I am a Preston Child fan, having read all their books. "Cemetery Dance", unfortunately, is not one of their better efforts. The plot, even for them, is not believable, and once the solution to the mystey has been revealed,not really very well conceived. The bad guys and support characters are stereotypical and are borrowed from TV detective shows. Many scenes of this book appear to have been based on a few 1970's Columbo episodes. Bill Smithback always was a character one could rely on for comic relief and has been a solid fixture in the Preston Child series, and its too bad he was "written off" in such a sub par story. Perhaps it is time Preston and Child to step away from this series for a year or two and concentrate on an independent, more creative, and well developed story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, fauvemistral should have checked their spelling before posting. It's hard to get your scathing point across when you can't spell. Anyway, great book, as usual! Love this series!! Don't hesitate to buy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish this would be made into a movie! Hated to see Smithback killed off but what a way to start! The action and suspense just keeps getting better! Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Special Agent Pendergast - a character sooooo smooth that ya gotta love the guy - quirks, over the top intelligence, wealth, logical and all that good stuff. I can only say, with the Pendergast series, I always have to remind myself to breathe when I get to the last 100 pages of any of the books. Very intense - I'm always exhausted after I finish the books. I've read all 9 - ready for the next. I strongly suggest that if you haven't read the series yet to start with Relic and worth your way through - a great read, all of them....and I DID mention intense, right?
Paridesea More than 1 year ago
I cannot say enough about how pleased I am to have found this series.I love it.
KKR More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to find that when I read this, which I did alone before listening to it on CD with someone else in the car, I was actually scared in a couple of places! The last time any book actually scared me was Preston and Child's Still Life with Crows, and that was only once when someone popped up at a window unexpectedly. I am a veteran of many vampire and other horror novels. and this is the best zombie novel ever, only rivaled by the more voodoo-y The Red of His Shadow, which I recommend. It has it all over the "28 days' type zombie stories in that there is a bizarre religion involved in the creation and support of the zombie population, as opposed to some virus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Normally, I absolutely love this series, but I was sadly disappointed in this one. The plotlines are usually a bit unrealistic so I am used to that. This one, however, was so far "out there" that it made the story ridiculous. I know it is hard to come up with good story ideas but I hope these authors are not about to start a downhill slide. I guess the next few in the series will tell. Stephanie Clanahan
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Great adventure!
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HiCountry More than 1 year ago
Like all Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, this is a good one. Hard to put down.
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