Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

Overview

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. ...

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Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

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Overview

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

From Barnes & Noble
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!
From the Publisher
"[A] suspenseful tale of urban terror...this taut page-turner can only add to the authors' growing fan base."—Publishers Weekly

"A page-turner...plenty of action and a cast of truly odd characters...thoroughly enjoyable."—Times Record News

"A top-notch action packed, high-octane thriller that takes the reader on an incredible literary roller-coaster ride... enough unexpected plot twists and turns to satisfy even the most jaded reader. With narrow escapes galore...This book offers compelling, page-turning, tense suspense."—Lansing State Journal

From the Publisher
"[A] suspenseful tale of urban terror...this taut page-turner can only add to the authors' growing fan base."—Publishers Weekly

"A page-turner...plenty of action and a cast of truly odd characters...thoroughly enjoyable."—Times Record News

"A top-notch action packed, high-octane thriller that takes the reader on an incredible literary roller-coaster ride... enough unexpected plot twists and turns to satisfy even the most jaded reader. With narrow escapes galore...This book offers compelling, page-turning, tense suspense."—Lansing State Journal

Publishers Weekly

Bestsellers Preston and Child kill off a regular supporting character at the outset of this suspenseful tale of urban terror, their ninth to feature FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast (after The Wheel of Darkness). William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife, Nora Kelly, an anthropologist with the New York Museum of Natural History, are celebrating their first anniversary when Smithback is fatally stabbed in their Manhattan apartment, apparently by a creepy neighbor, Colin Fearing, an out-of-work British actor. Given eyewitness descriptions of the killer, including one from Kelly herself, as well as surveillance footage showing a blood-stained Fearing emerging from the apartment building right after the crime, the case appears to be open and shut-until Pendergast and his NYPD ally, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, learn that Fearing died almost two weeks earlier. This taut page-turner can only add to the authors' growing fan base. 8-city author tour. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In his latest outing, Agent Pendergast (The Wheel of Darkness) and partner Lieutenant D'Agosta probe the murder of a reporter they both admired and considered a friend. The evidence appears to be a slam dunk because the perpetrator was seen by several people who knew him and appears on security camera footage holding a bloody knife right after the crime. The only problem-the man they are looking for was found floating in the Hudson River days before. When Pendergast heads to the morgue to examine the corpse, he discovers the body has disappeared. Blend in a secretive cult that believes in animal sacrifices and the possible reanimation of the dead, and the result is another winner from thriller masters Preston and Child, who specialize in a compelling story, intriguing characters, and the implausible becoming terrifyingly real. Even though Pendergast is prominent here, D'Agosta has a chance to shine as well. Another guaranteed hit that is highly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09; see also the Q&A with Child in the Feb. 5 edition of LJ's BookSmack! e-newsletter at tinyurl.com/co4ng5.-Ed.]
—Jeff Ayers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455584420
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/25/2014
  • Series: Special Agent Pendergast Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 147,701

Meet the Author

Douglas Preston
The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. Preston's acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

Biography

Douglas Preston was born in 1956 in Cambridge, MA, was raised in nearby Wellesley (where, by his own admission, he and his brothers were the scourge of the neighborhood!), and graduated from Pomona College in California with a degree in English literature.

Preston's first job was as a writer for the American Museum of Natural History in New York -- an eight year stint that led to the publication of his first book, Dinosaurs in the Attic and introduced him to his future writing partner, Lincoln Child, then working as an editor at St. Martin's Press. The two men bonded, as they worked closely together on the book. As the project neared completion, Preston treated Child to a private midnight tour of the museum, an excursion that proved fateful. As Preston tells it, "...in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to [me] and said: 'This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!'" Their first collaborative effort, Relic, would not be published until 1995, by which time Preston had picked up stakes and moved to Santa Fe to pursue a full-time writing career.

In addition to writing novels (The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon) and nonfiction books on the American Southwest (Cities of Gold, Ribbons of Time), Preston has collaborated with Lincoln Child on several post-Relic thrillers. While not strictly a series, the books share characters and events, and the stories all take place in the same universe. The authors refer to this phenomenon as "The Preston-Child Pangea."

Preston divides his time between New Mexico and Maine, while Child lives in New Jersey -- a situation that necessitates a lot of long-distance communication. But their partnership (facilitated by phone, fax, and email) is remarkably productive and thoroughly egalitarian: They shape their plots through a series of discussions; Child sends an outline of a set of chapters; Preston writes the first draft of those chapters, which is subsequently rewritten by Child; and in this way the novel is edited back and forth until both authors are happy. They attribute the relatively seamless surface of their books to the fact that "[a]ll four hands have found their way into practically every sentence, at one time or another."

In between, Preston remains busy. He is a regular contributor to magazines like National Geographic, The New Yorker, Natural History, Smithsonian, Harper's, and Travel & Leisure, and he continues with varied solo literary projects. Which is not to say his partnership with Lincoln Child is over. Fans of the bestselling Preston-Child thrillers can be assured there are bigger and better adventures to come.

Good To Know

Douglas Preston counts among his ancestors the poet Emily Dickinson, the newspaperman Horace Greeley, and the infamous murderer and opium addict Amasa Greenough.

His brother is Richard Preston, the bestselling author of The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, The Wild Trees, and other novels and nonfiction narratives.

Preston is an expert horseman and a member of the Long Riders Guild.

He is also a National Geographic Society Fellow, has traveled extensively around the world, and contributes archaeological articles to many magazines.

In our interview, Preston shared some fun and fascinating personal anecdotes.

"My first job was washing dishes in the basement of a nursing home for $2.10 an hour, and I learned as much about the value of hard work there as I ever did later."

"I need to write in a small room -- the smaller the better. I can't write in a big room where someone might sneak up behind my back."

"My hobbies are mountain biking, horseback riding and packing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, camping, cooking, and skiing."

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