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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  • Thrillers Video/Thriller Video/chbgdpreston_BB_a3f6ad1fea93ba55ebb3909bf769bf2ab688819f
    Thrillers Video/Thriller Video/chbgdpreston_BB_a3f6ad1fea93ba55ebb3909bf769bf2ab688819f  

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!
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: 9780446618694
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Series: Special Agent Pendergast Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 102,434
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Lincoln Child
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

Born in Westport, CT, in 1958, Lincoln Child grew up with a consuming interest in writing. (On his website, he acknowledges several short stories from his youth and two "exquisitely embarrassing" novels penned in high school -- and currently kept under lock and key!) He graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a degree in English. In 1979, he moved to New York to pursue a career in publishing and was hired by St. Martin's Press as an editorial assistant. By 1984, he had worked his way up to full editor.

It was around this time that Child met Douglas Preston, a writer employed by the American Museum of Natural History. Author and editor bonded while working together on the nonfiction book Dinosaurs in the Attic; and when the project ended, Preston treated Child to a private midnight tour of the AMNH. The excursion proved fateful: Exploring the deserted corridors and darkened nooks and crannies of the museum, Child turned to Preston and said, "This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!" Although the book would not see print until 1995, the idea for Relic was born that night, cementing a friendship and launching a unique cross-country writing partnership.

Child left St. Martin's in 1987 to went to work for MetLife as a systems analyst. Shortly after the publication of Relic, he resigned his position to become a full-time writer. Subsequent collaborations with Preston have produced an intriguing string of interconnected novels that are less a series than what the authors call a "pangea." The books are self-contained, but the stories take place in the same universe and they share events and characters -- including many introduced in Relic. Readers obviously enjoy this cross-pollination, since the Preston-Child thrillers turn up regularly on the bestseller charts.

In 2002, Child released his first solo novel, Utopia, the story of a futuristic amusement park held hostage by a group of techno-terrorists. Other solo works have followed, blending cutting-edge science and high-octane thrills. Preston, too, has produced fiction and nonfiction on his own, and the two men continue their successful collaborations. It's an arrangement that suits both writers to a tee.

Good To Know

While at St. Martin's, Lincoln Child assembled several collections of ghost and horror stories. He also founded the company's mass-market horror division.

On his website, Child lists the following among his interests: pre-1950s literature and poetry; post-1950s popular fiction; playing the piano, various MIDI instruments, and the 5-string banjo; English and American history; motorcycles; architecture; classical music, early jazz, blues, and R&B; exotic parrots; esoteric programming languages; mountain hiking; bow ties; Italian suits; fedoras; archaeology; and multiplayer deathmatching.

In our interview Child shared some fun and fascinating personal anecdotes.

"I try to write about things, places, events, and phenomena I know about personally. That helps make the novels more genuine. My grandmother, Nora Kubie, who was herself a published novelist, always gave me that advice. And it's probably the best I've received, or for that matter given. I even try to make use of my personal eccentricities and quirks. I hate subways, for example, and in such works as Reliquary I tried to instill -- or at least convey -- that groundless but persistent fear."

"My first job out of college was as an editorial assistant in a New York publishing house. Being an editorial assistant is the purgatory would-be editors must endure before they can ascend the ladder and begin acquiring books on their own. I spent a year filing paperwork, writing copy, and typing rejection letters."

"For me, writing never gets easier. It's always hard work. It doesn't matter how many words you wrote the day before, or how many novels you've completed in the last decade: every day you start fresh again with that same blank page, or that same blank screen. As long as the work, and the finished product, remains fresh and important to a writer -- and the day it stops being important to me is the day I'll lay down my pen -- said writer can never allow himself to coast, or go soft, or recycle old material, or take the easy way out."

"I like exotic parrots, motorcycles, wine from Pauillac, playing the piano and the banjo, the poetry of John Keats, the music of Fats Waller, collecting old books and new guitars, computer FPS and RPG games, and preparing dishes like caneton a l'Orange and desserts like soufflé au chocolat."

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Zombies Invade Manhattan!

    For starters, the only actor who should ever read the Pendergast novels is Scott Brick. He really does a fantastic job with all the voices, capturing a soft-spoken Louisiana accent for Agent Pendergast that fits to a T. In this installment of the series, Agent Pendergast and Detective D'Agosta go up against a nasty cult-like group on the tip of Manhattan who seem to be launching zombie-like individuals out into the general public, specifically targeting those who are kicking up a fuss about their practice of animal sacrifice. Pendergast, D'Agosta, and a supporting cast of characters are soon up to their ears in voodoo and other scary belief systems. Highly entertaining and atmospheric.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Fatigue

    I rubbed my eyes for a chance to finish just one more page...Oh No! It is done, what will I do now? I know...read it again. Page turning and entertaining. Great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    TOO MUCH RAMBLING AND SHAMBLING

    I USUALLY REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO (AND ENJOY) THE PENDERGAST BOOKS WHEN THEY COME OUT, BUT I WAS REALLY DISAPPOINTED IN THIS ONE. IF I READ THE WORD "SHAMBLING" ONE MORE TIME, USED TO DESCRIBE THE WALKING MOVEMENT OF ONE OF THE CHARACTERS, I WAS GOING TO SCREAM! INSTEAD OF FINDING OTHER MORE DESCRIPTIVE,LESS OFTEN USED TERMS, THE AUTHORS JUST CHOSE TO USE THE WORD "SHAMBLING" ABOUT 30 TIMES IN THE BOOK. (I ALMOST WENT BACK AND COUNTED....IT WAS THAT ANNOYING)

    UNFORTUNATELY, THE REST OF THE WRITING SEEMED TO BE EQUALLY TRITE AND LAZY. NOT SOMETHING I WOULD SAY OF SOME OF THIER OTHER BOOKS LIKE "STILL LIFE IN CROWS" OR "CABINET OF CURIOSITIES". THIS ONE SEEMED TO BE DASHED OUT IN A HURRY. THE PLOT, THOUGH NOT ONE OF THIER BEST, WAS OK, BUT THE WRITING MADE IT FAR LESS INTERESTING THAN IT COULD HAVE BEEN. I ALSO FELT LIKE PENDERGAST WAS TAKING A BACK SEAT, SO TO SPEAK, IN THIS BOOK.

    GUESS I'LL JUST HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT ONE. TAKE YOUR TIME GUYS

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I don't see the connection between the title and the book content?

    I have read all the Preston/Child novels and this was not quite as good as some of the others. Typically I don't care for books with the same main character solving yet another mystery and unfortunately these books are going in that direction. Their earlier books, Riptide, etc. had different characters, but it must be easier writing to have the same main character.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read Very Hard To Put Down!

    Preston & Child keep you guessing until the very end. I love the New York City and Museum of Natural History settings. I can easily imagine their descriptions to be spot on.

    You Certainly don't have to read their previous books, but it does give you some insight to the characters. The 2 books recommended below will introduce you to most of the characters in this book.

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