Fever Dream (Special Agent Pendergast Series #10) [NOOK Book]


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...
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Fever Dream (Special Agent Pendergast Series #10)

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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?


Revenge is not sweet: It is essential.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The loss of his wife had been tragic enough, but now, gathering her possessions together in Louisiana, Aloysius Pendergast makes a discovery that makes it even more horrific: Some one had killed this fearless big game hunter by filling her rifle with blanks. Galvanized into action, the FBI Special Agent begins a pursuit for her killer that quickly becomes an obsession. Assisted by Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, he uncovers clues that lead him down unsuspected paths—and ever deeper into danger. A calibrated thriller from two masters of the craft. A Barnes & Noble Bestseller now in mass market and NOOK Edition versions.

Publishers Weekly
Preston and Child up the emotional ante considerably in their 10th thriller featuring brilliant and eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast (after Cemetery Dance), one of the best in the series. For 12 years, Pendergast has believed that the death of his wife, Helen, in the jaws of a ferocious red-maned lion in Zambia was just a tragedy, but his chance examination of the gun she carried on the fateful day reveals that someone loaded it with blanks. Pendergast drags his longtime NYPD ally, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, into a leave of absence that includes travel to Africa as well as the American South. The motive for Helen's murder appears to be linked to her fascination with John James Audubon and her quest for a mysterious lost Audubon painting. Once again, the bestselling authors show they have few peers at creating taut scenes of suspense. Their restraint in the book's early sections make the payoffs all the more compelling. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Rene Auberjonois continues his skilled narration of Preston and Child's suspense series featuring FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. Twelve years ago, Pendergast's beloved wife, Helen, was killed by a lion in Africa, and her bizarre death still haunts him, but now he's discovered something extraordinary. Helen's death was no freakish accident, it was murder. Accompanied by his good friend, NYPD detective Vincent D'Agosta, Pendergast travels halfway around the world to investigate his wife's killing. Auberjonois perfectly captures the mysterious and suspenseful tone of the authors' story. His character portrayals are spot on as he slips from one diverse set of characters to another. This particular adventure provides him with a stronger emotional range in regard to the usually unflappable Pendergast who is more passionate and impulsive than we've seen in the past, and Auberjonois embraces this opportunity to show a deeper, more human side of the agent. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 8). (May)
Library Journal
Special Agent Pendergast returns in a new thriller with personal ramifications. Twelve years earlier, he watched in horror as his wife was mauled and killed by a lion in the African veldt. Now, while digging through stuff in his Louisiana home, he stumbles on the rifle that she had with her that fateful day and discovers that it had been loaded with blanks. Pendergast quickly enlists his friend Lieutenant D'Agosta to help him uncover a crafty murderer. Their journey will unveil terrible secrets his wife kept from Pendergast during their marriage and an obsession she had with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon. VERDICT This is no dream; it's the authors' best book in years. Pendergast has to rein in his feelings to pay attention to the details, and it's fun to see the role reversal between him and the usually emotional D'Agosta. Not to be missed by either newcomers or die-hard fans. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10.]—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
Another moody Agent Pendergast novel from powerhouse duo Preston and Child (The Book of the Dead, 2006, etc.). When quirky but brilliant FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast's wife Helen was killed in Africa many years ago by a lion, no one had any reason to suspect foul play. Although she was an excellent shot, she'd only had time to get one shot off before the beast was upon her, and even the best marksperson misses occasionally. Twelve years later, while examining the gun she'd used on the day she died, Pendergast discovers that someone had loaded her rifle with a blank. Her death hadn't been an accident after all. He vows to do everything in his power to avenge his wife's death, and, being Pendergast, his power is considerable. He again enlists the help of his usual Watson, the NYPD's Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, and the two set out for Africa, where Pendergast's suspicions are quickly confirmed. Soon, the clues lead them back to New Orleans, Pendergast's hometown, and they learn that Helen had secretly been pursuing a missing transitional painting by John James Audubon. But why? And why spend so much time and energy to keep the search a secret, even from her husband? As the duo close in on the answer, they discover that someone is willing to go to great lengths to keep them from the truth. Preston and Child are at their best when immersing the reader in the dank, dark atmosphere of the bayous and swamps of rural Louisiana, where much of the novel is set. Pendergast, beloved by fans and described by the authors in a note to readers as "the world's most enigmatic FBI agent," can be a bit much, occasionally coming across as a set of eccentricities rather than a living, breathing character. Still, readers of previous Pendergast novels will welcome this installment starring the exceedingly peculiar FBI Special Agent. Stylish, dark and tense.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446563307
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Series: Special Agent Pendergast Series, #10
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 10,666
  • File size: 2 MB

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. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. 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.


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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First Chapter

Fever Dream

By Preston, Douglas

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Preston, Douglas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446554961



Musalangu, Zambia

THE SETTING SUN BLAZED THROUGH THE AFRIcan bush like a forest fire, hot yellow in the sweltering evening that gathered over the bush camp. The hills along the upper Makwele Stream rose in the east like blunt green teeth, framed against the sky.

Several dusty canvas tents circled a beaten area shaded by a grove of old musasa trees, their branches spreading like emerald umbrellas over the safari camp. A thread of smoke from a cooking fire twisted up through the cover, carrying with it the tantalizing scent of burning mopane wood and roasting kudu.

In the shade of the central tree, two figures, a man and a woman, were seated in camp chairs on either side of a table, drinking iced bourbon. They were dressed in dusty khakis, long pants and sleeves, protection against the tsetse flies that came out in the evening. They were in their late twenties. The man, slender and tall, was remarkable for a cool, almost icy paleness that seemed impervious to the heat. The coolness did not extend to the woman, who was lazily fanning herself with a large banana leaf, stirring the thick mane of auburn hair she had loosely tied back with a bit of salvaged twine. She was tanned and relaxed. The low murmur of their conversation, punctuated by an occasional laugh from the woman, was almost indistinguishable amid the sounds of the African bush: the calls of vervet monkeys, the screech of francolins and chattering of fire-finches, which mingled with the clattering of pots and pans in the kitchen tent. The evening chatter was underlain by the distant roar of a lion deep in the bush.

The seated figures were Aloysius X. L. Pendergast and his wife of two years, Helen. They were at the tail end of a hunting safari in the Musalangu Game Management Area, where they had been shooting bushbuck and duiker under a herd reduction program granted by the Zambian government.

“Care for another sundowner?” Pendergast asked his wife, raising the cocktail pitcher.

“Another?” she replied with a laugh. “Aloysius, you wouldn’t be planning an assault on my virtue, would you?”

“The thought never entered my mind. I was hoping perhaps we could spend the night discussing Kant’s concept of the categorical imperative.”

“Now you see, this is exactly what my mother warned me about. You marry a man because he’s good with a rifle, only to find he has the brains of an ocelot.”

Pendergast chuckled, sipped his drink, glanced down at it. “African mint is rather harsh on the palate.”

“Poor Aloysius, you miss your juleps. Well, if you take that FBI job Mike Decker’s offering, you can drink juleps day and night.”

He took another thoughtful sip and gazed at his wife. It was remarkable how quickly she tanned in the African sun. “I’ve decided not to take it.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not sure I’m ready to stay in New Orleans with all that it entails—the family complications, the unpleasant memories. And I’ve seen enough violence already, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know—have you? You tell me so little about your past, even now.”

“I’m not cut out for the FBI. I don’t like rules. In any case, you’re all over the world with that Doctors With Wings outfit; we can live anywhere, as long as it’s close to an international airport. ‘Our two souls therefore endure not a breach, but an expansion, like gold to airy thinness beat.’ ”

“Don’t bring me to Africa and quote John Donne. Kipling, maybe.”

“ ‘Every woman knows all about everything,’ ” he intoned.

“On second thought, spare me the Kipling as well. What did you do as a teenager, memorize Bartlett’s?”

“Among other things.” Pendergast glanced up. A figure was approaching along the trail from the west. He was a tall Nyimba tribesman, dressed in shorts and a dirty T-shirt, an ancient rifle slung over his shoulders, carrying a forked walking stick. As he approached the camp, he paused and cried out a greeting in Bemba, the local lingua franca, which was answered by welcoming shouts from the kitchen tent. He then proceeded into camp and approached the table at which the Pendergasts were seated.

Both rose. “Umú-ntú ú-mó umú-sumá á-áfíká,” Pendergast said by way of greeting, and grasped the man’s dusty, warm hand, Zambian-fashion. The man proffered his walking stick to Pendergast; there was a note wedged into its fork.

“For me?” Pendergast asked, switching to English.

“From the district commissioner.”

Pendergast shot a glance at his wife, then removed the note and unfolded it.

My dear Pendergast,

I wish to have a conversation with you immediately via SSB. There has been a nasty business at Kingazu Camp—very nasty.

Alistair Woking, DC

South Luangwa

PS. Dear chap, you know perfectly well that regulations require you to have SSB communications set up at every bush camp. It is most annoying to have to send a runner like this.

“I don’t like the sound of that,” said Helen Pendergast, looking over her husband’s shoulder. “What do you think this ‘nasty business’ is?”

“Perhaps a photo tourist has suffered the amorous advances of a rhinoceros.”

“That’s not funny,” Helen said, laughing all the same.

“It is rutting season, you know.” Pendergast folded the note and shoved it in his breast pocket. “I’m very much afraid this means our shooting safari is over.”

He walked over to the tent, opened a box, and began screwing together the battered pieces of an aerial antenna, which he then carried up into a musasa tree and wired to an upper branch. Climbing back down, he plugged the wire into the single side-band radio he had placed on the table, turned on the unit, adjusted the dials to the correct frequency, and sent out a call. In a moment the irritated voice of the district commissioner came back, squawking and scratchy.

“Pendergast? For God’s sake, where are you?”

“Upper Makwele Stream camp.”

“Blast. I was hoping you were nearer the Banta Road. Why the devil don’t you keep your SSB connected? I’ve been trying to reach you for hours!”

“May I ask what’s happened?”

“Over at Kingazu Camp. A German tourist was killed by a lion.”

“What idiot allowed that to happen?”

“It wasn’t like that. The lion came right into camp in broad daylight, jumped the man as he was walking back to his hut from the dining tent, and dragged him screaming into the bush.”

“And then?”

“Surely you can imagine ‘and then’! The wife was hysterical, the whole camp went into an uproar, they had to bring in a helicopter to airlift out the tourists. The camp staff left behind are scared shiteless. This fellow was a well-known photographer in Germany—bloody bad for business!”

“Did you track the lion?”

“We have trackers and guns, but nobody who’ll go into the bush after this lion. Nobody with the experience—or the ballocks. That’s why we need you, Pendergast. We need you down here to track that bugger and… well… recover the remains of the poor German before there’s nothing left to bury.”

“You haven’t even recovered the body?”

“Nobody will go out there after the bloody thing! You know what Kingazu Camp is like, all the dense brush that’s come up because of the elephant poaching. We need a damned experienced hunter. And I needn’t remind you that terms of your professional hunting license require you to deal with rogue man-eaters as, and if, it becomes necessary.”

“I see.”

“Where’d you leave your Rover?”

“At the Fala Pans.”

“Get cracking as fast as you can. Don’t bother breaking camp, just grab your guns and get down here.”

“It’ll take a day, at least. Are you sure there isn’t anyone closer who can help you?”

“Nobody. At least, nobody I’d trust.”

Pendergast glanced at his wife. She smiled, winked, mimed the shooting of a pistol with one bronzed hand. “All right. We’ll get moving right away.”

“One other thing.” The DC’s voice hesitated and there was a silence over the radio, filled with hissing and crackling.


“Probably not very important. The wife who witnessed the attack. She said…” Another pause.


“She said the lion was peculiar.”

“How so?”

“It had a red mane.”

“You mean, a little darker than usual? That’s not so uncommon.”

“Not darker than usual. This lion’s mane was deep red. Almost blood red.”

There was a very long silence. And then the DC spoke again. “But of course it can’t be the same lion. That was forty years ago in northern Botswana. I’ve never heard of a lion living more than twenty-five years. Have you?”

Pendergast said nothing as he switched off the radio, his silvery eyes glittering in the dying twilight of the African bush.


Excerpted from Fever Dream by Preston, Douglas Copyright © 2010 by Preston, Douglas. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 575 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 576 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013


    Another book ruined by egotistical plot spoilers. You ppl shoyld be banned from posting here. A review is to tell if you liked a book or not, not ti give a dissertation or a book report or write cliff notes. Readers like to read and be surprised by what happens, but when you reveal every detail, there is no need to buy the book or even read it.

    46 out of 73 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    Chilling Descriptions Make This One of the Best

    This is one of my favorite of the Pendergast series. Twelve years after the accidental death of his beloved wife, Helen, in Africa, Pendergast discovers she was murdered. The brutality of her murder is enough to make most men go crazy, but Pendergast sets out on a mission of revenge. Naturally he talks Vinnie D'Agosta into taking a leave of absence from his job to help him.

    They go to Africa first and discover clues about Helen's horrible death on a safari with her husband. Afterwards the setting is mainly centered in New Orleans at Pendergast's home. D'Agosta and Pendergast go from one clue to another slowly piecing together the reason why Helen was killed. I cannot say anymore about the plot without giving it away.

    What made it interesting to me is the way Preston and Child reveal the clues, some random at first, a little at a time. They slowly begin to fall into place, but just when you think you know where the story is going, you don't. There are so many twists and turns that I found the book so intriguing I felt compelled to read faster! The descriptions of some of the scenes are so chillingly described, I will never forget them.

    Constance Green makes a brief appearance in the book, but no more can be said about her. The ending is one of the most exciting in the Pendergast series. We get to watch Pendergast do something in the end that not only needed to be done, but it is so much fun watching him do it, you want to be there with him to enjoy it!!

    Once you start reading this book, you get sucked so deeply into the plot that you are forced to read it as fast as the plot goes. I just loved it!

    27 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Winner

    The story opens with Special Agent Pendergast and his beloved wife Helen on safari in Africa where Helen was mauled and killed by a lion. We have heard bits and pieces of Helen in other books but we never really knew the whole story other than she had died. Now we find out all the details. Pendergast enlists the help of another old friend, Vincent D'Agosta to help him get to the bottom of things.

    I loved this book! I love all the books in the Pendergast series but some touch me more than others and this was one of those. In all the years I have been reading and cheering Pendergast on, I have always wondered about Helen, how they met, what happened to her and why he doesn't like to talk about her. In this book we see that "soft" side of Pendergast. Of course he is still following his own rules and doing things his own way which is why we love him isn't it? We see that Helen may not be the woman her husband thought she was, or is she? It's not easy to describe the book without giving away goodies so you will have to trust me, it's good, great even.

    I enjoy the camaraderie between the police lieutenant, D'Agosta and the FBI agent, Pendergast. We see a heated and at times comical interaction with Laura Haywood, D'Agosta's girlfriend and Pendergast, who she is not fond of. We have the classic cliffhangers of Preston and Child that make us want the next book right now. As in most books in the series, there are stories within stories and never a dull moment. The book moves along at a quick pace and holds your interest from page one.

    While they say the books can be read as stand alone books, I feel that knowing the characters and the back stories always make them a more enjoyable read. I don't think I would start with this one if you haven't read the others but that is just my opinion.

    If you like quirky characters that you can't really figure out, stories within stories and being entertained pick up this or any of these books and fall in love with Special Agent Pendergast, I sure did.

    15 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    Fails to Deliver

    I absolutely love the Pendergrast series - but this one really disappoints. It is like a 400 page set up for a sequel. In any series, each book has elements that add to the "big story" being told by the series. However, in this book that is all there is. The "stand alone" plot of this book was very weak, and, honestly, boring. It just doesn't have the "pop" and suspense of the other books in the series.

    I think it also suffers from a serious logical flaw -Pendergrast has such wonderful deductive powers, yet in this book he seems oblivious to the most obvious villain.

    To anyone who has not read any of the other books in this series - DO NOT START WITH THIS ONE. You will just be lost and confused. To any fan of the series, I would wait until the next book is released (because the price of this one will be lower by then) and then read Fever Dream as a 400 page prologue. Otherwise, you will just have a lot of unresolved questions.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    What the heck is going on?

    I love, love, love Pendergast but the past two books haven't been very good. This last one though makes me wonder whether Pendergast should be retired before I stop looking forward to the books.

    Never before has it been so obvious that two people were writing a book. It was deadly dull and the real mystery of his relationship with his wife is never resolved. You can assume things but you don't know.

    The more interesting story is Constance Greene and yet it goes nowhere. I found myself waiting for her story to start up again as soon as possible. How can Pendergast be so uninteresting?

    The last 100 pages or so are very exciting although the ending is ultimately unsatisfying.

    There's just too much going on in this novel to keep you engaged. Too many trips around the world with little result. I'm not even sure what the solution was in either Pendergast or Constance's cases. I hate a cliffhanger although that's not to say it really is a cliff hanger. More like I'm dissatisfied with the ending.

    I don't even know why Constance was in the book, honestly except to make you wish that you were reading her story instead of the main one. There's no explanation that makes sense for why she does what she does and none at all as to why Pendergast doesn't seem interested in the problems that she's experiencing.

    Although I love these two authors both together and independently, I really feel robbed these last two Pendergast novels and I'm not happy about it. It's not that I'm one of those people who needs everything spelled out but a little closure would be nice.

    Waiting for the big mystery to be uncovered and it's not so big well, I think I've already said that it's disappointing.

    That won't stop me from buying the next Pendergast novel although if the third one continues with the trend of being worse than the one before it, I may have to quit and just have my memories. Why ruin a good thing.

    This was like the anticipation of a great filet mignon but finding a sirloin on your plate instead. And over cooked to boot. I feel like I wasted so much time reading this and it wasn't tasty either.

    If the books are only being written as an obligation to the fans, we'd be better served without them. There has to be a love of the characters by the writers as there has been in the past. This time? I didn't see it at all.

    In the meantime I heartily recommend my two favorite Pendergast novels, Cabinet of Curiosities and The Book of the Dead. The other books are great but these two are exceptional.

    10 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    You can tell they're getting burned out.

    Which is highly unfortunate because A.X.L. Pendergast is my favorite fictional character bar none. Upon reading this, I thought -- this is garbage. They can do better than this. The characters were flat, they actually made some of them boring. It is pretty apparent that they're getting burned out on writing Pendergast books. There was no heart in this book, it was completely half-assed. I walked away disappointed and wishing I'd never read it at all. The ending was the worst of all. Leaving it on a cliff-hanger is understandable, but the way they wrote the characters into the cliff-hanger was not. Then a note about a new character and a new series, and I thought 'ah-ha.' Basically, I'd rather they just stopped writing Pendergast books than churn out half-ass ones. Leave it on a high-note, fellas.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Disappointment

    After reading all of the previous Pendergast stories, I was severely disappointed in this one. Although the stories typically stretch the bounds of imagination, at least there was usually a supernatural element of some kind that provided the excuse. This novel presents itself as an old-fashioned murder mystery but fails to deliver.

    Agent Pendergast begins his quest by discovering something that leads him to believe that his wife was murdered. Why he waited twelve years to notice this is never really explained. There are several similar incidents throughout the story. At times, Pendergast seems completely incompetent and dependent on the suggestions of his colleagues. At other times, however, he has flashes of insight that defy logic and lead to clues that others have overlooked for years. In total, the chain of logic is completely ridiculous. Pendergast and his friends also seem to have a superhuman way of escaping multiple attempts on their life with little or no problem.

    As a Southerner, I was also greatly offended by the authors' bad portrayal of Southern people and culture. It was extrememly prejudiced and stacked with negative stereotypes. I will not be reading anything more from either of these writers in the future.

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    What's Happened?

    Have read and reread all the others....wonderful books, characters, etc.
    Where's the old Pendergast? And what happened to our dying detective? And Constance..... A real disappointment.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another good read from Preston & Child

    If you like a good mystery with a unusual twist this is the book for you. Agent Pendergast is a different kind of FBI agent. Once you read one of the Pendergast series you will want to read them all.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013


    This was my first and last Pendergast book. The plot lines were so sketchy and unfinished. The book stopped in the middle of the story. I guess that readers are expected to buy the next book to learn the ending. No thanks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013


    I have read every single book of both authors, together and alone. The books just keep getting better.

    Was very glad to be able to get this for $1.99 on my Nook today since it was the very last paperback that I bought before buying my Nook!

    I see the descption of the Nook book is the same info as on the back cover of the paperback! That is why I NEVER read the back of books by authors I knew before reading them. THEY GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY!

    Now I get to read this AND Cold Vengeance again ON MY NOOK before reading Two Graves for the very first time. YES!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    Not the best in the series

    I hope that this is not a harbinger of thins to come in this series. I think that this is the weakest of the series. Hopefully this will just be a fluke.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011


    I have enjoyed many books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, both collaborations or on their own. I've read several of the Pendergast books over the years, but lately I've been reading them in order, 1-10 (#10 being Fever Dream). I just finished "Fever Dream" and was mildly disconcerted when it ended on a cliffhanger. I grew upset when, after the cliffhanger epilogue, there was a note from the authors letting the readers know that they were suspending the series and introducing a NEW series with a new character. I found online that "Fever Dream" is the first book of a trilogy in the Pendergast series. I find it reprehensible that authors suspend a series after the first book of a trilogy -- especially on a cliffhanger -- to start a new project, leaving readers hanging. "Fever Dream" was good, but it would have been much better with an ending. I doubt if I will wait to find out what happened when the authors get back around to Pendergast. Pity.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A solid addition to the Special Agent Pendergast series. It contains all of the witty anecdotes that I've come to expect from Pendergast, but it's also a bit of a page-turner.

    I have a long-standing love affair with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Years ago.I picked-up Relic, which was book #1 in the series and since then, I've been enjoying the series every couple of years. There have been a few misses, so I consider these books guilty pleasures and nothing more. However, every once in a while I am reminded how good they are. This is one such case.

    Fever Dream is about Special Agent Pendergast and his discovery that his wife's death, years ago, may not have been the accident he imagined it to be. You see, he knew she was mauled by a lion while game hunting in Africa, but what he didn't know is that his wife's rifle, her only means of protection, was filled with blanks. With this new piece of information, he sets out to find the true killer.

    What makes these books special are the characters. Pendergast is a rather refined individual. Not your typical FBI agent. There are lots of asides and witticisms that are quite enjoyable. On the other hand, D'Agosta, his liaison in the police department is not as refined and a bit more stereotypical so the contrast between the two is quite entertaining.

    Overall, Fever Dream was a quick read and provided a much-needed distraction but wasn't all "fluff" and pat endings. If you shy away from crime fiction because of the million little details or mystery because of the formulaic quality of it, then I think you will like this one.

    It should be noted as well, that it really doesn't matter which order you read these books in. They are all pretty much stand-alone pieces.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Tense Thriller!

    After the awful Cemetary Dance, Special Agent Pendargast successfully returns. Through a chance gun cleaning, Pendergast realizes that his wife's supposed accidental death was in fact a murder. As the act had happened 12 years earlier the trail has gone cold. To help him, he needs someone with good detective skills so he enlists the aid of his friend Vinnie D'Agosta. He tells Vinnie to take a leave of his job and come with him to solve the mystery.

    This does not sit good at all with Vinnie's live-in girlfriend, NYPD Captain Laura Heyward. Heyward despises Pendargast's unorthodox methods and the fact that he always get's Vinnie in trouble. She reluctantly relents and Vinnie and Pendargast are off to Africa in pursuit of answers.

    The more they investigate the more that they learn that his wife was involved in a secret life involving something related to John Audoban. As the case proceeds, witnesses are dying and it seems like someone is also trying to kill them.

    The book has several tense moments and when something happens to Vinnie, Laura is reluctantly enlisted to aid Pendergast. This is the best Pendergast tale since the last trilogy.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting But Ultimately Unsatisfying

    This book provides vibrant descriptions, (particularly of Zambia and the bayou south), an interesting tangential mystery concerning a famous missing painting by wildlife painter John James Audubon, exciting periodic assassination attempts and an intensely suspenseful climax. Unfortunately, the primary mystery, (which concerns the murder of Pendergast's wife Helen by the instrument of a trained, man-eating lion), isn't fully resolved. Furthermore, the solvable portion of that mystery becomes apparent and/or predictable shortly after the novel's mid-point is reached. Moreover, the book's finish is particularly inconclusive and frustrating.

    As regards other technical aspects of the book, the primary characters are well-drawn, but the droll, eccentric and brillant Pendergast demonstrates a disconcerting loss of control at times. The pace is moderate but periodically picks up during assassination attacks and the climax. I recommend this book to any longtime Agent Pendergast fan, but warn that most, if not all, of the earlier books deliver a better, more complete arcane mystery.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Fabulous Summer Thriller

    Lincoln and Child have done it again! Fever Dream is right up there with Relic and Cabinet of Curiosities for thrills, fascinating drama, just a touch of gore to keep the book interesting and a little icky. I loved the fact that Pendergast can fall in love and be deliriouly happily married. It makes me frustrated, however, that we did not get to know Helen Pendergast better before her demise. Set in the heart of Africa and then New Orleans...and back and forth between the two adds just the right air of mystery and horror that marked the Lincoln-Child early books and made them so creepily fun. I definitely think this is a must read for the summer!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    They have done it again!

    They are at it again....robbing me of my beauty sleep! That book, like all the Preston/Child books, is impossible to put down.
    I find myself thinking "I wonder what will happen next" while I should be doing all sort of other things, like working for example ;-)
    It's definitely a page turner and I highly recommend it. Special Agent Pendergast is in rare form once again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good start to a good arc.

    PB/Thriller: I have a little bit of an issue with Constance and the Wheel of Darkness, so I was glad this book went in another direction. It was mentioned a while back that Pendergast is a widower and at the beginning of this story, we learn, with Pendergast that she was murdered. I liked the story and the conclusion. The only problem I had was that Pendergast was downright mean. Have I missed something in past books. He's always been a Sherlock and intimidated suspects, but he was intimidating witnesses. Then there was his indifference to Constance. I got the next book in hardback so it is on the short, short list. I want to see what happens to Vincent and the gang.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Iread this book out of sequence for the story, reading number 11 before number 10. Once I finished this book, I went back and read number 11 again. This entire series is a good read and captivates you from page 1 on. Just be sure to read them in order.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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