FBI agent Pendergast and his demonic brother, Diogenes, continue the savage tango begun in Dance of Death. Diogenes returns the stolen gem collection of the New York Museum of Natural History, but this hoard of priceless jewels has been reduced to mounds of powdery dust. To neutralize the bad PR, the museum reopens the Tomb of Senef, an ancient Egyptian temple that has remained behind closed doors since the 1930s. For Diogenes, however, the new exhibit only raises the ante of his psychotic sibling feud.
Readers caught up in the two previous adventures of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, will leap right into this audio conclusion of the three-part series by Preston and Childs. Smartly abridged, this concluding volume is read with a lively and literate excitement by veteran actor Auberjonois, who can capture a surly museum guard, a snooty curator and a shrewd villain (Aloysius's evil brother, Diogenes) in the flicker of a vocal cord, but who saves his most ironic tones for Aloysius himself. Even listeners who are new to the series will find lots of thrills and chuckles. Everything from priceless diamonds ground to dust to murder and bloody mayhem is treated with zestful underplaying by Auberjonois. But listeners who will probably most appreciate the extensive tying up of loose plot threads this time around are the ones who were there when those threads first began to unravel. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 24). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Preston and Child here conclude-or do they? - their popular trilogy featuring FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast's epic struggle with his brother Diogenes, who is undoubtedly a genius but also criminally insane. In his ongoing plan to ruin Aloysius, Diogenes has successfully framed him for murder, thus clearing the path for his artistic revenge on both Aloysius and the world at the site of New York's Museum of Natural History. Naturally peculiar things begin occurring around the new exhibit based on a lost Egyptian tomb, and the grand opening of the exhibit is foreshadowed by "accidents" resulting in madness and death. In the meantime, Aloysius' supporters, most notably Police Officer Vincent D'Agosta, work to extricate him from the bowels of the United States' most secure prison, while Diogenes targets Aloysius' beloved adopted daughter Constance, planning a degradation that will complete Diogenes' evil schemes. Whew! As in Preston and Child's previous Aloysius and Diogenes books, Brimstone (Warner, 2004) and Dance Of Death (2005), there is breathless action of both the physical and intellectual kind, a bit of the supernatural, and the added tension of both Diogenes and Aloysius being masters of disguise, a la Mission Impossible. Readers of the earlier Pendergast books will demand this concluding volume. Consider it a must for libraries who have already purchased the first two.
The combination of Preston and Child has produced one best-selling thriller after another and has created one of the most intriguing characters in contemporary fiction: FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast. This honey-voiced, seemingly supernatural G-man has faced danger in past novels, but this time he truly seems to have been outsmarted by his diabolical brother, Diogenes. As the book opens (the third in an apparent trilogy), Aloysius is in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison, Diogenes is plotting a heinous crime against New York's Museum of Natural History, and Aloysius's NYPD friend Vince D'Agosta is in danger of losing his job. When an anonymous donor contributes an incredible sum of money to the museum to enable it to open a long-lost Egyptian tomb buried in the basement, it seems like the perfect time to distract the public from a massive diamond theft from the museum. Master storyteller Scott Brick has read many Preston-Child novels and voices just the right amount of drama and excitement to maintain the incredibly high level of suspense. Highly recommended for every library.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Brazenly convoluted, swift-going last title in the Pendergast trilogy (after Dance of Death, 2005) features FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast in murderous rivalry with his brother Diogenes. The authors keep numerous pots boiling over at once: Agent Pendergast is locked away in solitary confinement at the escape-proof Herkmoor Federal Correctional Facility in upstate New York, apparently framed for serial murders, at the time that a mysterious package containing ground diamonds is dumped at the beleaguered New York Museum of Natural History. Caught trying to hide the fact that the diamond dust is what is left of the museum's priceless diamond collection stolen some time before, the museum powers-that-be decide to bring up an Egyptian tomb buried in its cellars as a public-relations stunt. Archaeologist Nora Kelly (whose husband, New York Times reporter William Smithback Jr., broke the diamond-grit story) is assigned to reassemble the Tomb of Senef and plan the sound-and-light show that will bedazzle big-name guests at the official opening. A suave Egyptologist from the British Museum, Adrian Wicherly, aids Kelly and discovers that the tomb's hieroglyphics contain a curse of insanity on whoever defiles it. In fact, a series of visitors to the tomb do fall prey to madness and murder, including Dr. Wicherly, as plans for the official opening proceed ominously. Meanwhile, martial-arts master Pendergast is sprung from torture and gang mayhem in a jail rescue by fellow FBI agent Vinnie D'Agosta, and others convinced of his innocence, and put on the trail of Diogenes, who still has not recovered from emotional damage suffered during childhood. Diogenes blames his older brother for his earlytrauma and manipulates to his purposes the family's naive young ward, Constance Greene, whose own Dickensian tale figured into the authors' previous novels. With Diogenes stalking Constance in Italy, and the New York mayor and his retinue locked in the tomb, this promises to be a really good show. Fast, punchy and relentlessly action-packed.
James Gale's gravelly voice is ideal for the cinder-lunged Rebus, and he manages somehow to lubricate out some of the harshness for cleaner living characters. Meanwhile, Gale's accents are superb , as he handles a spectrum ranging from overweening English toffee-nose to malicious Edinburgh corner boy. All in all, this narration adds another degree of atmosphere to a novel that is already redolent of the city it sprang from.