I have listened to every single Pendergast book Preston & Child have written. I have been a huge fan. I loved them all up through Fever Dream. Then came Cold Vengeance which I listened to but was extremely disappointed in. I had to listen to Two Graves to finish out the story. I hoped Cold Vengeance was just a temporary lapse and Two Graves would rekindle the spark. I was wrong.
There was a glimmer of hope in the middle of this book but it was extinguished and never revived. It was a laughable premise and that's saying a lot based on the things they have come up with over the years.
I am sorry to say, I will not be listening to any more from this once great series.
The time listening to the book was very well spent. The book tied up some storylines and introduced a new one that may prove interesting. It was a busy book in that it contained three separate arcs, but I was glad to see old "friends" from other books.
The volcano's readiness to erupt on cue was a bit of deus ex machina that seemed weak, as was Pendergast's ability to dislocate and reset his shoulder at will, but otherwise the book was pretty good and I would not know what else to change. I might change Pendergast's decision to let Alban walk away, but perhaps we will be seeing more of him in future books.
I love his voice--it is "mellifluous".
It definitely needs a follow-up book. We cannot have Alban running around loose in the world. We need to see whether or not Constance can help Pendergast heal.
I think the Preston-Child team is terrific. They need to keep Rene Auberjonois as narrator. He IS Pendergast.
Love books, animals and knitting.
yes, always love to hear Rene Auberjonois' voice. Agent Pendergast takes a drastic change in this story. A lot of surprises.
The boy arriving at The Dakota
Like any addiction, the original ecstasy never returns. That is to say honeymoons end. I came late to the series, starting only this year with Still Life with Crows, and I followed it with everything up and until the long wait for Two Graves. Each book subsequent to Still Life was slightly a let down -- none brought me back to the peak of nirvana of the first. This is not to say that the others were poor or unreadable or unrecommendable; only that I could not regain the effects of Still Life.
Awaiting (6 mos) for Two Graves, I was eager to start reading. The first half was stellar. The third quarter good; the final quarter long, tedious and unjustified.
At first I felt manipulated that three discrete story lines were being offered alternatively. but at the end, we were given pages and pages (hours) of Pendergast's show-down in South America. Frankly, I got bored.
The three story lines are treated inequitably. Corrie Swanson returns to this episode, and she has a lot of "stuff" to take care of. She, her problems and her conflict are introduced, her conflict is resolved... that's it.
Constance's story is examined again, a conflict intervenes and is resolved. But these two very interesting parallel story lines are abruptly abandoned so that we can follow AXP playing superhero. Each of the other two stories resolve independent of the main one, but AXP does not contribute to their resolution. This makes me feel cheated of my proper fix of AXP's masterful management of all that is wrong in the world.
For me, and I offered my limited P&C credentials above, AXP drives everything, and in this book, he was off on his own adventures, eschewing help from D'Agosto and Corrie, which would have made the solving much more "real" in the context of these books.
As for the story(ies):
1. The Constance story resolves in this book. The explanation is more than a little implausible, but it fits comfortably with the explanation of Helen's disappearance in the earlier books.
2. Corrie gets to play detective all by herself. She is successful and finds her long-sought happiness. Corrie bears a remarkable resemblance (in behavior, attitude, goals and gall) to Lisbeth Salandar from the Dragon Tattoo Series. P&G's Corrie was created in 2003, well before Larson's books (2011) which is telling!
3. The AXP/Helen/South America story could have been half as long and the above two expanded more deeply. Lots of traveling, planning, reconnoitering, faking and infiltrating taking up many, many pages, and in my opinion wasting good story time.
4. Thrown in for good measure is some progress in D'Agosto's life.
again... nothing interactive among all the beloved characters. It's like three different books (novellas) packaged as one big novel.
I wouldn't recommend this to a new P&C reader, but for a fan, Two Graves is a MUST read. Some of the early parts are classic P&C.
I have faith the next installments will be 100% wonderful again.
At last the skeins of the Helen trilogy come together. Here are some assorted impressions:
Two Graves verges on too much in one book. It definitely is not a stand-alone book, but needs the backdrop of Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance for completion. Someone who has not read those first books of the trilogy could follow the story but would miss much of the significance of relationships & events.
For those who have read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance, I don't think it's a spoiler to mention that a major feature of Two Graves is an isolated Nazi organization/colony upholding WWII traditions. I bring up this plot device because I quickly became worried, as it has become hackneyed over the years & I was concerned that the book would degenerate into a worn-out tale. Should have relied on Lincoln/Child to put in new twists that avoid that pitfall.
It's impossible to become a complacent reader because Lincoln/Child have a history of killing off our old friends integral to several earlier books as well as likable new characters (innocent or not). As always, the only certainty is that Pendergast will be there at the end.
All the Pendergast books have side stories, but parts of this one wander a bit far from the overall story line (but maybe my memory is fuzzy on this point about the earlier books).
Although much becomes clear in Two Graves, there are enough loose ends to ensure that there's more Pendergast to come...
I liked the fact that they wrapped up some long standing loose ends in this book, however in very un-Preston & Child fashion there were several unnecessarily overly graphic areas where I actually stopped listening and even fast forwarded past them.
Mixed media artist, drummer, and Audible listener - 863 titles and counting!
Another installment in a much-appreciated series is always welcome.
I think I have read them all! So, I am invested in the next one. Would like to see one with the Cory character featured, in fact. She could be interesting with the Pendergast connection to add flavor.
Characters are always more fully fleshed-out when you can hear them speak rather than having to create the voice in your head. I do like Rene, and this was a challenging book with so many characters. He did a great job.
Yes, and I listened to it while I was doing some serious decluttering so I was able to listen to long stretches at a time. I skipped forward through the Brasil piece pretty fast...I think it would have played better in a movie, but was too long for listening. The pace seemed glacial for such an action part of the story.
If you are a fan, then you will read this whether or not it's the best in the series. In fact, I am now going to go back and re-listen to the rest of the series. I did find this rather like a sandwich made with tasty leftovers, though. A little D'Agosta, a spice of Caroline, a dollop of Cory, a layer of Helen (past her best-by date), and some lashings of Pendergast. His Japanese maid and his chauffeur/bodyguard were kind of like pickles, though. Interesting up to a point, but ultimately did not add much flavor.
It was incredibly imaginative. I would not have had a clue how some things would unfold.
I don't have another book to compare it to. I've read all of the Preston/Child books and this is one of my favorites.
I like how he is consistent with the characters in each book read.
Really well done. Will definitely listen again and again. I can't wait for the next book!
Narration and production are both excellent. Story is fast-paced.
I'm only about 60 minutes into the story, having just downloaded and started it last night. Sounds like it is classic Pendergast at his unique best. Can't wait to hear all the details and character development. Love this series. So sad when the books end.
So far, the discussion about tailoring and ties. Also the very fast ride in the Mercedes, with the technical driving details. But like I said, I have just started the book. I'm sure there is much excitement ahead.
Wish I could. If I were on vacation at the beach, definitely, I would listen to it in one sitting. Alas, I do not have that kind of freedom or time right now.
Have been looking forward to this book and have read or listened to all the others, most more than once. Sounds like it is going to be as good as or better than the previous books. Keep up the good work, authors. Love your work. Great job! Thank you.