I listen while I paint- classic or modern mysteries, true adventure, & books that inspire or motivate
If you have not read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance yet--be warned-- there may be spoilers in this review. I don't think Two graves is a stand alone book, as there is a lot of back story in the first two books of this trilogy. You're lucky in a way, as you won't have to wait for each new book in this trilogy. You can go right to the next installment without so much as taking time to wave your fist in the air and say a few unpleasant words about the cliff hangers most of us have endured. So please- do yourself a favor and read those first.
Two Graves starts out where Cold Vengeance left us. Judson Esterhhazy (Helen's brother) has agreed to arrange to bring Helen back to Pendergast. Unfortunately, "The Covenant" has been tipped off, and an ambush ensues. Before Helen and Pendergast get to enjoy each other's company for more than a few minutes, Helen is once again kidnapped, Judson and Pendergast are both shot, and the only thing Pendergast has left to go on is a partial license plate number from the vehicle that whisked Helen away.
Pendergast is nothing if not persistent--not much stands in his way as he pursues those who abducted his wife, and when it comes to Helen, he doesn't much care who gets hurt in the process. Unfortunately, his efforts don't give him as much satisfaction as he was hoping for in the end--in one way much sadness, but then new information and people who come into his life who will help ease the pain.
This book is about so much more, however. At least three different story lines are woven into the novel back and forth, but so seamlessly that it amazingly all makes perfect sense. Cory Swanson is briefly back in the picture to steal some secret Nazi documents, give them to Pendergast, and then she is off into a completely different story line about her own life, where she finally meets her father and solves a crime. We also find out much more about Constance, wherein her past is finally revealed to us- with explanations about her age, her family, her baby, and how she came to be in her current situation.
Most shocking of all, though, is the information that comes to Pendergast as he helps D'Agosta with a serial murder case. What he learns makes him re-examine everything he thought he knew about his life with Helen and takes him deep into the forests of South America. He learns about the secret Nazi experiments that went on generations ago, and have continued to the present- affecting Pendergast in a very personal way.
Overall, a very enjoyable book. The only part I could say anything negative about is the extremely long (I thought) fight which went on and on with the Nazi's. I thought they could have cut it about in half.
The book leaves us with a lot to think about for the future--however NOT a cliff hanger.
One last thing--maybe the most important- Rene Auberjonois is superb. He is the best voice for Pendergast and also makes the other characters come to life as individuals. So glad he is the one who narrated this trilogy.
The story started out very promising, but then went south quickly with characters taking on more or less Super Hero powers. I can buy into using advanced science to justify certain stretches of reality, but this went way beyond the believable, and made the story seem rather ridiculous. If you like science fiction/fantasy, this is a good story, but if you're looking for an intelligent mystery, this is not it.
Not the genre it's listed in, but I feel it has been misrepresented and should be in the Science Fiction category.
Overall good reading.
The last few Pendergast novels have become more like formulas - nothing like the inventive thrilling series that began with Relic. The plot was thin. Pendergast has become less of a thinking top FBI agent and more of a plastic super hero. Enough is enough. Preston and Child have been among my top ten favorite authors for years, but I was disappointed with this book. On the plus side, Auberjonois is a great narrator.
Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.
I am a HUGE fan of Preston & Child and their Pendergast series. I finished this one only because I am such a big fan and Rene Auberjonois is such a master narrator. I will certainly buy the next book in the series - but if it is as far off the mark as this one is, it will be my last. The reviews on this book, which I read the other day, long after I'd purchased mine since I had it on auto-purchase, were clearly wildly mixed. Some love it and others are feeling like I do - pretty disappointed. I won't go into all the craziness that was in this book, but suffice it to say that it didn't live up to everyone's expectations for what we want from our favorite FBI agent (and those who write about him).
Online Grad Student, I prefer audiobooks to bound books. Preferences: history, disasters, Preston/Child, Lee Child
Preston and Child must have known this series was running thin. Aside from an interesting plot line in Brazil, the other pieces seem to wrap up too cleanly and quickly. For the first time, I was able to figure out the last four hours before I heard them.
If you've listened to the entire series, this audio book won't have you wishing for another. Even the authors sound like they've had enough. As usual, narration was excellent.
The truth of the matter is that, if you are a fan of the series, you will listen to this book regardless...but it's definitely not up to the level of the first few (It IS better than Cold Vengeance, which wasn't even a full story). If you expect early Pendergast, you will be disappointed by the unrelated story lines that seem to be included in the book "just because," by the series of new characters that appear and are disposed off for no good reason, and by some of the ridiculous coincidences (i.e. a volcano that's about to erupt at precisely the right moment).
That said, if you download it like you would download the season finale of a TV series, you won't be disappointed. It is entertaining -- but definitely not great.
Getting kind of tired of these characters although Pendergast is more lively and interesting than in some of the previous stories. Still, there doesn't seem to be a real point to this series anymore. Maybe it's time for the authors to start something new.
I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the plot in this book. These authors are far better than this. There is a hodge podge of all the characters in the series and you are bounced from one feeble story to another without them meaning anything to the other. Pendergrast is not the strong character that we've grown to know and enjoy - he's turned into a miserable weakling that we are supposed to believe is driven to the brink of suicide by the death of someone that he's not even sure if he loves anymore?? The inclusion of all the characters made me feel like I was watching a ping pong match and wondering if there was ever going to be a tie-in or just a book of 4 or 5 stories taking place. From the very beginning of the book, I was thinking that I'd missed a chapter somewhere that would somehow make it all make more sense. I felt like I just had 5 different books open -- read a chapter in one, pick up another and read a chapter in that and so on - then start over.Best thing in this book was Rene Auberjonois.
I have read/listened to all the Pendergast stories, and enjoyed them all. This was by far my least favorite.
Think He did a fine job
I would not ask a friend to waste their time on this. It is a mish mash of different stories that seemingly do not have much in common. I expect Pendergast to be more organized, poised and much less emotional from all of his previous history.
They could have made the central character more like the Pendergast that we've come to know and love. Yes, some of the previous story lines have been huge and almost unbelievable, but this is like SuperPendergast who is out to save the world without a believable pretense. It is hard to write an accurate review without ruining the story for others who've not experienced the unreasonable and unbelievable occurrences that make this much less than it should have become.
As always, Mr. Auberjonois gives a fantastic performance. He is a joy to listen to and gives the book the most normal part of Pendergast that we have come to expect.
Yes, but it would be more of a supernatural movie than the thriller that the previous bbooks have given us.