Art critic Jeremy Grove is found dead, his face frozen in a mask of terror. His body temperature is grotesquely high; he is discovered in a room barricaded from the inside; the smell of brimstone is everywhere... and the unmistakable imprint of a claw is burned into the wall. As more bodies are discovered - their only connection the bizarre but identical manner of death - the world begins to wonder if the Devil has, in fact, come to collect his due.
Teaming with Police Officer Vincent D'Agosta (The Relic), Agent Pendergast is determined to solve this case that appears to defy everything except supernatural logic.
Prolong the suspense: listen to another Pendergast novel.
©2004 Douglas Preston (P)2011 Hachette
Only Still Life With Crows affected me more -- but on a personal and emotional level. Brimstone was good for many other reasons. Lots of terrific "what ifs," the always intelligent vocabulary, equal amounts of suspense and exclamations of "of course..." -- a little supernatural, but always human!
AXP and D'Agosta are not cut from any other cloth. Sure, there are the ridiculously convenient lucky breaks and Hand-of-God sort of things, but so what? The gracious nod to Wilkie Collins and Poe enlarged the other literary, musical, cultural and geography references making this an immersive experience.
This one differed (for the better) from some of the series for NOT including long, somewhat-boring chases in caves and tunnels. The chases occur above ground. Still there is enough going on beneath castles and mansions so that when you come up for air, the whole thing stays with you.
It's a feel good and a breath-holder. I read this out of order, so I knew the future effects and consequences this book would set up. But even knowing what was coming, the story and its pacing were so good, it did not matter.
Loved "Buck," and the authors' delicate handling of his well-intentioned but misled efforts. That character and his story border on political-religious "preaching." So subtly handled, the message and the warnings are kind and clear.
If there is a theme in all of this, that applies to every character, including AXPm it might be:
Get thee behind me, Ego!
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
The mystery that never seemed to stop. Hidden plots & secrets well kept. Villians galore.
The ending where I am still waiting to see how some of it turns out, & find out if Pendergast still lives? And talk about what goes around comes around.....Man.
I JUST LOVE HIS NARRATION. Great job on the Count. he can easily flip from one character to another while still keeping his audience enthrolled. And that ain't easy to do. Most people cannot even keep their own character believable in conversation.
Yes, but give me a break, I have to get some sleep sometime.
i want to go on record & say Preston & Child & Brick really spoil their book audience! Seriously. I don't know why it is but readers seem to have an expectation about books & of authors, or plots, etc. It is like the movies have gotten, no one wants to see a movie unless it is bigger, better & more explosive than the last. And then they feel free to criticise what does not come up to their expectations. I think there is something wrong with this picture. I don't think a publisher or author can ever know for sure what a reader wants. I know, I know that is why they have reviews, but even that doesn't explain why readers can get the opinions they come up with. Maybe their hair do didn't look right or they were having an off day or their scrambled eggs tasted good one day & not the next. So you should know that I appreciate your candor in allowing both good & not so good reviews to be published, but I do lean on the majority of votes.
Anyway I want to thank the authors for their footnote about mentioning the best mystery book ever written - "The Woman in White." published around 1860 (sorry folks, look up the author because if I leave this menu I may lose everything I have written). Preston & Child confessed & sort of half heartedly apologized for slightly borrowing the character of "Count Fusco." Ingenious! When in America, Italy, England or France do like they do. Of course I had to buy & listen to this particular book too & the critics were absolutely right! It is the best mystery book ever written.
If your readers ever do decide to read or listen to this book they will undoubtedly realize how vast the English language actually is & how this author used this to his highest ability. However, this just might drive some of the avid readers insane. Today a person cannot wait for a sentence to end. Oh well, what a surprise! At least any critical reviews today can never come back on either this wonderful mystery book or the author, however patience is required. The votes are in & counted. And in the book Brimsone the Count is wonderfully resurrected as a major player once again. Way to go guys!
Preston and Child bring their characters to life in the most interesting way. Their interaction really moves the story along, and involves the reader.
The finding of each of the bodies almost makes your hair stand on end.
The scenes(s) at the Italian castle are memorable for their descriptiveness and action.
I personally prefer Rene Aborjonois to Scott Brick as a reader for this series. Aborjonois brings the character of Pendergrast to life better in my opinion.
I liked the whole plot and enjoyed the reading. I thought the ending was a little too far fetched to be believed, but...
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I love Pendergast, Degosta, and other repeating characters in this series, and I love the chilling stories written by Preston & Child. But this one was not their best. Too long, especially the sections about Rev. Buck, and not heart-thumpingly engaging. The last 100 pages make the book worth listening to, but not a 5-star novel.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
Here's my Bottom Line on this book: I thoroughly enjoy listening to series; story arcs, character development, and the mix of the new and the familiar are all great fun. So when I find a really excellent series I parcel them out in order to make the fun last, mixing in other books before listening to the next book of the series. This time my self discipline has completely left me (fled into all the fun that is Pendergast)! I can't resist ... I'm downloading book 6 as I write this review. I will start it as soon as I finish writing this.
Some subordinate points in support of my bottom line:
* The characters in this book are hugely quirky in the best ways. They are overdrawn to the point of being caricatures while still being great fun.
* The suspense is palpable in certain parts, particularly at the end. (Major hint as to why I'll start the next book immediately.)
* The story line is both interesting as well as loaded with classical history. One caution, it does slow in the middle. Don't worry about that, just keep going.
* A couple of the repeating characters develop and evolve which increases the listeners sense of involvement with them.
* As always, Scott Brick is without peer!
Avid book lover and listener. Nuff said for this purpose.
Pertinacious, punctilious, percipient-----Pendergast (ok 4)
Preston & Childs. When they write together they're hard to beat. Even though some outcomes are evident to a reader (of the series), they can still surprise you. Tough in any series.Started with a bang and kept it up to the end.
As with "most" readers, he brings the characters to life. It's always more enjoyable for me to listen to a book, well except by some really monotone readers which Scott Brick isn't!
Also tough in these books but the dedication of the 2 friends and the strengthening of it over the series introduces a dimension that does add depth.
Pendergast and D'Agosta so different in all ways except passion. If anyone hasn't been introduced to the series, there's no better time than the present. Even tho each book can really be read without reading the series, you would be depriving yourself of a tremendous adventure that goes on and on, always pleasing.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to my mystery-loving friends.
I like the scene with the Count at his home.
I don't recall listening to Scott Brick prior to this book, but I feel he did a wonderful job.
I wish I'd had the time to listen to it all at once, but the important part is that I was able to hear all of it over a short period of time. I couldn't wait to continue listening!
This is the first book from this author and the Pendergast character and i must admit i enjoyed this book very much. The tone and the story was nice. I admit that there are a few times when the detailed explanation of situations would proceed but on the whole it was very good. I also understand that it is book 5 from a series but i did not find it a problem in understanding or following the story, it actually made me more curious about 1 or 2 characters. I recommend this book to those who like religious thrillers.
"Gripping and performed brilliantly!"
Not sure I'd compare it.
Well as a fan of Scott's work this was great job. I enjoy his over the top enthusiasm and would recommend both writers for the technological style. I also tend to refund audiobooks not read by Scott - sad but true.
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