Captain Hayward leads the official homocide investigation, while Pendergast, D'Agosta, and Nora undertake a private quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them into a part of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive and deadly hotbed of Obeah, the West Indian Zombii cult of sorcery and magic. And it is here they find their true peril is just beginning.
©2009 Grand Central Publishing; (P)2009 Hachette
While not up to the caliber of Cabinet of Curiousities or Brimstone this is a very entertaining book. The inclusion of NYC history added to the story.
The narrator does a very good job.
In this latest incarnation of the Pendergast saga, Preston and Child bring together the usual cast of characters wrapped up in a new adventure about Obeah, the West Indian Zombi cult and all things evil. The story starts off with a bang, but soon slows to an imperceptible crawl as the plot is sidetracked by blood, gore, animal sacrifice, and zombie silliness.
How many times can one read about suppurating sores, gobs of dribbling saliva, blood-imbued body parts, and lurching "man-thing" creatures. Well, apparently any number of times, because the same subplots are played out over and over again throughout the story. It becomes old real fast.
Even Pendergast is portrayed a little flat in this story. Where his once quirky esoteric knowledge of the unusual, clever put-downs, and spiffy rejoinders were charming, they are stale and annoying here. Even Lt. Vincent D'Agosta seems to have dropped a few IQ points and is rendered as an angry buffoon.
After listening to a few chapters in this book, you'll soon recognize "Still Life with Crows." It's the same story and the same monster, but not nearly as interesting the second time around.
Utimately, Pendergast fans will like this book, but for me, this book feels like a bridge to the next Pendergast novel -- the one where Constance Greene has her baby in Tibet, Aloysius resumes his relationship with Dr. Viola Maskelene, and Diogenes returns from the dead to match wits with his frater. It's unfortunate that we will all have to wait several years for the book that should have been.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I can't imagine a "bad" Agent Pendergast book. This is worth reading. But it was not as gripping as some.
I am a Pendergast fan and have enjoyed this series of novels by Preston & Child. For me, this latest novel harkened back to the earlier novels, which were more traditional horror than the later more mystical novels such as Wheel of Death. I don't want to be a spoiler, but I will say that the ending is neatly worked out, a bit surprising for me and disappointing given my taste in horror. Then again, maybe the ending is more horrific given its grounding in real possibilities. I was hesitant to purchase this edition because of some of the reviews, so I'm glad that I ignored them. With a character as rich, attractive, and intriguing as Pendergast, it's best to take the plunge and make up one's own mind. Rene Auberjonois's performance was not as stellar as others I have heard, but the worst was only that sometimes the characters sounded a bit alike, especially in the more intense dialogue. The narrative is a bit tired, as some reviewers have complained: how many times should a character's voice be described as "melodious"? So perhaps the authors got a bit sloppy, but it was a long wait for this novel and I'm glad it finally came out. And they did take some risks with the characters. Again, not everyone will be happy about this, but it's that risk-taking that kept me listening, wanting to get through to the end and understand why it happened. A good novel doesn't always make you feel good. A good novel provokes, and this one provoked me.
The characters and the narration in these books are alone worth the price. I always have to chuckle a little at the Scooby Doo-like endings. One would be best advised not to expect terribly much in this area and simply enjoy the read for what it is. Great fun, engaging plot, characters and off beat themes.
Yes, I am a true Pendergast fan. There were parts where Pendergast did not come through with some of the kind of things we expect from him. However in the end I felt it was well thought and played out. I can't wait for the next installment and see what they are going to do with Constance and the baby.
The authors do a great job of combining a lot of different elements in this thriller, and of course Rene' does an exceptional job of narration (not going to try spelling his last name, even though I now know how to say it, thanks to Audible). There is no shortage of action, and all of your favorite characters are there, except for Constance, who should be a mother very shortly, if not already. Zombies make their appearance, and the reporter Smithback is murdered early on, only to return as a zombie who kills another person in front of a crowd of watchers. Is the dead man really alive? Can he be rescued and cured?
The best thing about audio books is their ability to make the miles fly by, and this book is just as entertaining as the rest of the Pendergast canon. When will we see unabridged versions of the remaining Preston-Child books?
I am an artist and I love to listen to books while I work. Books have always been an important part of my life. Audible Rocks!
This book is good enough that I had to finish it but I really object to guys writing books about smart women acting like compete idiots. If a zombie is coming across the room at you you don't just stand there and wait for it to come kill you!
If you are locked in a room and the zombie is outside and can't get to you, you don't go out and chase it when it moves away from the door! Smart women don't do these things. Not even stupid women would do these things! And that was not all of the stpiditiy of these women! I strenuously object!
I found the book childishly written and tedious.The storyline was totally unbelieveable. We all know that voodoo is unreal. For fiction this is stepping way out on a limb.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This novel focuses on a story line that concerns itself with VooDoo and zombies mixed with a cult in Central Park. Some of our old friends Nora Kelly, Vincent D’Agosta, Captain Hayward and Bill Smithback are back but not Constance Green – apparently still hold up in Tibet having a baby. Within the first few pages they kill of a major character and you physically feel a tremendous loss to the entire series and to the novels to come. And do you want to know the reason they killed him off? Well it is so the wife of the murdered character can be spun off in another series! There are several small backstories that are introduced and fizzle and then get resolved that don’t add didly to the story. This novel was narrated by Rene Auberjonis; I felt the narration was not as good as the narration in the previous novels especially by Scott Brick et al. Finally, if you are an animal lover, just say no to this book. Taken together, I give this book a solid D+ – pass on it even if you are reading the series.
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