At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle - her only protection from the beast - had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?
With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden. Helen Pendergast had nursed a secret obsession with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon, in particular a long-lost painting of his known as the Black Frame.
As Pendergast probes more deeply into the riddle - the answer to which is revealed in a night of shocking violence, deep in the Louisiana bayou - he finds himself faced with an even greater question: who was the woman he married?
©2010 Lincoln Child (P)2010 Hachette
"Once again, the bestselling authors show they have few peers at creating taut scenes of suspense. Their restraint in the book's early sections make the payoffs all the more compelling." (Publishers Weekly)
The story line sounded great; however, the book was not. I could barely make myself finish listening. Finally, I did not feel that the book "wrapped-up" the story line.
The plot was a big stretch for me; victim is a doctor who works like international-without-borders-teams in third world countries, but she is also an African big game hunter, guns and ammo and everything? Who is then eaten by a lion with henna dye job in his mane, but it's actually a murder.(?) okay... Then the main character was a rich southern gentleman "b-hole" really, who's sidekick is a cop who will follow him on a revenge killing, didn't quite make a compelling match, the connection was weak, the rest was laughable with crazy lady who's over 100 and a cliff hanger. Now for the good news, they use an inordinate amount of 50 cent words and the narrator Rene Auberjonois is so worth the price of admission, his voice is butter. I would listen to him sweep through a verbal maze of difficult dialog and he never missed a beat or fell into a cadence of the tongue twisters he read. He'd keep the pace with the story. His female voices are great! So many times male narrators (good ones) sound like they turned into a ventriloquist act when they hit the female voices, you can probably tell I wasn't a fan of Mrs. Doubtfire. Bravo Rene! Loved him in Boston Legal, but I really have to give him a big xo for saving my entertainment dollar here. Thank you Rene.
I just finished listening to the Audible.com version of "Fever Dream" by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. Fantastic fiction! This was a great murder mystery - definitely the best I've read in the past year - with great characters and a story filled with mystery and intrigue. I can't wait to read (listen to, actually) more of their books in the Pendergast series.
I didn't realize this was part of a series until well into the book, but that didn't matter, the book stands on its own.
I find only two minor faults, one with the story (blame that on editors, not authors) and one with the narration by Rene Auberjonois. Auberjonois doesn't know how to pronounce "New Madrid", MO, which is mentioned a dozen or so times in the book; this was annoying. The only weak point I found with this otherwise wonderful book is one instance where the reader is able to figure out what happens next before the protagonists do; this was obviously not intentional. 5 Stars anyway!
I simply cannot imagine how anyone could not enjoy this book, unless it is a result of not fully understanding it because of the diction. When reading a Preston Child the first few times, it's helpful to have a dictionary handy. After the first two or so reads, you get up to speed.
I was anxiously anticipating the latest installment from these awesome guys and I was not disappointed. I've read everything they have ever written (and increased my vocabulary in the process) and this particular book is one of the best. The best books (in addition to this one) are Still Life With Crows, Cabinet of Curiosities, Relic and Reliquary, although everything they have written is very good. My only complaint is that they don't write faster, and more movies are not made based on their books, although I get why since the plots are somewhat complex. You realize that they wiped Pendergast completely out of the movie Relic? Whaaaaat?
Anyway, ignore all the poor reviews on this book or any of their other ones. They rock.
I know Pendergast can be a little over the top but he is such a fun character. This is great as always and I am looking forward to the sequel.
The unabridged version meanders some and seems drawn out at times. The story is great and could easily be a movie. Lots of action. The narrator is too old for the character.
when I found out that I had to read a second book to see what was going to happen I stopped reading this one because it was already tedious and the thought of having to do another was not inviting; do not recommend, besides the story was stupid in the beginning.
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