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)
Rene Auberjonois does his usual excellent job bringing Pendergast to life. A real treat.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
I’ve stuck with this series because I liked the characters surrounding Pendergast so much. In this first installment of three, Child and Preston give us a much overdue look into Pendergast’s past and some of his demons. We see an emotional side of him that adds depth and feeling without eroding the tremendous respect for his abilities that have built up over the years. This story opens with revelations of his past and features D’Agosta as his ever-faithful sidekick with some great twists.
This first book of the trio setup some storylines that leave open questions for resolution and some quirks that don’t seem quite right; and so I look forward for book two in the sequence. The third book is due out in December ’12, so I have waited so I could read all three in rapid succession.
In contrast to previous works where some of the plot needed leaps of faith and were salted with hokey science fiction, this novel was tight, believable and progressed at an excellent pace. There was one scene where Pendergast does a payback -- it made me smile large. You must read it just for that. If you are a fan of the series, it is a must read. If you are new to the series, you can pick this one up without a great deal of trouble but you’ll want more.
Retired bookkeeper, married, Mom of 2, two granddaughters. Love cozy mysteries.
This was my introduction to Preston & Child, and I have mixed feelings about the book. Extremely well-written, I DID listen to the entire book, mostly because I was interested in how it would end. Would I listen to another book by these authors? Hmmm. At this point in time, having just finished the book, I'd probably say no. I'm quite "picky" about what books I like. I do not care for books that assault the listener with expletives and very descriptive sex. This book has both. Yet, I must admit, NOT on every page. Actually, only one sex-scene. So, if you're reading this, and you are offended (as I am) by these things, then I'd recommend looking elsewhere. If not, and you're interested in whodunits and FBI agents, etc, you might like it. Rene Auberjonois (probably best-known as "Odo" on Star-Trek's Deep-Space Nine) is a fantastic narrator!
Preston & Child hit a home run with this newest installment of the Pendergast saga. Here we meet a more fully-realized Pendergast who is searching for the killers of his wife, Helen (aptly named by fans of the series). Pendergast is just as quirky and brilliant as before, but we see a more human side to him replete with tenderness, compassion, sentimentality, anger, and sadness. The story travels from Africa to the back waters of the Mississippi as the authors weave the lives of Pendergast, Captain Hayward, Lt. D'Agosta, John Audubon, and Constance Greene in a taut, well-crafted mystery that keeps the heat turned up. Add the honey-tones of Rene Auberjonois who brings perfect narration to the characters and you have a winning start to a new series.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
Apparently I am in the minority. I found this book to be shallow; the characters undeveloped, silly and did pretty stupid things that got them "in trouble".The plot was somewhat interesting, but the meat of the book just didn't support the pretense. There was no viable ending to this book. This is obviously a matter of preference, so many people love this book and this series. This was my first listen/read of this series and I will just move on.
I honestly tried, but just could not finish listening to this book. It went on, and on, and on. Finally, I asked myself why I was subjecting myself to this torture, as I certainly was not enjoying the listen. And then I decided that I had certainly heard enough to warn away the other unsuspecting listeners. In a nutshell, the story is implausible, not even remotely interesting, and drawn out into unnecessary and excruciating detail. I was incredulous to learn that many listeners thought that this was the best of the Pendergast series. Many thanks for the warning. P.S. I gave it one star for the great narrator, Rene Auberjonois, of "That'll do, pig" fame. He has a wonderfully distinctive and resonant voice. Too bad he could not do anything about the content.
One of my favorite Agent Pendergast books! I took it everywhere with me! The passages where the agent and a friend were being chased through the swamp really had my heart racing. Great Job on this one and LOVED the narration.
I've read several Pendergast novels, but this one was the best in my opinion. It was very exciting and moved along very quickly. I had to stop myself from fast-forwarding because I was so anxious to find out what happened!! With all of these novels, you can't let your attention wander, and it's important to pay attention to detail. The ending was priceless, and you can just imagine what's going to happen.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
I had listened to 'Still Life with Crows' and enjoyed the character of Pendergast and so thought I'd give these authors another try with Fever Dream. Unfortunately, the plot was pretty ludicrous and I found my self unable to suspend disbelief throughout.
I buy the new entry in this series the first day it comes out because I'm such a big fan, so I'm admittedly a bit biased.
However, this book was rock solid. The scenery, the plot twists and the ending all left me not wanting to turn off my MP3 player upon the end of my commute.
Also, the ending sequence is absolutely fantastic. There were points where I saw my knuckles going white from gripping the steering wheel so hard because of the suspense, action and uncertainty.
My only regret: I now need to wait another year or so for the next installment!
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