After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world.
But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels - perpetrated by a boy who seems to have an almost psychic ability to elude capture - NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help. Reluctant at first, Pendergast soon discovers that the killings are a message from his wife's kidnappers. But why a message? And what does it mean?
When the kidnappers strike again at those closest to Pendergast, the FBI agent, filled anew with vengeful fury, sets out to track down and destroy those responsible. His journey takes him deep into the trackless forests of South America, where he ultimately finds himself face to face with an old evil that - rather than having been eradicated - is stirring anew... and with potentially world-altering consequences.
Confucius once said: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, first dig two graves." Pendergast is about to learn the hard way just how true those words still ring.
©2012 Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (P)2012 Hachette
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).
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.
This is the third book in the Helen Pendergast trilogy. Usually, in a good trilogy the 1st and 3rd books are the best, with the 2nd acting as a bridge between the two. I liked both of first two books but this last one, Two Graves, was really disappointing and not at all what I've come to expect from these authors. The main storyline was very scattered and too far fetched even for a Pendergast book. The side stories had little or no bearing to the main story. The Constance Greene side story made some sense but the girl (whose name is escaping me, which should tell you something) and her father? What was the point of that. I think it's also a bit lame to have Constance pining for Pendergast. That is just lazy in my opinion.
Thinking about it now it's almost as if the authors felt they had more than just the Helen story to tie up so they decided to throw all the loose ends they had in this last book to finish things off.
This is the only Pendergast book I've ever had a negative review for so I sincerely hope there will be more to come to redeem the series.
Note on the narrator, Rene Auberjonois did an excellent job. I'd definitely read more read by him.
I am a big fan of Preston and Child both individually and together, but this thing became so preposterous that even the most willing I could not suspend my disbelief. Had to give up.
He is a fantastic reader. Love all of his work.
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 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.
I am a mid male. That is mid-western, middle class, middling sized, and middle road...as in politically Independent.
Having read or listened to all of the Pendergast books I was finally completely disappointed in their newest offering, Two Graves. I have been concerned about the direction of the books for a while. I was troubled by the Diogenes story line and his interaction with Constance, largely because these characters were less than essential to the Pendergast theme. They were peripheral characters in different storylines that were afforded more than a useful share of the books.
I was troubled by the Stradivari storyline because it seemed an interminable load of back story serving no useful purpose again. I feel the authors have a need to demonstrate that they are worldly travelers deeply knowledgeable about the slightest nuance in broad swaths of lore. It sometimes becomes a bit of self-aggrandizement at the expense of the story.
I was concerned at the lack of real content in Cold Vengeance. The back and forth with Esterhazy was tedious and reminiscent of Keystone Kops. Important plot revelations equaled about a chapter only.
Which brings us to Two Graves. I was already troubled at the notion of the Nazis. Why reboot this tired tired canard. Never mind the nod to Captain America in the opening…as Pendergast goes super hero. The deductive reasoning that leads to impossible clues reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. The shocking mass killer reminiscent of Jack the ripper who we are to believe is the long lost progeny of a central character. And last but not least is the truly monumentally pointless exploration of the Constance story.
It seems the authors are truly finally lost or bereft of ideas and are throwing characters at the proverbial mud wall in hope of some success. I suggest a return to what made Pendergast compelling and different. Not a lot of heavy muddy pointless personal baggage. Rather a Kolchak-like penchant for uncovering strange occult appearing occurrences that are inevitably proven to be, not the work of ghosts and demons, but the work of bad people. He does not need a consistent buddy. D’agosta would be ok but the Laura Hayward character is not really useful. Also not useful is the whole girl from Kansas storyline. C’mon guys…come up with some new ideas or end the series honorably.
I won’t be buying another Pendergast book unless there is a change for the better. I stopped reading Two Graves halfway through. I may finish the book at some point but I needed to look away from this unfortunate disappointment.
It was great to have all the Child/Preston characters back! Narration is excellent. Knowing the previous books in the series gives this listen more depth, it is not the place to start the series but as on going it is wonderful!
I love all the Pendergast series. That said, this was as if the authors dropped pages of characters all over the floor and swept them up together in a haphazard fashion. This was the last of the "Helen" series, which played out like a soap opera with evil twins and not really dead characters, unknown children appearing and disappearing, and characters from other novels seemed to just drop in for a cameo. A seriously overly dramatic Pendergast went against his own character here, as well, which isn't logical. In these novels we are always asked to suspend our sense of reality a bit, but we usually do it willingly. This was unwilling. And all the answers to all the characters' life questions were unceremoniously answered as though it were a rush to the grand finale of the series. I had figured it was just that until the very ending, which seemed to leave one tiny window cracked open for a sequel in this continuing series, which has continued true to form so far. It was almost a parody; but not quite. As it was these authors and Pendergast, it was worthwhile--just not their best by far.
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