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
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
Everyone you care about shows up in the conclusion of this riveting trilogy. From the first chapters, you are thrown left and right from one event to the next. You barely recover from a harrowing drop to only experience a jolt up then down as the plot spirals twists your emotional gut like a taffy puller. This Prendergast novel is far and away among the best. This is Lincoln and Child’s second trilogy within the Prendergast series. The first one, starting with Brimstone and ending with Book of the Dead, was fabulous. This trilogy, starting with Fever Dreams is even better -- you can believe it.
I give outstanding marks to Rene Auberjonis, the voice of series. His steady guiding tone makes the story seamless and enjoyable as always.
One of the best things about the Prendergast series is all of the characters are multi-dimensional. This trilogy humanizes Prendergast is a way that was badly needed. Good job authors in anticipating the needs from your audience. I have come to know these characters and enjoy seeing how they evolve. It’s hard to believe that the authors were able to get so much backstory into this action packed plot. I warn you, you won’t always get what you want, but as the song goes, you’ll get what you need. Two Graves a must, must, listen!
My first Preston/Child book hooked me hard. Together they were a machine cranking out thrillers that I thought I would never get enough of. Aloysius Pendergast immediately became a favorite when he was introduced--such a unique aristocratic hero--written so vividly that I would have recognized the albino-like polyglot if he happened to be gracefully walking down any street (or rather if he pulled up in one of his RR Silver Wraiths). So exotic and wonderful that I always wondered where the almost omnipotent agent could go from such a beginning. Who can possibly sustain such a level of mystery and magic when their super-human facade is chipped away a bit with each book? Those little glimpses into the enigmatic, but very human, Pendergast are what kept us coming back to see what new trick the Agent had up his impeccably tailored sleeve. I can't find fault with the writing style, still as smart as ever, but the fantabulous Pendergast seems to be a shadow of his former self. One or more of the 3 seems to be getting a little rusty or worn.
Like other reviewers, I miss Pendergast's strict adhereance to the old PC formula, and think his latest adventure took him out of focus and weakened the formula in which he shined. Two Graves seemed to waiver off course (with its multiple plots and chases) and stagger to an ending that didn't leave me very hungry for more. I prefer Pendergast cleverly and unconventionally solving a case instead of chasing down the villians. Maybe this is a case of: If pleasure remains, does it remain a pleasure? If you've followed the series you'll want the conclusion, but it wasn't a conclusion worthy of FBI Special Agent Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast - or Preston/Child. Unfortunately, it was only a mediocre conclusion that has become more of what I have been experiencing lately from the Preston/Child machine.
I love Preston & Child and have read everything they've written as a writing team, especially the Pendergast books. I so looked forward to this one! However, it seems to me that Pendergast is nearly on his last leg as a character. The story was OK but not nearly as engaging as the earlier books. Rene Auberjonois did a fine job as narrator.
I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the plot in this book. These authors are far better than this. There is a hodge podge of all the characters in the series and you are bounced from one feeble story to another without them meaning anything to the other. Pendergrast is not the strong character that we've grown to know and enjoy - he's turned into a miserable weakling that we are supposed to believe is driven to the brink of suicide by the death of someone that he's not even sure if he loves anymore?? The inclusion of all the characters made me feel like I was watching a ping pong match and wondering if there was ever going to be a tie-in or just a book of 4 or 5 stories taking place. From the very beginning of the book, I was thinking that I'd missed a chapter somewhere that would somehow make it all make more sense. I felt like I just had 5 different books open -- read a chapter in one, pick up another and read a chapter in that and so on - then start over.Best thing in this book was Rene Auberjonois.
I've been listening to Audible audiobooks since before audiobooks were popular. A fan of the Pendergast series and Dean Koontz.
I have never read the print version but I do applaud the performance by the ever-talented Rene Auberjonois. His talents in this rendention is purely eloquent.
If I told my favorite character I would be giving away the story....but the last name is Pendergast and you will be so surprised when I don't say its Eloisius.
This performance was absolutely fascinating. His voice characterizations drew you into a brilliantly written story line. The first couple of chapters are slow but by the 20th chapter, Preston and Child's drops a story line on you so dramatic, I hope you will be sitting in your seats when you hear it....ESPECIALLY if you are a Pendergast fan who has read all the books.
You won't be expecting it, neither will Pendergast...has he finally met his match?
This is a must and mandatory read for all Pendergast fans and even a good read for first time readers. Even if you have given up on the series, this one will bring you back and drop you off a cliff you didn't know was coming. A roller coaster ride with twists and turns that will lead you angry, excited, breathless, awe-struck and in tears.
FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast's world is turned upside down when his wife, Helen, thought to be long dead, suddenly reappears - very much alive; however only moments after being reunited with her, she is kidnapped and Pendergast must race across the country and against time to save her. But Helen's kidnapping is only the opening move of an intricate plot that includes a serial killer loose in New York City whose agenda seems directly tied to the agent and the discovery of a long-hidden sect of Nazi soldiers in Brazil, intent on rebuilding the Third Reich and completing its World War II mission of global domination.
As he struggles to find answers in these increasingly complex cases, Pendergast soon discovers Helen kept many things hidden from her - revelations that will change his life forever.
Two Graves is a fast-paced story that does an excellent job balancing the several plots woven throughout the pages. Long-time readers will be excited to see the return of Corrie Swanson, and the authors finally bring closure to the reasons behind Constance Greene's incarceration at Mount Mercy Hospital for the Criminally Insane. All the familiar favorites return for this globe-trotting adventure, including a few who haven't been seen in quite some time, and new faces are introduced - two in particular who will directly influence Pendergast's future adventures.
As always, the reader is suspected to suspend disbelief at Pendergast's remarkable abilities - some bordering on the supernatural - but all in all, this was a terrific book that long-time readers will find satisfaction in as they join their favorite FBI agent on another remarkable adventure.
The Special Agent Pendergast series is character driven; he is a shadow of his former self in this book, and the character we've grown to love is largely absent until the last five minutes of the book. His motivation for this absence involves the back-story of his wife Helen. It's very hard to believe that Pendergast, as he's been constructed over the series, would be so blind to evidence generated by his own wife. His usual hyper-awareness seems totally absent for her; she is truly a blind spot, and yet it wasn't so in past books. This back-story provides the plot of the book, and Pendergast's motivation, and because we expect a lot more of him, it's disappointing.
This isn't one story line either. These other threads revolve around Constance, Corey and to a lesser extent, D'Agosta. They add nothing to Pendergast's mainline, and I wonder at their inclusion. Yes, it was interesting to fill in Constance's story, but unnecessary.
The main story is lackluster not only because Pendergast is out of character, but because the plot relies on grisly details in parts to move it along. There's a lot of stereotyping so that most of the characters are also one-dimensional.
Renee Auberjonois does an excellent job of narration. Without him, I'd have downgraded my overall rating to just two stars.
I hope that Preston/Child aren't making the same mistake made by Cornwell in the Scarpetta series. Eviscerating a popular character that has sold millions of books carries the risk that loyal readers will use their dollars in search of more deserving works. I've stopped reading Cornwell; I hope that won't be the case with the Pendergast series.
. . .today is the first day of . . .
If you have not read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance yet--be warned-- there may be spoilers in this review. I don't think Two graves is a stand alone book, as there is a lot of back story in the first two books of this trilogy. You're lucky in a way, as you won't have to wait for each new book in this trilogy. You can go right to the next installment without so much as taking time to wave your fist in the air and say a few unpleasant words about the cliff hangers most of us have endured. So please- do yourself a favor and read those first.
Two Graves starts out where Cold Vengeance left us. Judson Esterhhazy (Helen's brother) has agreed to arrange to bring Helen back to Pendergast. Unfortunately, "The Covenant" has been tipped off, and an ambush ensues. Before Helen and Pendergast get to enjoy each other's company for more than a few minutes, Helen is once again kidnapped, Judson and Pendergast are both shot, and the only thing Pendergast has left to go on is a partial license plate number from the vehicle that whisked Helen away.
Pendergast is nothing if not persistent--not much stands in his way as he pursues those who abducted his wife, and when it comes to Helen, he doesn't much care who gets hurt in the process. Unfortunately, his efforts don't give him as much satisfaction as he was hoping for in the end--in one way much sadness, but then new information and people who come into his life who will help ease the pain.
This book is about so much more, however. At least three different story lines are woven into the novel back and forth, but so seamlessly that it amazingly all makes perfect sense. Cory Swanson is briefly back in the picture to steal some secret Nazi documents, give them to Pendergast, and then she is off into a completely different story line about her own life, where she finally meets her father and solves a crime. We also find out much more about Constance, wherein her past is finally revealed to us- with explanations about her age, her family, her baby, and how she came to be in her current situation.
Most shocking of all, though, is the information that comes to Pendergast as he helps D'Agosta with a serial murder case. What he learns makes him re-examine everything he thought he knew about his life with Helen and takes him deep into the forests of South America. He learns about the secret Nazi experiments that went on generations ago, and have continued to the present- affecting Pendergast in a very personal way.
Overall, a very enjoyable book. The only part I could say anything negative about is the extremely long (I thought) fight which went on and on with the Nazi's. I thought they could have cut it about in half.
The book leaves us with a lot to think about for the future--however NOT a cliff hanger.
One last thing--maybe the most important- Rene Auberjonois is superb. He is the best voice for Pendergast and also makes the other characters come to life as individuals. So glad he is the one who narrated this trilogy.
The story started out very promising, but then went south quickly with characters taking on more or less Super Hero powers. I can buy into using advanced science to justify certain stretches of reality, but this went way beyond the believable, and made the story seem rather ridiculous. If you like science fiction/fantasy, this is a good story, but if you're looking for an intelligent mystery, this is not it.
Not the genre it's listed in, but I feel it has been misrepresented and should be in the Science Fiction category.
Overall good reading.
The last few Pendergast novels have become more like formulas - nothing like the inventive thrilling series that began with Relic. The plot was thin. Pendergast has become less of a thinking top FBI agent and more of a plastic super hero. Enough is enough. Preston and Child have been among my top ten favorite authors for years, but I was disappointed with this book. On the plus side, Auberjonois is a great narrator.
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