Past and present collide in Preston and Child's most thrilling novel ever....
Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who - with brutal precision - begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort's very existence.
Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story - one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well.
Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack - and Corrie's life suddenly in grave danger - Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.
©2013 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2013 Hachette Audio
“Narrator René Auberjonois is perfection as he portrays the rip-roaring assortment of Preston and Child's over-the-top characters…Auberjonois's cool persona is ideal for the black-suited mystery-man Pendergast. As Corrie, he's a hard-headed 20-something who won't be bullied. A sadistic serial arsonist, a beleaguered sheriff, wizened miners, and "old money" interests give Auberjonois plenty of opportunities to dazzle.” (AudioFile)
"Sherlock Holmes fans will relish Preston and Child's 13th novel featuring eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast (after 2012's Two Graves), one of their best in this popular series...easily stands on its own with only passing references to Pendergast's complex backstory." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
"Another highly entertaining and genuinely thrilling story from Preston & Child starring their romantic, faintly gothic, and always mysterious FBI agent, Aloysius Pendergast. As always the prose is elegant, replete with exquisite descriptions, and this time we're treated to dashes of historic characters Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, as well as a positively delicious serving of the great Sherlock Holmes. Through myriad shocks, surprises, twists and turns, the suspense never lets up. Great fun to the last page." (Anne Rice)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
I have been hoping to learn more about Corrie Swanson. Remember, we met Corrie in Still Life with Crows (book 4). Back then she had an abusive mother and no future. Pendergast took her under his wing and placed her in boarding school. She has been in and out of novels ever since. In this novel she is grown and attending John Jay College and play the central role throughout the novel.
Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (in the 1800s) setup the intrigue; and, before you even begin Chapter 1 you are hooked and titillated with some unknown ‘story of revulsion.’ Preston and Child perform their usual excellence in descriptive phase and dialog. I simply love the how they place you in the scene.
This is book 13 of the series and comes after the latest trilogy 10-12 which was heart wrenching and left many issues unresolved. Rene Auberjonis narrates the novel in his usual excellence. He has been the voice of this series since book 8 and continues to deliver.
This book is a must read. If you are new to the series, I encourage you to read Still Life with Crows first to get a good introduction to Corrie. Though you can jump straight to this novel because it does stand on its own. This is one of my most favorite series and I cannot recommend it more highly. For us Pendergast lovers, all I have to say is ‘He is back!’
White Fire is one of the top Pendergast stories. It's twists and turns kept me enthralled.
I liked the inclusion of the real life character Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The shifts from past to present created an interesting twist to the story.
I really enjoy Rene Auberjonois performances. I missed him in other Pendergast stories. He does Pendergast very well.
Probably not. This book requires attention to details. So the brain needs a break from time to time. Not a negative, though. I did finish it very quickly.
If you haven't read the entire Pendergast series, I highly recommend it.
I wish u could comment on other peoples comments, add a new dimension on what people write, some reviews deserve more than a 'yes or no'
I am a huge fan of A.X. Pendergast ever since 'The Relic' where I don't think anyone was sure that his character was going to be continued into a series. The last few books have all been written about his ex-wife & are classified as the 'Helen Trilogy', the books were by no means 'Bad' but I was not impressed by the quality nor the tangent these books threw our usually implacable A.X.P. into a world of shadow conspiracies, getting man-handled by 'uncouth brigands', killing more than a dozen people single-handed on a large yacht, & the questions unanswered after the 'Helen Books' were done. I'd like give my opinion that our Sherlock Holmes like character of A.X.P. is getting back to 'past form' & using his ultimate hero 'Afoot'. The eccentric detective with his unconventional methods, unique persona, & unlimited resources behind his obsessions to solve crimes.
I don't want to give away too much with this book but there are more than just one story arc & although I read some reviews from people lucky enough to get the book early there were a couple reviews that mentioned how Corrie stole the spotlight from him. I clearly do not think so! I can confidently say that before this book I liked her character as a supporting character but after reading this book I did not feel the same. She was the anti-establishment type personality in 'Still Life with Crows' & even in her other candid appearances in the books after, but I found her character growth showing her in a negative light. I'm not getting too specific but although she might have aged, her maturity level & lack of 'classy behavior' have not... & I don't mean she needed to be comparable to or as worldly achieved as a character like A.X.P. but I don't see how it would be possible for her to overshadow him in any book. This book reminded me of one of my favorite books which ironically is 'Still Life with Crows'. After that the 'Diogenes Trilogy' was also fantastic & the books that were released in between that time & leading to the 'Helen Trilogy', tended to range from satisfactory to slightly above average.
In this book there is even a reference to Conan Doyle & Sherlock Holmes himself & are worked into the story. Although I was able to guess what was to happen at the end about halfway thru, which is not something I could have done with past books, the story brought the 'old school' persona of A.X. Pendergast back to the front & I am looking forward to the next story P&C write regarding A.X.P. He is back to his old ways of putting self-entitled people back in place with a sharp tongue that's laced with honey & sarcasm, his enigmatic ways of breaking down a crime scene, along with his ability to banter & return salvo's with any antagonist. I really hope they don't make a spin-off with Corrie's character because as alluded to, they didn't "work together' the same way they did in Medicine Creek but both have arcs that cross at different points. Corrie is DEF. no 'Lt. D'Agosta' lol, but she's young & still has time to develop into a better supporting character that I felt P&C took away way too early with Smithback's demise.
I tried not to reveal much in this review because with certain mysteries or crime series I believe u need to read it all & figure out if u liked or disliked it without giving away too much of the plot, its not the same as reviewing other genre's. I focused more on the characters & they're current persona's in this book compared to the past & the overall plot undertones for the protagonist(s). Renee is always a great narrator for the Pendergast books & he doesn't disappoint here, I truly think that if anyone thought the A.X.P. books were straying a bit off the 'norm' in the past, P&C have brought it much closer to the 'roots' again. Its worth strapping on ur snowshoes & take a trip to Colorado.
Avid book lover and listener. Nuff said for this purpose.
I thought Corrie was much different than in past appearances in the series. At times she was bloody rude, ungrateful, selfish, and almost disdainful of Pendergast. If it had been me I would have told her to, er, "take a hike" more than once. Then towards the end Pendergast himself gets silly. Too much explaining the obvious, way too tolerant of Corrie. His character just didn't seem all that Pendergast....and I love these books, waited with bated breath for this sequel. Was also glad as others that the attentions was not focused on his wife, although I enjoyed those books thoroughly.
Would I have read this book knowing what I do now? YUP. As I said it is still Pendergast. I do hope that the next in the series will go back to Constance and D'Agosta who I find much more enjoyable than this...Corrie. Or at least change her back to the character she was...that one had promise.
Sorry people, but in good conscience I just couldn't let this one by without expressing my disappointment.
This Pendergast book didn't start off in the normal fashion of Pendergast taking the reins of a case, but with a sidekick from the distant past. I thoroughly enjoyed how Pendergast was dragged out of his isolated mindset to assist his sidekick. Pendergast's dramatic entry into the town-hall meeting was something no town member would ever forget.
Again, Pendergast. He is smooth, calculating, precise and very generous to those who are on the right track. Those who would seek to harm others for their own gain, should be wary of Pendergast.
He brings the characters to life, and separates the characters with distinct intonations. Rene has done a fabulous job of bringing inflection and therefore life to the scenes and ensuring that the listener is immersed in that scene.
When Pendergast dropped to his knees in sorrow......knowing Pendergast's history, there is very little that moves him. To see him in great sorrow over what is perceived to be his self-appointed charge, was indeed quite moving.
As is the standard with the Pendergast series, he does NOT fail to impress. Over the years I've come to know Pendergast as a character who does care about people and situations, but maintains the most superb poker-face in light of these emotional events. To see him show grief in the most profound way, shows the fatherly emotions he has for his charge. Despite his desire to balance the scales of evil and good, Pendergast knew that the dark characters were not acting in their right mind. Because of this knowledge, he still showed mercy to the dark character, even to the point of his own self destruction.
Another great book in the Pendergast series!
Personal trainer since 1988. Love a good mystery!
I've been waiting for this since the last one. Once you meet Agent Pendergast you can't wait to see what's next. My personal opinion is start at the beginning with The Relic. Not a bad book in the series! The credit is well worth it.
Its easy to see the sequel to this one. Can't wait! Again!!!
I listen while I paint- classic or modern mysteries, true adventure, & books that inspire or motivate
I recommend listening to Still Life With Crows before this novel, as it gives the necessary back story for Corrie Swanson-- other than that, this could work as a stand alone novel.
Most of this novel takes place in Roaring Fork, Colorado (Aspen-like exclusive mountain resort.) Ms. Corrie Swanson takes the spotlight, now a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is on a mission to write a thesis on some grisly deaths (murders?) which happened in the town decades ago. The deaths are supposedly revealed in a long lost Sherlock Holmes story which was never published.
As Corrie tries to investigate by examining the bones of the long dead victims, she is met with resistance from the town leaders, and must be rescued once again by Pendergast. He arrives in town with his usual flair, and then stays on to make sure things don't go awry. At the same time, a serial arsonist has started burning down the mansions surrounding the main square, leaving the owners inside. It is a particularly horrible crime, as the bodies reveal what terror they must have gone through.
Overall a pretty decent story--however, I didn't find the character of Corrie very enjoyable in this one. She has continued on with her defiant, immature nature which came out in her first appearance in Still Life With Crows --but in that story she was a teenager. Hopefully Preston and Child will give her more depth if she is to continue as a character in future novels with Pendergast.
Finally! I stumbled across Agent Pendergast by chance last year when I bought Two Graves on a whim - I liked the story but I fell in love with the characters! I went from Relic back through Two Graves in 6 months so White Fire got here just in time!
Pendergast is brilliant as always! White Fire is Lincoln & Child at their best - I can't wait to see what they've got in store for Tristrum, Alban, and Vincent Dgosta!
Rene Auberjonois is hands down my favorite narrorator.
Another hit for the Pendergast enthusiasts. This has to be one of the best of the series. Pendergast makes his grand appearances to delight his fans, only adding more details to our library of his eccentricities. Love that Pendergast! He has to be one of the most imaginative characters ever written.
This story concentrates on Corrie Swanson getting herself into one jam after another, not heeding to her mentor's instructions. Along the way, some new colorful characters are introduced (one of which, we will most likely see again in future stories).
We get a close up look at Oscar Wilde and Conan Doyle, with a story within a story that proves to be a winner within itself.
All and all, it's a nonstop listen, so get the coffee pot brewing cause you're in for a treat.
Too little Pendergast and too much Corrie. The character Corrie lacks depth and in just about all instances common sense. The decisions she makes are much in line with that of a 5 year old. Her behavior was unforgivably rude and nasty toward Pendergast, considering he is the one who made it possible for her to escape her abusive mother. I found nothing in her character redeeming. Hopefully she'll just disappear in future Pendergast novels.
The narrator was fabulous.
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