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Publisher's Summary

"A consistently exciting and never predictable series." (Associated Press)

When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman's body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.

Lieutenant CDS Vincent D'Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D'Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case. "I feel rather like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch," Pendergast tells D'Agosta, "because I have found you here, in charge. Just like when we first met, back at the Museum of Natural History."

But neither Pendergast nor D'Agosta are prepared for what lies ahead. A diabolical presence is haunting the greater metropolitan area, and Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims to be murdered...and decapitated. Worse still, there's something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil eye of the killer.

As mass hysteria sets in, Pendergast and D'Agosta find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who has threatened the very lifeblood of the city. It'll take all of Pendergast's skill to unmask this most dangerous foe - let alone survive to tell the tale.

©2018 Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"As always, the authors have crafted a story that is almost impossible to pull away from, and their prose is as elegant as fans have come to expect. Pendergast continues to be one of thrillerdom's most exciting and intriguing series leads, and the series remains among the most reliable in the genre." (Booklist)

"One of the best in the series-tense and tightly wound, with death relentlessly circling, stalking, lurking behind every shadow." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This, yet another masterpiece by Preston & Child, will be the perfect way to start out your New Year...Just as it was when D'Agosta and Pendergast first met up in the thrilling book, Relic, they are together once again solving a crime of mammoth proportions. Preston, Child, and their well-known characters are always sheer perfection!" (Amy Lignor, Suspense Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,033
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    982
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    93
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    40

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,329
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Story

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  • 2 Stars
    118
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    55
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The allusive Pendergast..,

I think this book might be one of the best in the series.
In this book Pendergast is facing consequences from his boss for actions he should not have taken in the previous book. His punishment is his involvement in D'Agosta's newest case of a murdered woman. She'd been shot through the heart and days later decapitated. There are quite a few murders after her. The chase is on for The Decapitater but everyone seems to be going in a different direction. It's kind of predictable who the killer is but until that person is revealed there is still a touch of uncertainty.
The epilogue does not give closure but instead peaks your curiosity as to where these characters will go in the next book.
Rene Auberjonois does an outstanding job narrating.
This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

131 of 136 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

If Pleasure remains, does it remain a Pleasure?


I became a fan in 1995 with Relic and realized by the third or fourth Aloysius Pendergast novel that I was a devoted follower. In my 24 yrs. of guilty pleasuring with Preston-Child-Pendergast, I've ranted some, raved some, sworn them off then pre-ordered the next in the series with the same breath. The plotlines of these books are nonsensical: bloodthirsty monsters in the museum of natural history, Nazi experiments gone amok in the jungles of Brazil, crazed killer grizzlies raiding the ski cabins in Colorado (we won't even start on Constance Greene) blood relatives that seem straight out of the rogue's gallery. I've been all over the scale rating this series. Even the worst books in this 17 book series aren't really bad...they're just not excellent; they're what I call *ungood.* But always 100% captivating is Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, that tall cool, pale, Southern aristocrat that seems to balance so comfortably on the thin line between the earthly and the supernatural.

These authors usually play pretty fast and loose with reality so City of Endless Night might be a good place to start if you need to ease into the far-fetched literary exploits of these authors and their Aloysius Pendergast; it feels uncommonly normal for the series. The downside to jumping in here is you've missed all the fun. Aloysius is what keeps me coming back and this is a paler than usual Aloysius. He may have met his match with a murderer picking off some of New York's 1%ers, leaving their decapitated bodies and not the slightest clues.

This wasn't my favorite in the series. It rambled, it was dark, lacked some excitement, and a lot of Pendergast's endearing quirks seemed absent, the guy seemed preoccupied. I'm just hoping that had something to do with the epilogue (no spoilers here). I'm trying to be objective and view this through fresh eyes, which is hard to do after spending so much time with this threesome. I'm not disenchanted, but possibly a little worn out. I introduced my daughter to the series and she has the same enthusiasm that I once had in following the Pendergast canon. She also is more current with the history and can answer all my questions (except about Constance).

There are 3 elements that are consistently excellent with this series, and present in this novel: 1) Aloysius, a unique character that still intrigues me; 2) when these two authors stick out their pinkies and do their highbrow (Aloysius) writing...I've looked up so many hoity-toity words (his receptionist is his amanuensis) and it's Southern snobbery at its best; 3) Rene Auberjonois narrating Pendergast..nothing short of visual. So I'm just settling on 3*'s for the story and 5* for perfect narration, and that's all I'm going to say about this one,

Whether you are a devoted follower, new to the series, or just considering, I hope that you experience the pleasure of Pendergast and that it remains from #1 to #17 and so on.
[Now as far as some of the other books by this duo...I haven't been so charmed lately.]

83 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Losing interest in their writing style

What disappointed you about City of Endless Night?

How do I put this? Overly melodramatic prose and silly cliches. I can imagine the writers sending updated drafts back and forth, focusing more on the competition to see who can write more overflowing bullshit to stretch out a scene. The descriptors don't add to the scene or the visualization for the reader, and I caught myself eye-rolling a bit too often. Standard cop and bad guy cliches disappointed.

What could Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Hard to really describe it. I want to be taken away to a different world with a good book, immersed in the struggle of the characters. Characters that I'm familiar with, as in any good series, should grow more interesting as their experiences are played out. I find our familiar friends in this series (Pendergast, D'Agosta, Haywood, Proctor, Constance, etc.) seem more wooden, less fleshed out, pieces in a puzzle and not actual human characters.

Did Rene Auberjonois do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I think he did the best with what he had.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

P and C drew me in with great stories. Either the storytelling has deteriorated over the years, or my expectations have risen over time. I'm hesitant to go back and re-read early pendergast stories for fear of ruining my memory of good, fun stories.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not this girl again?!!

I was so looking forward to Pendergast and D’Agosta working together again. The writing team of Preston and Child might want to give some thought to retiring Pendergast. After the last installment I was not sure I wanted to invest the money or the time on another Pendergast adventure. I read the free sample of this installment and decided to give it a try only because I truly believed that Constance was gone...for what I hoped was good. About a third of the way through the book I was beginning to lose interest. I stuck with it mainly because I like Rene Auberjonois’ narration and I thought if anyone could pull this story out of the pit it was falling in to, it was Rene. Nope...didn’t happen. I have read every Pendergast novel out there. The last few have not been very good but I keep hoping that Pendergast will get back to the way he was. I would like to see Diogenes brought back and Constance.....well, she can just stay on the mountain. And if Pendergast can’t live without her than they can both stay on the mountain. Misery loves company.

61 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing to say the least...

What are they doing to our Special Agent?! Ugh, this was hard to swallow! I was so looking forward to this after the last three books, as they were well below par, and no where near as good as the earlier books in this series. Since when did Pendergast take the back seat in an investigation? Were we supposed to believe that he was just so heartbroken over Constance that he simply didn’t care about solving these crimes or anything else for that matter? And let’s not even go there, Pendergast and Constance romantically involved, puke! I have been a huge fan of this series and have read the earlier books several times and not once have I ever felt that Pendergast was secretly in love with his ward. I was so looking forward to seeing him and Vinny back at it but they even managed to screw that up. Their match-up was nothing like the good old days of Relic, and the Diogenes and Helen trilogies. I want the old Pendergast back and not with his 140 year-old, snotty, pretentious, ward on his arm! Such a let down. I think it’s time to break up with Preston and Child as they are continuing to let me down with this series.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Read the previous books

Although I love the Pendergast books, the series is going downhill, and his first few books will always be the best in my opinion, as well as a few of the later books.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Expect more

In past Pendergast novels there was a more extensively developed plot. This one was clear far too early.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Oddly retrograde and substandard Pendergast novel

As a fan of the series I’d anticipated this release and looked forward to continuing where Obsidian Chamber left off. But this story fails in almost every way to do that.

It feels flat and entirely without the nuances, intricacies and enjoyable quirks that are a stable in the previous books.

The portrayals of the central D’Agosta and Pendergast are odd - like the authord have forgotten the evolution the characters have been through in the past 5-6 book. Like they have regressed and lost interest in building believable and well-rounded characters. And the repeated mention of long dead Smithback does nothing to change that perception.

The near total absence of other key figures from the storyline makes the story almost entirely a recital of bureaucratic, impotent police work, where Pendergast’s usual ability to know better and be s step ahead isn’t an interesting twist based on vague, cleverly seeded references, but rather just a cheap writer’s trick to forward the plot without actually doing anything to validate it in the story.

All in all the story lacks anything that makes it distinct, memorable and fun to listen to. It feels like a couple of the storylines from the earlier books were just chopped up and pieced together again with a new coat of paint.

Auberjonois delivers a stellar performance as usual - but this time, there just simply isn’t a story to tell. Just uninspired placeholder text.

A big disappointment for a genuine Pendergast fan.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W. Brooks
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 02-05-18

Worth the credit

Good story. Kept me in suspense till final chapters. My only beef is that there were a handful of sound editing blips where the narrator clearly had re-recorded a line but the insertion was not seamless. I suspect that’s a reflection on the sound editor. Still, I enjoyed the book and it was otherwise well narrated.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Headed back to the original story lines

Each time Childs/Preston have a new book coming out I am hopeful that they will get back to their original story lines of Pendergast and D'Agosta solving mysterious and uncanny crimes. So, this one is headed back in the direction that originally intrigued me. It was nice that Pendergast's family angst wasn't part of this story, except at the very end when he went to see Constance. Unfortunately, this story seemed like it was written hastily and, as other reviewers have mentioned, didn't have the twists and turns that they originally created in their novels. I actually figured out who the murderer was in the first third of the book. The chase scene of the human prey is so hackneyed and has been used by other authors too many times, But, at least they are headed back in the direction of the team using their diverse skills to solve a crime. I always love it when Pendergast and D'Agosta team up and sort of play off of each other. I'd love to see them do more like "Relic" which is my favorite,

5 of 5 people found this review helpful