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Publisher's Summary

Behind the gates of a fabulous Hampton estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers the carnage of a gruesome crime, a nightmare of seemingly supernatural origin. The smoldering remains of infamous art critic Jeremy Grove, a melted cross branding his chest, are found in a locked, barricaded attic. The hoofprint singed into the floorboards and the smell of brimstone recall the legendary horrors that befall those who make a pact with the Devil.

Reuniting with police officers Vincent D'Agosta and Laura Hayward, Pendergast combs New York hoping for a simple explanation: a villain who is merely a man. But his search takes him beyond the exclusive clubs and luxury penthouses of Manhattan to a crumbling, legend-shrouded castle in the Italian countryside, where 30 years ago four men conjured something...unspeakable.

Featuring bone-chilling suspense and Preston and Child's trademark meticulous research and vivid detail, Brimstone is the duo's, and Pendergast's, most dangerous and gripping adventure yet.

©2004 Splendide Mendax, Inc. and Lincoln Child (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Abridged), 2005

"The perfect thriller to stuff into a beach bag....Fans of cerebral action adventure novels know that, outside of Michael Crichton, no one delivers the goods like the veteran writing team of Preston and Child." (Publishers Weekly) "A highly compelling thriller." (Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Couldn't put it down

FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, (yes, we finally find out his first name) is a wealthy, southern gentleman, with a taste for the bizarre and supernatural. (Well, with his family, I guess he comes to it naturally!)
Pendergast's methods and manners are eccentric, and mysterious; but in this case, he is up against the devil -- and having a devil of a time.

This murder investigation involves many things, including priceless artifacts and bombs; and there are lots of twists and turns.

I have listened to the other two books by Preston and Child available on audible (The Cabinent of Curiosities and Still Life with Crows) and got this one as soon as I saw it. It was very good -- the ending leaves you hanging and waiting for more. Oh well. You do not have to read the others to enjoy this book. A nice romp if you like murder mysteries with a dash of the paranormal.

Audible needs to get the rest of the collaborations between these two authors -- Relic and Reliquary.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book

The story is excellent, the narrator is excellent--no other reader seems to capture the characters as well. Like most of the books by this author, you need to be a thinking reader/listener--and sometimes you need to forget to be...but overall, an excellent listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • janesville, WI, USA
  • 10-27-04


Pendergast is great. I listened to "Still life with crows", and "The cabinet of curiosities". I love Special Agent Pendergast. Brimstone is amazing and fast paced with interesting characters. Maybe not totally believable.......But so what!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great read, if you've read the rest

Like every Preston/Childs book I've read, this is a great, fun-to-listen to book. The Pendergast character becomes more and more interesting with every installment, and it's fun to encounter chanracters from past books in a cohesive way. However, if you are new to the series you will want to start with the earlier books and read your way up - read Cabinet of Curiosities and Murder of Crows (available at Audible), and maybe also Relic and Reliquary (I don't think these are available at Audible - check the library). The story works much better if you are familiar with the cast.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • John M
  • Lafayette, CA USA
  • 10-06-11

Pretty good read...

I have read several Preston/Child books and this one, like the others I have read, is certainly enjoyable. The storyline was interesting but I did figure out the "twist" about 2/3 through. My only complaint about the Pendergast novels that that the characters follow their tropes just a little too closely and it was hard to identify with them. Pendergast is just a little too detached and cool, the criminals are just a little to omnipotent at the beginning and silly at the end, the sidekick is just a little too impulsive, etc. Once I decided that Pendergast was just a reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes (at least in my own mind) then I could enjoy it more.
While this book works as a stand-alone, it is actually the first of a trilogy and the second and third books are better - the characters get more humanized and started to surprise me just a little.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • tore
  • sarpsborg, Norway
  • 03-23-11

To short....

My first and hopefully last abridged book..
The story is good, I like Prendergast, but in this speed it's really hard to keep up..
'Fall out' for just a couple of seconds and you find yourself wondering 'what's happens,' where are we now
Its a pity this book don come as a unabridged version, it's really good, and the narrator is doing
a grate job.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Deborah
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 06-07-10

Not happy

I love this series but, this audiobook completely
wiped out major parts of the book. I will not buy an abridged book again and certainly not in this series. All the charachters are woven together and help continue the plot to it conclusion.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lee
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, United States
  • 10-03-04

Jerkily abridged

I have followed the career of Special Agent A. Pendergast since his first deliciously horrible experiences in the New York Museum of Natural History. The descriptions in the earlier books were lovingly detailed and I agonized and thrilled and lived several hours a day with the characters. "Brimstone" promised to be a wonderful sequel to the series but was badly ripped apart in this version. There are no transitions from one scene to another. You are abruptly ripped from one point in the story and kicked into another. Several times I "scrolled" back to see if I'd dropped off to sleep and missed something. But no, it was the sound editor's blue pencil butchering the narrative. If there is a full length verion out there, that's what you should hear.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Evans, GA, USA
  • 08-19-04

Pendergast is Back!

I've been waiting eagerly for this one to come to Audible! I couldn't wait & bought the hardcopy too! I love the Pendergast FBI stories and this one has a lot of returning characters and a really spooky plot! Spontaneous Human Combustion leaving a lingering smell of brimstone...

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pendergast Returns.

This was a long awaited return of Agent Pendergast, the quintessential, mysterious, detective who has all the right facts and skills at just the right time. What makes these novels so fun is that in the beginning the crime seems to have a supernatural explanation. Slowly through the novel Pendergast reveals the crime to be from natural world.

Perhaps I was cursed with a flash of insight, I figured out the supernatural aspect of the story right away and it diminished the fun I had reading it. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the character of Pendergast and the return of Vincent D'Agosta and Laura Hayward. You do learn some more about Pendergast (which is always fun), but there are some loose ends left when your done, not the least of which is at the ending. It really seemed as if the book was laying the foundations for future adventures as opposed to being a nice self-contained novel like in his previous adventures.

Since I cannot give a 3.5, I'll give it a 4 on the theory that you'll enjoy it a lot if you don't figure it out early.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • EmmyScotland
  • 09-25-12

Poor narration

I normally enjoy these books but this one narrated by Rene Auberjonois is just not that great ...the accents, tone and infact it is sometimes hard to tell when he has changed from character to the next there is so little alteration in toen and pitch. it definitely spoils the story - David Colacci or Scott Brick are much better. I do not think I will get further books in the series narrated by the gentleman.