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Publisher's Summary

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on the Upper West side of Manhattan. Eyewitnesses claim and the security camera confirms the killer seen leaving the building was their strange, sinister neighbor - a man who, by all reports, was already dead.

Captain Hayward leads the official homocide investigation, while Pendergast, D'Agosta, and Nora undertake a private quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them into a part of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive and deadly hotbed of Obeah, the West Indian Zombii cult of sorcery and magic. And it is here they find their true peril is just beginning.

©2009 Grand Central Publishing; (P)2009 Hachette

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Not for the faint of heart OR animal lovers

I liked the beginning of this book, however the graphic nature and shear sadness of the animal cruelty really turned me off. Be forewarned some content is hard to take.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Still a fan...but they struggled with this one.

I pick up anything from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I'm a fan, have read all their books, and am waiting for their next novel.

That said, I couldn't help but feel Messrs. Preston and Child were struggling to pull all the loose strings together on this one toward the end. I guess it still worked. But, I couldn't say it's "up there" with their other works.

Would I still have purchased it, knowing what I know? Yeah. But, then again, I'm a fan.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Just awful. No shortage of adjectives and adverbs, but big shortage of compelling drama and action. It was trite and boring. I wish I had counted the number of times the words "shambling" and "pate" were repeated. I want my time back.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chuck
  • Arlington, TX, USA
  • 06-18-09

Pendergast in Manhattan with Zombies

Could it be faster paced? Possibly. Could it be less gorey? Probably. Could it be more "up beat"? Perhaps. But then, it wouldn't be Pendergast. Add Rene Auberjonois and his New Orleans Southern aristocrat accent and prepare yourself for listening at it's best.

Haven't met Special Agent Pendergast? This is as good a place to start as any. You'll be glad you did.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Here's a suggestion...

Don't give away major plot elements in your reviews!

It is very easy to write a review without ruining the book for others by giving away the major events.

Please try to be more considerate of others who have yet to read the book.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I am a huge fan of the Pendergast series. However, this novel and the one prior to it have not lived up to the quality of the other books in this series. I would give this one higher marks than "The Wheel of Darkness", but not much higher. Zombies? Really? It seems that Preston and Child have run out of ideas. The book did get somewhat better in the latter third of the novel, but not very good overall. The narration, however, was top-notch.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Potential that is never reached

Having once been a fan of the collaborations of Preston and Child, I have been increasingly disappointed by their latest efforts. This book followed a downward trend, that I hoped would have reversed direction. The story is rather predictable and never reaches the potential created by the opening scenes. The main characters, familiar from multiple adventures, have lost their shine and the storyline its ability to grab me by the collar and by doing so its ability to demand my attention. I am glad I was able to multitask while listening to the story rather than wasting my time reading it, which probably saves the book from an even lower rating. Most Preston and Child veterans will, I'm afraid, be disappointed. Those unfamiliar with their works should move down the shelf to their earlier, much more entertaining, works.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Glendale, AZ, USA
  • 03-21-10

We are going off the rails here...

I have loved this series so far, but this is an extremely weak installment. Full of zombies and voodoo, the whole thing is just a mess.

I would only recommend this one for the die hard fan.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book reaches out and grabs you and doesn't let go. An excellent summer read. Rene Auberjonois' narration is top-notch.

I wanted to find out how it would end, but I was sorry when it did.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pendergast, Vodou, and Zombies, Oh My!

In this latest incarnation of the Pendergast saga, Preston and Child bring together the usual cast of characters wrapped up in a new adventure about Obeah, the West Indian Zombi cult and all things evil. The story starts off with a bang, but soon slows to an imperceptible crawl as the plot is sidetracked by blood, gore, animal sacrifice, and zombie silliness.

How many times can one read about suppurating sores, gobs of dribbling saliva, blood-imbued body parts, and lurching "man-thing" creatures. Well, apparently any number of times, because the same subplots are played out over and over again throughout the story. It becomes old real fast.

Even Pendergast is portrayed a little flat in this story. Where his once quirky esoteric knowledge of the unusual, clever put-downs, and spiffy rejoinders were charming, they are stale and annoying here. Even Lt. Vincent D'Agosta seems to have dropped a few IQ points and is rendered as an angry buffoon.

After listening to a few chapters in this book, you'll soon recognize "Still Life with Crows." It's the same story and the same monster, but not nearly as interesting the second time around.

Utimately, Pendergast fans will like this book, but for me, this book feels like a bridge to the next Pendergast novel -- the one where Constance Greene has her baby in Tibet, Aloysius resumes his relationship with Dr. Viola Maskelene, and Diogenes returns from the dead to match wits with his frater. It's unfortunate that we will all have to wait several years for the book that should have been.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mark Steven Alan Thomas
  • 12-08-16

Classic pendergast

Just like the good old books from before the Diogenes trilogy.
Surprises all through with a nice portion of karma at the end.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Daniel
  • 06-18-14

To Rene; that's the best Zombie sound bite ever!

Where does Cemetery Dance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not bad at all. I really enjoyed the Pendergast series so far as they are easy going and fun. and this one is no exception.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cemetery Dance?

It's a bit of twister and is set back in New York with some of the series most memorable characters. Another good yarn so no spoilers here just get involved.

What about Rene Auberjonois’s performance did you like?

The impressions from reader Rene on the monster were brilliant. Well done.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. Again it would spoil it if I told you.

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-09


Found the book very difficult to get into. Is not very well written ,on a par with the Davinci Code.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful