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Publisher's Summary

Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple. As he stalks his wife's betrayers - a chase that takes him from the wild moors of Scotland to the bustling streets of New York City and the darkest bayous of Louisiana - he is also forced to dig further into Helen's past. And he is stunned to learn that Helen may have been a collaborator in her own murder.

Peeling back the layers of deception, Pendergast realizes that the conspiracy is deeper, goes back generations, and is more monstrous than he could have ever imagined - and everything he's believed, everything he's trusted, everything he's understood... may be a horrific lie.

©2011 Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (P)2011 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • GH
  • Sherborn, MA, United States
  • 11-18-12

Powerful Buildup -- Best Pendergast Series Yet!

The second of the three Prendergast books, Cold Vengeance is a powerfully written thriller. It does not rely on technology or gimmicks but on good old fashion thrill, suspense and plot twists. In continuation from the first, Pendergast is still trying to find out who killed his wife, or was she killed. In this installment you’ll find out – I’m not telling. All of the twists and turns are very much worth it. The authors leave enough major issues open that you can’t wait to read the final installment. Yet, Preston and Child still provide enough closure to satisfy. The work has plot, depth, villainy, conflict and it is hard to put down.

This book reintroduces an old friend, Corrie Swanson, from a previous thriller -- Still Life with Crows. That novel was weak, Corrie being the only bright spot. It was good to see her back in this novel. This is the second trilogy of the Pendergast series. The first was excellent and the second trilogy is better than the first. I suggest you read the series. Don’t read this without first reading Fever Dream or it will not make sense as this novel does not stand on its own.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • 01-19-13

Pendergast - The Romantic?

This is the second installment of the Helen Pendergast saga. It is a good story but I hope this series ends with "Two Graves" ? This is particularly so, as the series seems to require reading all 3 books (so far) to get the gist of what's going on. Other references to earlier novels are also included but not required reading. What began as an enjoyable multi--book story is now evolving into an undergraduate course on Pendergast, that requires juggling much information, and with no end in sight.

On the upside, Rene Auberjonois does a terrific job with portraying Pendergast, a complicated hero with a multitude of skills, as well as the other myriad characters who come and go in this novel and series.

On the downside, the authors' effort to portray Pendergast's love for his elusive wife Helen was clumsy and amateurish. Gazing together upon a "buttery moon" was one of many cringe-inducing scenes that showed the authors are far better at writing fast-paced thrillers with subtle twists than syrupy teenage romances.

Bottom line: Still a good read, but let's hope a satisfying conclusion is not too far over the horizon.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Waiting for the Next One

I love the Pendergast series. Do not read this as your first book. It would be more confusing without the background from some previous books in the series. For those reviewers that seem to be intolerant of cliffhangers, then I suggest you avoid all trilogies and absolutely avoid Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series! And for our friend who thinks there is too much violence - this is the Mysteries and Thrillers genre - by definition they tend to have violence. So, if you like a series that continues to develop characters and storylines, and appreciate the genre, then I think you'll enjoy this book and the others in the series.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Aloysius X. L. Pendergast

This is the eleventh Pendergast novel, the second of the 'Helen Pendergast' arc. Aloysius X. L. Pendergast is an albino F.B.I. special agent who is an independently wealthy cross between Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and The Devil. His lineage is as dark and checkered as the mysteries he deftly runs to ground. He solves cases. Never mind that his methods are often incorrigible. His tenaciousness makes him a priceless ally and a disastrous enemy. His exploits have moved me from the edge of my seat to exclaiming uncontrollably in front of strangers to my embarrassment. Pendergast is doubtlessly the most exciting character in modern fiction. This volume and the arc in particular are not only among the best examples of Pendergast and Preston & Childs's work but an example of the best of the modern genre.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Are you kidding me

I've been an audible member for about 11 years and I can't remember the last time (if ever) I wrote a review. I felt I had to this time because of my disappointment in this book. I have enjoyed the Pendergast series very much - but to write a book that doesn't resolve anything and leaves you with a huge cliff hanger at the end (for the next 8-12 months until the next book is published) seems ridiculous to me. Although the story is developing well, quite exciting with some clever twists and passes quickly, it creates more questions and really resolves none. If you haven't purchased this yet - wait for the next one to be released and as Cristina mentions in her review wait for the reviews to see if the next story resolves anything - then listen to both together. Cliff hangers are ok but at least resolve a story line and let the cliff hanger tease you with the next story....... Come on Messrs Preston and Child - what were you thinking?????? Mr Auberjonois does his usual masterful performance.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 08-09-11

There should be a law against half-books like this

If you think this is the conclusion to the authors' LAST unfinished story, don't be fooled. This is even more unfinished than the last one. In essence, absolutely nothing gets resolved, nothing really 'happens.' The reader is strung along and left with the same exact questions as before (well, there is one "surprise" but, amidst everything else that does NOT happen, it does not even merit raising an eyebrow). I have been a fan of Prston/Child for a long time. They ALMOST lost me with the hanging ending last time. They DEFINITELY lost me this time. When they come out with the next 'installment,' I will be sure NOT to buy it until I read someone else's review saying that the whole Helen-death-mystery has come to the end it should have come to in the last book. Shoot, I might not even buy it then!

34 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Good enough story, but. . .

I was rolling along enjoying this book perfectly happily, until the rather abrupt end. I mean, really, it's one thing to end a weekly television serial drama in that manner, but I just didn't appreciate it at the end of a full-length book. One expects better from books. And then, of course, once a book has disappointed in any way, it colors the whole experience, and I start wondering if I really thought it was that good to begin with. I can't honestly say that it was.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Talia
  • TULSA, OK, United States
  • 08-07-13

Pendergast travels the world in search of answers

In Cold Vengeance, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast sets aside his badge in order to pursue a personal vendetta against the man he believes is responsible for his wife’s murder. But it’s during his own brush with death Pendergast uncovers a startling secret: Helen is still alive.

This revelation sparks the agent’s perilous journey to discover the truth behind his wife’s orchestrated disappearance. From the Scottish Highlands to the steamy streets of New Orleans and finally back New York City, Pendergast’s search pits him against an ancient group determined to stop him from discovering the truth – no matter what the cost.

Cold Vengeance is, perhaps, the most personal story thus far in the Pendergast series. Although readers have been given glimpses of his humanity in earlier stories, this particular tale showcases the agent’s humanity as he desperately seeks answers regarding the loss and possible existence of his wife.

Set across the globe, the story takes many twists and turns as Pendergast unravels the mystery and, in the end, the reader is left with more questions than answers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • San Juan, CA, United States
  • 10-26-11

must have been written by interns

Several plot lines unresolved - mysteries alluded to but never explanined, unnecessary characters with no relevance, and the whole thing leads to a climax which goes nowhere and resolves nothing. A complete insult to the reading public. I figure that some publisher got the idea of combining these two big name authers, and they hired some wantabee intern writers to hack the thing together. Beyond bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • RM
  • 08-05-11

Great Addition to Pendergast Series.

I agree with the review by Skip. Great subplots, action and Pendergast mystery but everything was left hanging. Come on guys, we'll keep buying the books but at least throw us a bone and close out one subplot in a 368 page / 12 hour audio book.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful