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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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 Magazine)

"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)

What listeners say about White Fire

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

More Irritating Than Entertaining

White Fire is the latest installment in the successful Pendergast series of novels for which the authors Preston and Child collaborate. I thought advertising this work as a Pendergast book bordered on bait-and-switch marketing. Pendergast indeed eventually arrives on the scene, but a major portion of this story, and the entire early setup of the novel, is devoted to Corrie Swanson, a minor character who appeared in earlier works in this series.

The authors did not develop Corrie as a character. Instead, she is used as a theatrical prop and counterpoint to Pendergast's brief appearances to lend the novel an unrealistic if not implausible sense of danger and drama. In sum, Corrie is a one-trick pony whose default response to all situations is simply to do the opposite of what she is told or what makes sense. She is a literary stick figure and caricature of a restless young woman who brings little to the table as a principal character whom the reader might like, dislike, sympathize with, root for or relate to in any satisfying way.

I wonder if the authors are running out new ideas for the Pendergast series?

I would give White Fire a pass and perhaps re-read (or re-listen to) an earlier and more entertaining Pendergast novel.

Rene Auberjonois performs well in this work, capturing the unique southern drawl of Pendergast, the alleged protagonist in this work, as well as a myriad of other characters who come and go in this novel.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Grand Slam Tale of Terror

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!’

50 people found this helpful

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Not your usual Pendergast

To date, this was the worst Pendergast novel. I am a huge fan, but I did not like the way he was written in this one. I understand that sometimes characters can change, but he was really not himself in this one. I'm looking forward to the next one and hope that he is better. The book and storyline were good.

5 people found this helpful

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I usually LOVE these but..

It was OK. Not the best Pendergast story I've ever read at all. Too predictable, not very engrossing. I didn't believe Cory's actions, her motivations seemed unclear, the supporting characters were not well developed...overall, meh...

11 people found this helpful

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Corrie Swanson is the WORST character EVER

I've read this series from the beginning and enjoyed them, especially the earlier books, but the last several books have been a disappointment. This book is almost ruined by Corrie Swanson. She is too much of an idiot to enjoy reading about. I spent so much time being annoyed and baffled by her thought processes, complaints and poor decision-making that it distracted me from the story as a whole. The scene with the blizzard, snow mobile and abandoned mine was almost more than I could bear listening to. Ugh. I will pass on further books that include Corrie or, heaven forbid, Tristram. I've read this series from the beginning but the last several books have been a disappointment.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Love Pendergast!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, very much so. There were several mysteries going on. I figured out who the arsonist must be early on, but otherwise the other revelations were a surprise. Corey Swanson was her usual stupid self, though.

What about Rene Auberjonois’s performance did you like?

This reader is wonderful. He does all the voices and does Pendergast's voice exactly as I imagined it.

4 people found this helpful

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Great, intriguing, well-paced storytelling

I became a fan of Miss Swanson in Still Life... Of course Pendergast is uniquely appealing. Good to see them back together. I look forward to more of this tandem.
Wonderful characters, richly complex plotting. I wonder how Child and Preston do it. You have a new fan.

3 people found this helpful

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Best Pendergast ever

Sure Corrie Swanson made bad decisions. But she's so human compared to Pendergast. In this book the agent seemed more approachable and the descriptions of his winter clothing added some humor. I think this was one of the authors best books.

5 people found this helpful

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The ending is spectacular

I enjoy all of the Pendergast series and find the plot lines fascinating and unique. I will not spoil the ending just say I was going to write the authors until I listened to the small remaining part of the book. I also really enjoy the narrator who fully embodies my imagination of Pendergast. Bravo!

2 people found this helpful

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True page turner classic Pendergast!

Really loved this book. Two mysteries in one with a dusting of 1800''s mining history and a visit from authors Sir Conan Doyle/Oscar Wilde plus we get to see Corey again. Hope she appears in future stories. Full of twists and turns!

2 people found this helpful