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Hardcover Dance of Death Book

ISBN: 0446576972

ISBN13: 9780446576970

Dance of Death

(Part of the Pendergast (#6) Series and Diogenes (#2) Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

FBI Special Agent Pendergast is pitted against his most personal foe: His brother, Diogenes, has planned a horrendous crime and is framing Pendergast for a series of terrible murders.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


I really enjoyed this book as well as most of the prior works of the authors. This book ties together all the previous works involving Special Agent Pendergast by bringing together all the characters that survived those stories. When we last saw Pendergast he was walled up and running out of oxygen. The authors gave clues at the end of the book that he got out as they describe digging and a possible break in the wall. In Dance of Death, Pendergast is presumed dead and policeman Vincent D'Agosta has gone back to live with his girfriend, police captain Hayward. In the meantime a couple of mysterious deaths occur involving a college professor who gets poisoned by a rare spider venom and another man who is force to jump out of a window only to be hanged by a noose around his neck. As each murder occurs the one thing is clear, all the victims were friends of Pendergast. Additionally, there is DNA and other evidence to link Pendergast to the crime. Pendergast, having escaped his prison and in hiding (to avoid capture by the police) is trying to capture the killer before all his friends are wiped out. Pendergast is the only one who konws the killer is his evil brother Diogenes who had faked his own death 20 years earlier. Therefore, nobody believes it is anyone but Pendergast who is commiting the murders. With tons tension throughout the book, this is probably one of the authors' best books. This is the second book where the authors mention someone reading The Ice Limit III so you wonder if there will ever be a follow-up to that book. Though the Ice Limit did not involve Pendergast there is a scene in Dance of Death in which Pendergast and D'Agosta are at a scientific place that guarentees success (like the company in The Ice Limit) and there is a picture on the wall of an oil tanker with a blond haired woman captain (like The Ice Limit).

Another home run for this incredible writing duo

Face it: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child writing at their worst are still better than most authors when they write at their best. Why is this? Who cares, its just a simple fact of life and I consider myself VERY fortunate that I have discovered them. I have been a fan of theirs since just after they released 'Relic' the first novel they collaborated on (still my personal favorite, too). 'Dance of Death' actually is book 2 in a series which began with 'Brimstone'. At the end of that book, Special Agent Pendergast is captured, bound and left for dead behind a brick wall. A few months later, Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta is convinced Pendergast is dead and will not be coming back. He suddenly receives a message seemingly sent from beyond the grave which places an investigation at his feet with precious few clues, but promises some very horrific crimes. Agent Pendergasts' estranged and quite insane brother, Diogenes is planning on committing the Perfect Crime. It really was no surprise that Aloysius Pendergast wasn't really dead, but how he managed to escape DID come as an interesting wrinkle to this tale. The pure anger that Diogenes has towards Aloysius borders on madness. Just exactly WHY does he hate his brother so much is something you wonder about for quite some time since Preston & Child feel we need to wonder for a long time. The fact of the matter is that this so-called Perfect Crime revolves around killing people close to his brother. Aloysius admittedly does not have many friends, but those who have been close to him are now targets by a criminal who has had decades to plan a vile series of murders all to torment his brother. I personally found several of these crimes to be quite original, and yet the WAY they are performed is just as important as the actual crimes themselves. Before long, Diogenes has made it clear that during the many years he has had to plan this convoluted insanely odd crime, he has also planned an equally, virtually fool-proof scheme to pin it all on his hated brother. So not only is Agent Pendergast forced to attempt to stop his brother, but now he must do it as the Prime Suspect. He enlists Detective D'Agosta in his attempt to stop his brother, and before long both of them are fugitives from the law working to stop someone who the world believes has been dead for a very long time. The plotting of 'Dance of Death' is very well done, and easily my favorite novel of theirs since 'The Cabinet of Curiosities'. If you wondered about the quirky ending to 'Brimstone' you need to know the story doesn't end fact, it doesn't even end at the conclusion to 'Dance of Death' which is slightly upsetting, but will force me to work up quite an appetite for the next installment by this tremendously talented writing partnership. If you have read any of their books in the past and enjoyed them and you somehow have managed not to read anything else, you are in for a very BIG treat indeed. A great s

A high-octane, edge-of-your-seat thriller!

Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast has been freed from his tomb inside an Italian castle (let's face it, we all knew he wasn't dead). However, he and his friend, NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, have no time for celebration. For Pendergast must face an evil that has haunted him for years, and which has now arisen to take its vengeance: his long-lost (and thoroughly evil) brother, Diogenes. Diogenes is no ordinary criminal; he is, in fact, quite possibly the only person smarter and more cunning than Pendergast himself. And he is bent on destroying Pendergast, by murdering friends old and new, and framing the FBI agent. But Diogenes's twisted brilliance does not end there. For behind his crimes lies a motive so unthinkable, so inhuman, that it can only come to one outcome: death. "Dance of Death" is one of the fastest-paced thrillers I have read in a long time. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child continue their well-researched, exhillerating brand of suspense featuring the popular Special Agent Pendergast. An added bonus for longtime Preston/Child fans: the return of characters such as Margo Green and Bill Smithback (both from the duo's first novel, "Relic"), Nora Kelly (from "Thunderhead"), and Laura Hayward (from "Reliquary" and "Brimstone"), plus the occasional mention of minor characters from other previous novels. But "Dance of Death" is more than just another Pendergast novel. It serves almost as the second act in a three-act play (with "Brimstone" being the first act). It tidies up just enough to leave the reader satisfied, while leaving enough questions unanswered to ensure that those who read this novel will rush out and get the next one. Of course, Preston/Child fans will do that anyway, because they know that with this duo, you get nothing less than the best. Want proof? Here's "Dance of Death," the perfect book to keep you awake all night.

The world of Preston and Child in one book.

In "Dance of Death" authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have taken the logical step of something that has been occurring casually in their writing over the last three novels, they have pulled together all of their joint works (save "Riptide" which can be neither included nor excluded) into one cohesive universe. The primary characters, Bill Smithback, Nora Kelly, Margo Green, Laura Hayward, Vincent D'Agosta and of course Aloysius Pendergast, have all been featured prominently in past works, and while I haven't been much of a fan of this inbreeding of plot lines, I have to admit that it is carried of with a great deal of panache. "Dance of Death" is a sequel to the previous "Brimstone", and likewise represents the latest in an arc concerning Pendergast that began with "The Cabinet of Curiosities" and continued in "Still Life With Crows". As such, this isn't the best book to start with these authors, as some sections will border on the incomprehensible to new readers. Dealing with a deadly grudge match between Pendergast and his brother Diogenes, "Dance of Death" cleverly sets up all of the previous Lincoln and Child novels as a training ground for the penultimate showdown between these two enigmatic geniuses, which will, at least as of this writing, find its denouement in next summer's book. Thus be forewarned, that "Dance of Death" ends in a cliffhanger. However, since it is obvious within the context of the book, and since the authors have been more than forthcoming about that fact, this is hardly a criticism. It is worth noting that as with other recent Preston and Child novels, "Dance of Death" drifts away from the early science and story driven novels, and derives more of its tension from character development. While this may disappoint some, it actually works quite well as the authors are now drawing on eight previous books, and as such they are capturing the themes and drama found in those prior works. There's a little bit of "Relic", a dash of "Thunderhead", a portion of "The Ice Limit", so on and so forth. As Pendergast and his faithful Lieutenant D'Agosta are pulled ever deeper into Diogenes murderous plan, more than a few pieces snap satisfyingly into place. At the same time the characters are used in unpredictable ways, so each new plot twist feels just a little more puzzling because of that. Literally up to the last page Preston and Child throw one change-up after another at the reader. In fact, the ending is one of the high points of the book, and speaks to a strong element that pervades the text, namely the fallibility of Pendergast. "In Dance of Death" he is plainly surpassed by his brother, and his need to rely on friends makes him a much more compelling and human character than the polymath superman he has often become; a character which sadly verged on self caricature. How this relates to the conclusion, and without offering any spoilers, is basically this: if you are going to end a book with a cliffhanger,

Talk about sibling rivalry!

I got an advance copy! Which was very cool because it was signed by the authors. I must admit I cannot be an objective reviewer when it comes to this writing team, they are awesome! In Dance of Death FBI Special Agent, Aloysius Pendergast (from Brimstone, Cabinet of Curiosities) is back in action. He is up against his Evil, diabolical brother Diogenes, who is murdering Aloysius's friends, and framing the murders on Aloysius! Pendergast ends up on the run from the Feds while he tries to figure out a way to defeat his evil brother, who is always one step ahead of him. This is typical Preston/Childs non-stop action with plenty of twists and turns. If I were to fault the book at all is it does not develop the historical/archeological/scientific plot typically found in earlier novels-which I always enjoy. New York City and the hall of the Museum of Natural History does play a role but this quickly fades in importance as the "dance of death" between the brothers plays out. The monumental struggle between the two brothers however-an epic fight between good and evil-is more than enough to carry the story. I also think the ending could have been a tad better, but it is also a great set up for the next book! All in all this is another great Preston/Childs collaboration that fans will be pleased with (it is worth the hardback price). Oh yeah, if you like this type of thriller also check out "Map of Bones" Highly recommended for thriller/adventure/mystery fans!
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