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Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston

Cold Vengeance

by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Pendergast (11), Helen Trilogy (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Six-word review: Pendergast overmatched by ruthless unseen forces.

Extended review:

Cold Vengeance is the second book of a trilogy (the "Helen" trilogy) in the Special Agent Pendergast series. The first (Fever Dream) began with the stunning (to Pendergast) revelation that the death of his wife twelve years earlier was no accident but a bizarre, exquisitely planned murder. This discovery set Pendergast on a course of investigation and retribution that easily outpaces anything he's done before on a less personal motive.

Part 2 delivers another major revelation early on, drastically shifting the course of the search to expose the killers and uncover the complex, horrifying web of secrets into which Pendergast's headlong quest has plunged him.

Unlike numerous other novels in the Pendergast series, this trilogy deals with human monsters minus any supernatural agency or power. There's a different sort of "underground" chase, through a metaphorical labyrinth, without actual physical caves and tunnels and subterranean mazes.

As characters from earlier in the series resurface and seem to be preparing to converge, the betrayals and reversals pile one upon another. The novel concludes with an unabashed cliffhanger that makes no pretense of being anything but a hook for part 3.

That's okay. I made sure I had all three in hand before I started. Give me a few more days to get through Two Graves and I'll fill you in (unspoilingly, of course) on the conclusion. ( )
  Meredy | Feb 20, 2015 |
Most of the Pendergast books are stand-alone...while there may be some references to events in other books, rarely is it necessary to enjoy the story. Last year I read Two Graves, the latest in the series. The opening sequence of that book is a direction continuation of Cold Vengeance.

This book opens with our hero, Aloysius Pendergast, on a hunting trip with his dear brother in law. The brother of his now-dead wife. Deep in the Scottish moors, the BiL takes the opportunity to pop a cap into Pendergast, who naturally anticipated the event and tampered with the ammo. A fight ensues, and Pendergast winds up in quicksand with a bullet wound. Esterhazy, the BiL, leaves before confirming the kill (how convenient).

Before Esterhazy leaves, he tells Pendergast that his wife is still alive. Pendergast recovers, sets about investigating this claim, then comes to a showdown with Esterhazy and his German allies. At this point there are some twists and turns that I won't spoil, but the end does setup the start of the next book. ( )
1 vote JeffV | Mar 17, 2014 |
Pretty good story! Ready for the next one in the series. ( )
  Robert.Louis.Caldwel | Jan 26, 2014 |
Read Fever Dreams before you read this. This was excellent. Story arcs are woven together in a way that shows an evolution of crime from different aspects. Intrigue, murder, mystery and surprise ending mixed with interesting characters makes this book a page turner. I couldn't put it down :) ( )
1 vote KarenRinn | Nov 2, 2013 |
The latest in the Pendergast series has left me frustrated with the authors. The ending lacked originality and is trying to hard a being a cliff hanger. A good series will keep people reading without each book ending with a cliff hanger, and this opening ending just left me annoyed not eager for more.

If my library gets the newest book in December I'll probably keep reading, hoping it will be more like The Cabinet of Curiosities (book 3) and less like Die Hard. ( )
1 vote Briarthorn | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Preston, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Child, Lincolnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Auberjonois, RenéNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Velzen, Marjolein vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lincoln Child dedicates this book to his daughter, Veronica

Douglas Preston dedicates this book to Marguerite, Laura, and Oliver Preston
First words
Cairn Barrow, Scotland
As they mounted the barren shoulder of Beinn Dearg, the great stone lodge of Kilchurn vanished into the darkness, leaving only the soft yellow glow of its windows tingeing the misty air.
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Book description
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.
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"A bonding trip for Pendergast and his brother-in-law, Judson Esterhazy, turns violent. Before abandoning a mortally-wounded Pendergast, Esterhazy announces his sister, Pendergast's long-dead wife Helen, is alive"--Provided by publisher.

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