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Brimstone (Pendergast #5) by Douglas Preston

Brimstone (Pendergast #5) (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Douglas Preston (Author)

Series: Diogenes Trilogy (1), Pendergast (5)

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2,933553,217 (3.85)64
Art critic Jeremy Grove is found dead, his face frozen in a mask of terror. His body temperature is grotesquely high; he is discovered in a room barricaded from the inside; the smell of brimstone is everywhere...and the unmistakable imprint of a claw is burned into the wall. As more bodies are discovered--their only connection the bizarre but identical manner of death--the world begins to wonder if the Devil has, is fact, come to collect his due. Teaming with Police Officer Vincent D'Agosta, Agent Pendergast is determined to solve this case that appears to defy all logic. Their investigation takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where Pendergast faces the most treacherous and dangerous adversary of his career.… (more)
Title:Brimstone (Pendergast #5)
Authors:Douglas Preston (Author)
Info:Warner Books (2005), Edition: Reprint, 752 pages
Collections:Your library

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Brimstone by Douglas Preston (2004)

  1. 20
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (christiguc)
    christiguc: The character of Count Fosco in Brimstone is based on the Count Fosco Collins created in The Woman in White.

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
This is a fantastic series. The novel Brimstone is a set within a series, called the Diogenes Series. Preston and Childs have really upped their game with this novel, and the entire thing literally had me spell-bound.

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel by Books On Tape, available at your local Wilbor.com page. The narrator, Scott Brick, was absolutely superb in his many renditions and inflections. This is a semi-large cast, and not one voice sounded like the other, male or female. American or Italian. I don't care that Count Fosco was literally borrowed (or, ripped?) from the pages of Collin Wilkie's novel Moonstone, I thought he was a very well-rounded, self-actualized character, and I enjoyed every scene with him in it. (!!!!). The story had me guessing, from one chapter to the next, what on earth could possibly show up next.

HOW is it possible that these authors were able to link together two subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and still make sense...??!? (Not only make sense, but wow, what a storyline...!). The real Stradivarius violin in danger of being ruined, could not possibly link to someone pretending to be Lucifer, while killing people in a very violent and gory way, and come out comprehensible....but Preston and Childs did this. And they did it amazingly well. This ability makes you want to rush out and purchase the three books in the Diogenes series, just so you can read straight through! I had the hardest time getting through every-day life, so I can get back to this story, and see what happens next. The murder weapon was straight out of sci-fi novels.

In their first two novels together, "Relic" and "Reliquary", authors Preston and Childs created two very memorable characters; Special Agent Pendergast & Lt. D'Agosta. While the books not involving these characters have been good, "Brimstone", which reunites them for the first time since "Reliquary", is the best book they have ever written and is certainly one of the best thriller/mysteries out there today.

Easily better researched and written than other mystery novels, "Brimstone" deals with several bizzare, suppernatural seeming deaths in New York. D'Agosta is back, now an angry Sergeant working in Southampton. Pendergast, who is quickly becoming a bit of a modern day Sherlock Holmes, is attracted to the odd aspects of the killings, as he usually is, but his character and past are fleshed out in ways that will delight long time readers. I dare not spoil them. Pendergast has evolved over the years. The stand alone novel "Still Life With Crows" proved Pendergast could stand by himself. Now, on a much bigger case with a larger canvas, "Brimstone" will aternate make you laugh, or creep you out. It reads as fast as anything that's come out lately, and is far smarter than your average mystery.

"Brimstone" will be a delight for all Preston/Child fans, hopefully the book that puts them firmly on the map for all mystery readers. I believe that even a casual reader can appreciate it's scare factor, the excellent characterization, and the respect the authors show for their readers and their protaganists. "Brimstone" sets not just a high mark for them, but all thrillers to come.

5 stars, & easily one of my favorites. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
When a Hamptons resident appears to have died from spontaneous combustion in which the body is burned but nothing else in the room of the estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast is assigned to investigate. The only other clue is a cloven hoof that has been burned into the floor near the body. Already present at the scene is Southhampton Police Sgt. Vincent D'Agosta, who was initially introduced to the reader in Relic. D'Agosta is assigned to assist Pendergast in the investigation, which soon leads to a NYC penthouse, when an acquaintance of the first death dies in a similar method, however the cloven hoof is replaced by a facial representation of the devil. Their investigation eventually takes them to Florence, Italy where they will find themselves in the midst of several dangerous people who are not hesitant in using deadly means to thwart Pendergast.

Although this novel was similar to previous novels which finds Pendergast and those assisting him in life-threatening situations, I found the thrills in this book so intense that I found myself driving around the neighborhood when nearing home to listen to a few minutes more. Since there are now nineteen novels in this series, I know that Pendergast "lives for another day", however, this novel was left with a cliffhanger. If you enjoy thrillers where the protagonist uses ingenuity to escape apparently insurmountable odds, you should read the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. ( )
  John_Warner | Aug 2, 2019 |
Loved how creepy this book was. How the murders were being committed was a huge mystery to me. When the truth was revealed, I wasn't sure if it was possible to kill someone like they did in the story, but it sounded like it could be true and that was good enough for me. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
A real page turner ( )
  ibkennedy | May 13, 2019 |
Pendergast continues to be a fascinating character, but the answer to the central mystery of this one ends up being vague and disappointing, and almost an afterthought in many ways. ( )
  jimgysin | Mar 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
De nuevo el talento del tándem Preston-Child se conjuga para ofrecernos una excelente mezcla de terror, investigación policial y aventuras, en esta ocasión aderezada con toques de novela gótica. Nuestro viejo conocido, el inspector Pendergast, se tendrá que enfrentar a una serie de asesinatos de tintes diabólicos. La investigación lo conducirá hasta una extravagante familia italiana, propietaria de un violín de una valor incalculable.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Preston, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Child, Lincolnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kankaanpää, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Douglas Preston dedicates this book to Barry and Jody Turkus. Lincoln Child dedicates this book to his daughter, Veronica.
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Agnes Torres parked her white Ford Escort in the little parking area outside the hedge and stepped into the cool dawn air.
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A body is found in the attic of a fabulous Long Island estate.

There is a claw print scorched into the floor, and the stench of sulfur chokes the air.

When FBI Special Agent Pendergast investigates the gruesome crime, he discovers that thirty years ago four men conjured something unspeakable.

Has the devil come to claim his due?
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