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Brimstone (Pendergast, Book 5) Hardcover – August 3, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 509 customer reviews
Book 5 of 14 in the Agent Pendergast Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of cerebral action adventure novels know that, outside of Michael Crichton, no one delivers the goods like the veteran writing team of Preston and Child (Relic; Still Life with Crows; etc.). As if invigorated by their recent solo efforts (Child: Utopia, etc.; Preston: The Codex, etc.), the two now deliver their best novel ever, an extravagant tale of international intrigue. As their admirers know, one reason Preston and Child thrillers work is because most feature arguably the most charismatic detective in contemporary fiction: FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, a wealthy, refined yet ruthless descendant of Holmes who's very much his own character. Pendergast, as well as other Preston and Child semiregulars, notably rough-hewn former NYPD cop Vincent D'Agosta, Watson to Pendergast's Sherlock, tread nearly every page of this vastly imagined, relentlessly enjoyable thriller. The body of a notorious art critic is found in his Hamptons, L.I., mansion, wholly burned, with a cloven hoofprint nearby: the devil's work? [...] Erudite, swiftly paced, brimming (occasionally overbrimming) with memorable personae and tense set pieces, this is the perfect thriller to stuff into a beach bag.
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From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–As FBI Special Agent Pendergast immerses himself in the investigation of an art critic's bizarre murder, he conjures up clues pointing to the Devil as the culprit. After several killings in the same ghastly manner, similar clues are found. Pendergast teams up with Police Officer Vincent D'Agosta, with whom he had worked in The Relic (St. Martin's, 1996), and they begin a lengthy, intense, and time-driven search for the murderer. Along the way, D'Agosta becomes romantically and professionally attached to New York Police Captain Laura Hayward (Reliquary [Tor, 1998]). Their story runs parallel to the investigation and adds another layer of plot. The peculiar nature of Agent Pendergast, who always seems to get out of any kind of dire straits, complements and contrasts with down-to-earth, practical D'Agosta, and they act as catalysts for one another. The action moves from New York City to Italy and places in between. The authors are especially adept at creepy descriptions of eerily spooky castle ruins, crypts, and grave robberies. Readers who like ghost stories, hauntings, and other paranormal activities will find themselves eagerly engaged in this page-turner.–Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044653143X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446531436
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child score yet again--a rivetting, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride in their usual well-thought-out, thrilling style.

Jeremy Grove, a notorious art critic, has been found dead. Murdered. Charred. Burned from the inside out, with a demonic hoof print burned into the floor, and his crucifix melted. The work of the devil? Or an even greater evil?

Special Agent Pendergast (RELIC, RELIQUARY, THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, and STILL LIFE WITH CORWS) has taken up the case. A famous (some would say infamous) agent of the FBI, Pendergast's methods and manners are eccentric, dignified, mysterious...and almost always successful. His interest in unique cases has often placed his life in peril, but never has he had a case such as this, where he just may be up against the Devil Himself.

Also featuring former NYPD lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta (RELIC, RELIQUARY) and now-Captian Laura Hayward (RELIQUARY), and a ton of references to former Preston/Child novels, this is a suspense thriller that will intimidate and enthrall new fans, and delight old ones. You needn't have read any other of Pendergast's adventires (or other Preston/Child novels), although I suggest you do so, because they are all entertaining. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write great works on their own, but when they combine their talents they give us this: a thrilling, gripping, engrossing, delectible suspense novel that combines science/technology, police procedural, and good ol' fashion suspense into a book you won't soon forget. BRIMSTONE is a must-read for thriller fans.
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Format: Hardcover
In their first two novels together, "Relic" and "Reliquary", authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child created two very memorable characters: FBI Special Agent Pendergast & NYPD Lt. Vincent 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 the curiously popular "DaVinci Code", "Brimstone" deals with several bizzare, suppernatural seeming deaths in New York. D'Agosta is back, now an angry, torn-up Seargant 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 and I dare not spoil them. Lets just say some threads are tied up, others opened. Pendergast has evolved over the years. The stand alone novel "Still Life With Crows", while rather pedestrain by Preston/Child standards, proved Pendergast could stand by himself. Now, on a much bigger case with a larger canvas, "Brimstone" will aternate make you laugh, creep you out, or flat out terrify you. 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 time. However, 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.
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Format: Paperback
Once again a grisly murder catches the eye of Special Agent Pendergast. We meet Sergeant Vincent D'Agosta again as well. The murder scene has clues that make it look like the Devil did the deed. But soon a second murder takes Pendergast and Vincent to New York City were the investigation really gets under way.

As clues are collected and the investigation proceeds, we learn more of Pendergast's history and what makes him tick. Unlike most mysterious characters in fiction, Pendergast actually stands up to explanation and remains mysterious. We also learn a little more of what has been happening to Vincent and where he is going. But all through that Pendergast's unique style carries the story forward.

This is not a story filled with red herrings or forgotten clues. It is a well-constructed mystery populated by a wonderful cast of characters, good and bad. If you enjoyed THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES then you will probably like this one as it is closer in style than STILL LIFE WITH CROWS. When the final page is turned the reader is left wanting to know more about what will happen to the characters. A great read.
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Format: Hardcover
After finishing 'Relic' I was afraid that this amazing writing team had hit their peak with their very first novel, and while it still remains my favorite of their many fantastic books, 'Brimstone' certainly ties with 'The Cabinet of Curiosities' as next on my short list of absolute MUST READ books from these authors. After a lackluster attempt with 'Still Life With Crows' I was hoping that 'Brimstone' would bring back Agent Pendergast and D'Agosta with something 'extra'. I'm not sure what exactly that was, but I can tell you they hit a major homerun with this plot.

People are dying in and around New York City in a most gruesome manner, and despite what the investigators WANT to believe, it seems more and more likely that Satan has come to claim a few really naughty boys. Bodies are discovered killed in ways that seem to defy logical explanations, and the scent of Brimstone left over along with an odd hoofprint at the scene of one of the crimes isn't helping to dis-prove the Satan theory, either.

As Agent Pendergast and now Sgt. D'Agosta discover in their pursuit of the truth, those who are turning up dead seem to have made some curious Deal with the Devil many years before. Suddenly the story goes from creepy directly into the paranormal all at lightspeed. I was worried that the subject matter would sound hokey or cheesy, but Preston & Child handle it absolutely PERFECTLY. I don't know why I was worried because they managed to pull it off with virtually all of their previous novels, and they have done it again with 'Brimstone'.

Perfectly plotted and the pacing is right up there with the best thrillers I have personally read over the years. I can't tell you how many times a chill ran up my spine as I turned the pages of this mesmerizing tale.
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