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Cold Vengeance (Pendergast series Book 11) [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Preston , Lincoln Child
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (498 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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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.

Editorial Reviews


The pace of this entry in the increasingly popular Preston & Child series is more steady than usual, but the authors willingness to take their time ultimately pays dividends in terms of texture. GOOD BOOK GUIDE

About the Author

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1188 KB
  • Print Length: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0048EKF3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,467 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
229 of 242 people found the following review helpful
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have been writing tales of Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast since 1995's Relic. And I have been a mostly loyal fan in the years since. But I might as well admit that Pendergast and I engaged in a trial separation these past few years. However, I just read Fever Dream and I remembered why I had stuck with him for more than a decade. You don't just toss a relationship like that away.

And I'm hooked again. Cold Vengeance is book two in the Helen Pendergast Trilogy, in which the special agent is hunting the reason for and the identity of his wife's murderers. It begins just a few weeks after the events of Fever Dream. In brief, the novel is a deliciously drawn out cat and mouse game between Pendergast and the only opponent left standing in the last novel. As this pursuit unfolds, Pendergast comes to realize, "that he truly had not known his beloved wife. Like so many other fallible human beings, he had been blinded by love. He had not even begun to crack the ultimate mystery of her identity."

But he does make progress in that ultimate mystery--with the help of more than a few characters we've met in prior novels. Who was Helen Pendergast, and what was her family connected to? At one point, Pendergast's opponent challenges, "You think your fight's just with me, but you're wrong... The fact is you have no idea, no idea, of what you're dealing with."

By the end of the book, both Pendergast and the reader will have an inkling, but there's much yet to be uncovered. Preston and Child are masterful at building suspense, and the end of this novel will be the start of a torturous wait for the final volume in the trilogy. The book ends on more than one huge cliff-hanger.
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117 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast-paced . . . and INFURIATING! August 2, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
These days, it seems every novel published is part of a trilogy. Preston & Child's latest novel, COLD VENGENCE, is the second installment in their latest Pendergast trilogy, focusing on the enigmatic FBI agent's attempt to get to the bottom of his wife's supposed death twelve years earlier. In many ways, COLD VENGENCE is more successful than the first book in the series, FEVER DREAM, probably because the plot is smaller and more limited in focus. Most of the novel is concentrated squarely on Pendergast's efforts to discover the truth about his wife, Helen - he follows leads in Scotland, New York City, and various Louisiana locations, while trying to keep a step ahead of Helen's shifty brother, Judson Esterhazy. The opening chapters, in which Pendergast and Esterhazy are hunting in the Scottish quagmires, are extraordinarily gripping and set the stage for the relationship to come between these two men. Pendergast wants to know the truth about Helen; Esterhazy wants desperately to keep that truth secret.

Fans of Preston & Child will find references here to D'Agosta and Hayward (although very briefly - neither play major roles in the novel), a brief mention of Smithback and Nora Kelly (through a three-year-old newspaper article), as well as the reappearance of Corrie Swanson (first seen in STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). Preston & Child often interweave characters from one book to another, creating a well fleshed-out world that is recognizable and theirs alone. It makes for very satisfying reading for those of us who know these writers well.

While I did enjoy reading COLD VENGENCE, I was also disappointed in a few things. First, the novel is pretty much all Pendergast, which can verge a bit on overkill.
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87 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather Bland . . . August 5, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The deliciousness of Pendergast has always been his edgy creepiness -- you loved not quite knowing what he was up to as he took you to unexpectedly dark places and left you there. You trusted him because he never disappointed, even though he was always three steps ahead of you. He was a fascinating, bottomless well of a character who could scare and charm the heck out of you in equal measures. Until now. The Pendergast of Cold Vengence is a cut out, a single note, a boringly predictable shadow of his former character. The razor-thin plot progresses mainly because Pendergast makes mistakes -- yes, simple, ordinary mistakes! This is a diluted Pendergast I neither recognize nor enjoy.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enough is enough August 25, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once upon a time readers, writers, editors, agents all understood the plots of books had a beginning, middle and an end. There would be a story arch, introducing characters and situations, then tension grew and finally there was resolution. Okay, some romance authors write trilogies but even then,though the characters may continue into other books each conclusion had its own resolution.

This rule is now being ignored and everyone seems to know this except the reader who puts down his or her ten bucks and thinks she is actually buying a complete book. I believe the change has been done by authors and publishers cynically in order to increase profits by ensuring continuing sales. To me the most egregious was "Echo in the Bone" by Diane Gabaldon because I trusted that author and respected the series. However I feel almost the same way about Preston and Child and the Agent Pendergast books. Up 'til now each book could stand on its own and the character of Pendergast was so compelling many of us were only too happy to buy and read each book.
However, after just finishing (if I could call it that) Cold Vengeance I am prepared to leave Pendergast to his latest cliff hanger and move on.

For this reason I am giving this book a single star. Otherwise it was not my favourite Pendergast by any means. Perhaps when authors don't have to actually finish a story they are not under the same compulsion to write very well throughout. The book contains a lot of action, a fair amount of violence, virtually none of Pendergast's famous sardonic wit, and the usual characters are seen but never really interact with each other or the story. Rather than building tension Pendergast just covers a lot geography, Scotland, Louisiana, New York, etc. etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold vengence
It's been years since I read this and it was like meeting a long lost friend. It seemed very short, but action packed. Another great instalment from the pair of Lincoln and Child.
Published 16 hours ago by John Kottman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 8 days ago by greg
4.0 out of 5 stars even it has been a long while ago that I ...
even it has been a long while ago that I read this book it was the one that gave me drive to follow up by reading all the remaining Pendergast series.
Published 10 days ago by al welborn
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker the King
Hard to write a review of every Parker book I've read and I've read most of his. Never a dull moment and usually some great humor mixed with great suspense.
Published 18 days ago by Stephen Todd Pixler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Great read. Exactly as described in Amazon!
Published 19 days ago by Sue A.
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars for Another Wonderful Pendergast Novel
This is a really good book. Pendergast is only slightly less than superhuman and that is the only reason I take off 1/2 stars for this book. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Book Fanatic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
compulsive read
Published 24 days ago by Dr Milan Holecek
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I enjoyed this book. The previous one felt like a repeat, but this one was much better.
Published 26 days ago by Mary G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for Cold Vengeance
Excellent read. I couldn't wait to read the next in the series.
Published 29 days ago by Ken
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
Great fun and great mystery. I would date Aloysious Pendergast if he were a real person!
Published 1 month ago by L. Bartolotta
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Topic From this Discussion
COLD VENGENCE newest Special Agent Pendergast by Preston and Child
I totally share your hesitation, BUUUUT, this is PENDERGAST we'r talking about here!.. AND i've been waiting years lol... good or bad, i think i will pre-order :)
Jul 9, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 28 posts
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