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Cold Vengeance (Special Agent Pendergast Book 11) [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Preston , Lincoln Child
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (450 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
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

Douglas Preston, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, worked for the American Museum of Natural History. He is an expert horseman who has ridden thousands of miles across the West.
Lincoln Child is a former book editor and systems analyst who has published numerous novels and anthologies.
The authors have started a popular online newsletter for fans with over 16,000 subscribers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 475 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446554979
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0048EKF3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
223 of 235 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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115 of 123 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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83 of 99 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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I also have read all the Agent Pendergast novels and felt that last year's "Fever Dream" was a rekindling of the true Pendergast character and spirit. Unfortunately, "Cold Vengeance", the sequel to "Fever Dream", regresses the series toward mediocrity once again. I am never happy after purchasing what I anticipate to be a great read and discovering it is the forerunner of a sequel or worse, a trilogy. Occasionally, a writer can pull off a trilogy but really, can't authors, for the most part, complete a story in two volumes, almost 800 pages? When does the story demand a second or third book and when does it cross over into the "let's-string-out-our-readers-with-another- cliffhanger-so-we-can-presell-our-next-book" arena? That is the question readers face after reading 764 pages in the first two novels only to find they must wade through another 350-400 pages to achieve resolution and closure.

"Cold Vengeance" IS entertaining despite its weaknesses. Even when frustrating their loyal readers, Preston and Child, often do keep them on the edge of their seats with tension and suspense (although a lot is also telegraphed in this effort). Pendergast is still on the trail of the killer(s) of his beloved wife, Helen, and "Cold Vengeance" picks up the thread of a deadly cat-and-mouse game between Pendergast and his brother-in-law, Judson Esterhazy. Although believing that vengeance is mine, Pendergast's best efforts at exacting revenge are foiled by hard-to-swallow coincidences and timing issues that thwart all his brilliant planning, analytical abilities and instinctive revelations. The inexplicable coincidences that continually save Esterhazy reek of author contrivance to move the story along, albeit, at Pendergast's expense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Losing their hold
Maybe because there are so many Pendergast novels, maybe because it's been (EGADS!) 2 years since I read the 1st 10 books ... but, my interest in Cold Vengeance waxed and waned ... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Steve Walter
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
LOVE the Pendergast series.. Preston & Child know how to tell a story and keep you turning pages !!!
Published 7 days ago by GINNYJAY
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE these two authors together
LOVE these two authors together!
Published 10 days ago by DianeRuth
3.0 out of 5 stars I hope the next book in this series is better than this one.
This is the second book of the trilogy of Helen Pendergast. This book was lot slower than Fever Dream and had too much boring background information. Read more
Published 12 days ago by J. Stroh
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Addition to the Series
I always enjoy the writing style of these authors, and have read each Pendergast novel with relish. This is the middle book in a three part series that fills in many blanks in... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Chuck Shenk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 21 days ago by Melvin C. Pierson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 1 month ago by I'ma book
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Ritchie Hurless
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love all the Pendergast books. Can't put any of them down once I start reading!
Published 1 month ago by Veronica Racette
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really like Pendergast
Published 1 month ago by H. Michael Dudek
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More About the Author

Douglas Preston, who worked for several years in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction works Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold, and the novel, Jennie. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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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 Abimbola Abereoje |  See all 28 posts
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