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on June 19, 2016
Preston & Child are marvelous together. I loved Fever Dream and all the books which are part of their Pendergast series. When I first read them, I didn't realize they were a series and got out of sync. Now, I have purchased all of them and am re-reading them in order. Usually I don't read books twice, but these are still fascinating. The characters are very complex and interesting, not to mention the exciting and mysterious plots. The writing is superb without grammatical or other errors. It is truly a pleasure to read these books, and I can't wait for these writers to produce another one in the series.
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on February 28, 2013
not sure how i would have known ahead of time that this is the first of a trilogy, unless i did research on the book before i read it, which i tend not to do, just in case my eyes happen to pick out spoiler info...

would i have read it if i had known it was a trilogy? well, maybe. that would mean buying two other books, which at the present time are not discounted.

i'm sad and disappointed that it's possible i will never learn the answers to questions i kept reading and reading "fever dream" to find out the answers to..... and "f d" was a very long book....very long.

it was good, don't get me wrong. i liked it, but i did think "cabinet of curiosities" was better. and now i have to decide whether to spend about $15. to read the other two books in the trilogy on kindle. hmm....not sure i liked it that much. however, the character of pendergast is clearly a great invention in the world of fiction. if you are into a spurge, go for it.

if you DON'T want to read a trilogy, maybe read just these agent pendergast books: "the relic" (it's great), and "cabinet of curiosities" (not part of the trilogy that begins with "fever dream").

...and what ARE the three books in the "fever dream" trilogy? the second book is "cold vengeance", the third and concluding book of the trilogy, is "two graves". there, you have more info than i did. ; )
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on October 24, 2017
I love the Pendergast series, and this was another great installment. The authors never disappoint....and they certainly have expanded my vocabulary (and my use of the dictionary and translate features on my Kindle Paperwhite) Fast paced and great characters. I finish one and it is on to the next in the series.
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2011
This books opens with the brutal death of Pendergast's wife Helen at the jaws of a mystical maneating lion. Some twelve lyears later, Pendergast stumbles upon a clue that leads him to determine that Helen's death was no accident after all. Pressing his long time pal, sidekick and NYC Police Lt.Vincent D'agosta into service,Pendergast uncharacteristically loses his cool while pursuing leads in the swamps of the South. After D'Agosta is seriously wounded, his lover and police captain Laura Hayward reluctantly assists Pendergast. As the body count mounts, Pendergast finds himself hunted by the mastermind of the plot and wounded by the secrets his wife concealed.

This is a fun read as long as you don't look to closely. The death of Helen is quite preposterous. The clue that alerts Pendergast to the conspiracy is a bit hard to swallow. Basically, a chance examiniation of her hunting rifle leads to the conclusion that the gun was loaded with blanks. Hard to believe wealthy people who hunt for sport and take safaris would not clean their very expensive weapons before storing them. I did not like the frenzied, out of control, heavy drinking Pendergast. Part of his attraction is his icy intellectual distance. To see him driven to distraction does not do much for the character. Moreover, the wife really seems like an uninteresting twit. It was hard to imagine any attraction between her and Pendergast. There was some develoopment between Hayward and D'agosta. Their love affair seems more mature and they both seem to have grown in a positive way.

This novel clearly is a prequesl to the next as the main bad guy has yet to be caught. Overall, it was a fast and fun read,event more enjoyable if you make an effort to over look the flaws.
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on July 3, 2011
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's 'Special Agent Pendergast' books have always been a geeky favorite of mine. Not every book has been in top-form but reading about the exploits of Agent Pendergast and his friends and comrades has kept me hooked. 'Fever Dream' is a strong entry in this gothic-series that answers a few questions about Pendergast's past while setting up a new story-arch for future entrys.

The 'Pendergast' novels feature FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, a tall, pale-skinned detective out of New Orleans. In most of the books he's presented as an enigmatic character with a few things in common with Sherlock Holmes (his razor-sharp mind, martial-arts skills, and his ability to disguise himself). Usually he's seen from the point of view of the side characters in his stories and we once and while find out about his disturbing family history, which forms the basis of some of the later novels. In Fever Dream he's very much the central character.

The plot of 'Fever Dream' centers around Agent Pendergast's investigation into the death of his wife, Helen (an element that was only touched on in the first book 'Relic'). As usual the case isn't what it seems and along with his friends Lt. D'Agosta and Captain Hayward of the NYPD, Pendergast gets caught up in a conspiracy surrounding a lost painting by naturalist John James Audubon. It's this mix of historical-fiction and modern-day adventure that has made the Pendergast novels so much fun to read and while the story takes it's time to build Preston and Child mix in a lot of suspense and action to compliment the novel. I also loved how Pendergast himself is becoming a more human character despite his cold and oddball mannerisms (we're even given some neat flashbacks into his past when his wife was still alive).

While main plot of Pendergast's investigation in 'Fever Dream' had me hooked I was very disappointed with a side-story in the novel involving his ward, Constance Greene. 'Wheel of Darkness' (the last book she appeared in) was hardly my favorite of the series but I loved how it fleshed out Constance as a character. In 'Fever Dream' we're not only missing Constance's point of view, her actions are completely out of character from what we've seen in the previous books. I hope there's more to her story in the next entry but I was very disappointed with this sub-plot.

While 'Fever Dream' has some issues it's overall a strong entry in this long-running series. While it stands alone quite well (despite an obvious hook for a sequel) I'm very eagerly looking forward to the next entry 'Cold Vengeance'.

(if you're new to the series you'll probably want to start with one of the earlier books. It's not 100% necessary but the series is as follows: Relic, Reliquary, Cabinet of Curiosities, Still Life with Crows, Brimstone, Dance of Death, Book of the Dead, Wheel of Darkness, Cemetary Dance and Fever Dream)
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on October 13, 2014
Special Agent Pendergast loved and still loves his wife, she was killed by a lion on a trip to Africa. But was she really killed by accident, was she murdered what really happened. Pendergast is about to find out everything he knew or thought he knew about that day was a lie.. Was his whole life with his wife Helen a lie.. he needs to find out the truth. And so starts his quest to find the truth no matter what. He enlists the aid of Lt. Vincent D'Agosta his friend and the one man he trusts, and they travel a dangerous and complicated path to the truth. Does he find the answers he is looking for, or must he continue the path do discovery. You will not be disappointed, you will be confused, you will be curious. One thing I know you will be glad you read this book I give it a strong 5 out of 5. As I have given all the books in this series.
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VINE VOICEon June 27, 2010
"Fever Dream" is the 10th and most recent in the series of novels co-authored by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs that features, as the main protagonist, the inimitable Aloysis X. L. Pendergast. Pendergast is, among other things, an FBI agent, the recipient of two PhDs, the sole surviving heir of a very old southern family of considerable wealth, and one of the most unique and enduring heroes of crime fiction in the last 20 years. Fever Dream ranks up with the very best of the Agent Pendergast novels. LIke almost all of the other Pendergast novels, this is a stand alone, but also like most of the others, is firmly tied to almost all of the others by way of supporting cast, in this instance, NYPD Lt. Vinnie D'Agosta, Captain Laura Hayward, and Pendergast's enigmatic ward, Constance Greene.

Fever Dream starts off 12 years ago, in Africa, when the Pendergast (not yet an FBI agent) and his wife Helen, are called away from their own private safari to aid in the capture of a man-eating lion who has just murdered a German tourist. Both Pendergast and his wife. expert marksmen and holders of special permits allowing them to hunt in a government-sponsored herd reduction plan, are obligated to answer the call and help hunt down the man-eater. The plan goes horribly awry and Helen is killed by the lion.

Flash-forward 12 years and Pendergast, visiting his old family homestead in New Orleans, happens to notice some signs of aging on the rifle his wife used on the fatal hunt, and in the process of cleaning the rifle, discovers that the last shot fired by his wife was actually a blank, indicating that Helen's death was no accident, but rather that she had been murdered.

The rest of the novel shows us a side of Pendergast we are not so familiar with. This Pendergast is not all-knowing and reserved and under control at all times. He is bent on revenge, and is in the dark much of the time. The plot is interesting and fast paced. Lincoln and Childs play fair and there are no red herrings or deus ex machina turns at the last minute. Rather, this is a taught and well-written crime novel with an interesting and complicated storyline, and a satisfying resolution. You don't have to have read any of the previous Pendergast novels to enjoy this one to the fullest, but on the other hand, it won't hurt ya none neither. Highly recommended.

Several factors point to this as the first in a pair of novels, something like "Dance of Death" and " The Book of the Dead". For one thing, Constance is re-introduced under somewhat strange circumstances and when asked (in police custody) why she has returned and given herself up (for a crime crime revealed in the novel) she answers to the effect that Pendergast is in some sort of trouble that he will not be able to get out of without her help. But that (the trouble) doesn't occur in Fever Dream. Second, Pendergast has vowed to kill the person who was directly responsible for his wife's death, and that doesn't happen either. Finally, the last page contains an acceptance from Pendergast to an invitation from the murderer (apparently still unknown to A.P.) to accompany him on a hunting trip. So, hold on. I don't think this one is quite over yet.

J.M. Tepper
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on August 30, 2012
Fever Dream was the first book I've read by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It features FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast who I pictured in my mind a young Col. Sanders. He is a Southern gentleman who comes from a once-wealthy family. Though Fever Dream isn't the first book featuring Pendergast, this one delves into his discovery that his wife, who has believed was killed accidentally on a safari a dozen years earlier, was actually murdered.

He calls on his friend, NYPD Detective Vincent D'Agosta, to help him try and investigate a case that has long since grown cold. It also appears to be linked to a long-lost painting done by the famous naturalist John James Audubon while he was in a sanitarium. As the investigation continues, Pendergrast is forced to admit that he did not know his wife as well as he thought he did.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I got into it quickly and was able to get up to speed on the characters, though I still unsure of how some of the relationships were formed. For instance, D'Agosta's girlfriend seemed very suspicious of Pendergast because of his past actions. I am guessing there is some justification for this if I read some of the earlier books.

The one thing I didn't like about the book is that it seems to leave you hanging. I hope it is something that is tied up in the book that follows, but it left me a little unsatisified and disappointed.
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on June 27, 2010
After two or three recent mis-steps in the Pendergast series, authors Preston and Child have rebounded somewhat with the 10th book in the series, "Fever Dream". In this novel, protagonists Pendergast and D'Agosta search for the answer to the 12-year old mystery behind the murder of Pendergast's wife, Helen. As the duo begin to tie names and clues together, the path begins to lead them to an even bigger mystery - that of the motives and faithfulness of Helen. Was her marriage to Pendergast one of "convenience"? Why was she involved with a number of secretive meetings involving a mysterious avian flu?

There are plenty of twists and turns that keeps the plot flowing toward a satisfying conclusion. Cameos are made recurring characters Constance Greene and Laura Hayward, but don't add much to the story, however. The true stars, of course, are Pendergast and D'Agosta.

Fans of the series will enjoy this quick read and will appreciate Preston and Child's research and decision to make Pendergast more "human" and less supernatural. I can't help but think that the series is on the fast track to ending however, because of the statement that the authors make at the end of this book. They announce that a new series featuring (in their words) a "rather uncommon investigator by the name of Gideon Crew". The book can be read as a "stand-alone", but in this reviewer's humble opinion, those interested in reading this novel should dig in and start the series from the very beginning with "Relic".
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on July 17, 2010
I enjoyed this book much more than Cemetery Dance. The characters had more depth and interaction with one another. I especially liked the twist of Capt Hayward working with Pendergast and starting to appreciate his methods. I also liked the brief supernatural mentions: one being the family ghost and how a gray blur obstructed the shooter's view and kept him from killing Pendergast. The other being Constance's premonition that Pendergast would be betrayed. And the mystery of Constance throwing the baby overboard - was there ever really a baby? She didn't let anyone near the baby to get a good look. I didn't give the book 5 stars because of 2 holes in the plot. First being Pendergast not figuring out the name of the undiscovered conspirator. When he was on the island, why couldn't he ask the girlfriend or her husband. Bet the husband would've spilled the beans after being cheated on for years. How could the girlfriend and her husband not have met him or knew his name? Second hole is the wild story of how Helen got killed. As mentioned in the book, why not just use a simpler means? The answer I hope is that the conspirator is psycho like Diogenes. Now that would be interesting...
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