The Wheel of Darkness
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The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  13,967 ratings  ·  737 reviews
A luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, awash in wealth and decadence . . . An ancient Tibetan box, its contents unknown, sealed with a terrifying warning . . . An FBI agent destined to confront what he fears most-"himself." . .
FBI Special Agent Pendergast is taking a break from work to take Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
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Tom Kouhsari
There are two types of people who rate this book highly. Those that have never read the rest of the Pendergast series and those whose understanding of the rest of the Pendergast series is skin deep.

This book is an insult to the rest of the series. I wonder if Preston and Child just got to the point where they said "I bet we can write any piece of garbage and put our names on it and put the name Pendergast in it and people will still love it"

Anyway, you could easily have written this book and rep...more
Oct 14, 2007 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the Pendergast series
This is the latest book in the "Pendergast series" from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It's their superhero FBI agent at it once again, saving lost pieces of art, relics and outwitting everyone all while making you, the reader, feel like you need to go out and start buying Hugo Boss suits and driving around in vintage luxury cars.

Actually, this book is a departure from the usual behavior of Agent Pendergast. He actually becomes a victim of sorts in this book and it's interesting to see Pres...more
Steven Turek
After a leaving their last book soaked with uncertainty, Preston and Child return with a very disappointing conclusion. Many a thread are left untied with the conclusion of this book. In their past books they have treated the unknown with science and explanation, but here they delve way too deeply into the supernatural. The ending is remenicent of the deus ex machina endings of ancient Greek theatre. The authors build up the suspense, but then take the easy way out by having very improbable thin...more
J.S. Bailey
I have a hard time getting into Preston & Child novels. Their plots are interesting but we never really get to know the characters. Just who is Pendergast, and who is Constance? What are their motivations? Their hopes? Their dreams? Their fears? I gather from reading that Constance is immeasurably old but still looks very young, but I don't know what led to her longevity. These characters, as well as the "supporting" cast, seem paper-thin to me because they're really just a name and a face a...more
Lee Miller
The language is arch to the point of smugness, the situations are ridiculous, and the characters are absurd, but I couldn't put it down. It's as if two writers got together and said "let's take a junior high boys' James Bond fantasy and see how far we can stretch it before it breaks."

And, for some odd, reptilian-brain reason, it worked, at least for me. A major theme involved Tibetan mysticism, which added a fun, exotic feel. I also enjoyed the fact that much of the action took place on an ocean...more
I love most of what these guys Douglass Preston and Lincoln Child write together. But I esecially love the story line of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast and his "ward" Constance Greene.Yeah the books are a bit over the top and Agent Pendergast gets away with ALOT of stuff no Real FBI agent would, but the books are great. Always some end of the world /Crazy person with a venetta to destroy everything plot , and yet always different and fresh. This one takes place on a brand new Ocean Liner called B...more
Kind of like an old boyfriend who I'm tired of but keep hanging out with out of guilt. This book had it's moments of fun, and Pendergast is always great to read about. Problem is, he didn't really DO much in this book. It had a really good premise, but just got lazy and ended with a fizzle. Did I love it? No. Will I read the next Lincoln-Child bit of fluff that comes out? You betcha.
I have to say this is the first Pendergast book I have been disappointed in. It felt like a Mary Higgins Clark mystery set on the Poseidon. After the events following the Diogenes storyline (I won't say anymore so I avoid spoilers) you would have expected more. You basically could have just read the first couple of chapters and skipped to the epilogue. I hope the next book in the series feels more like a Pendergast story and less like a B movie plot.
Okay, this was a tough one.

From what I’ve read so far and in my own personal opinion, within Preston/Child’s series about FBI agent extraordinaire Aloysius Pendergast the books are either very good (like, for example, Still Life With Crows) or not good at all (Relic).

Interestingly enough, “The Wheel of Darkness” was a bit in between.

Maybe I should mention that I haven’t read “Brimstone”, “Dance of Death” or “The Book of the Dead” up until now, so Constance was a new character for me, but I li...more
Darren Vincent

I am not new to Preston and Child's books, together or as a solo authors, but this one did not feel like it was written by the same guys that have written the many books that I love. As much as I have read by them, I have not yet read the entire Diogenes Trilogy, and maybe that is the problem. I thought I was reading the first book in that trilogy. After reading this book, I am not sure if I want to read the trilogy.

I did not like Pendergrast in this novel. I don't remember dislik...more
Preston and Child refer to this as a “stand-alone” novel but if this is your first exposure to Aloysius Pendergast, the mysterious and mystical FBI agent and Sherlock Holmes doppelganger, that may be a bit of a stretch. AP begins this adventure by taking his ward, Constance, to a Tibetan monastery high in the Himalayas where he hopes to expose her to the world she has missed (see what I mean). They soon learn that a valuable and perilously dangerous antiquity, long entrusted to the monks, has be...more
Martin Gibbs
I'm sorry, no. I loved the Relic and the Reliquary (there really are folks who live in the undergound subway tunnels, and it is a fascniating study). There was a possibility of truth to both, because there possibly are plant chemicals that could warp your brain and turn you into a monster.

But this?

I have never thrown out a book, until I read this. For long and long, it seemed Preston and Child wrote things that bordered on paranormal, but still had a logical explanation. They still held my inter...more
Patricia Kurz
The beauty of this series is AXP's interest in and contribution to the story; in this one he opened and he closed the story, but the plot was so fragmented that it was hard to decide if this book was about Constance or Pendergast. At the end, even though Constance's role is revealed as being key, I found this episode weak and not believable.

But the story itself is what lacks the ability to hold interest. There is a monastery, there are monks. There are trusts made and broken. AXP takes off and l...more
i have been a big fan of Preston & Child ever since their first book together, "Relic", which was a fantastic action novel. the movie was good, but, as they say, the book was better... :) "The Wheel of Darkeness", continues with the Agent Pendergast story line started in Relic and carried on through about 10 books already. i had let this one sit on the shelf for a long time because i had found the last 3 books in the series, which the authors call the Diogenes trilogy, somewhat disappointing...more
Monica Rodriguez
While The Wheel of Darkness continues the story of Agent Pendergast, it is a stand alone and not connected to the Diogenes arc. It is a very different story than the previous books, where Pendergast faced his nemesis and brother. Compared to those, this book is calmer, slower, and a bit less exciting. The height of suspense of the previous books isn't reached here. I was nearly midway through before I felt the pace and excitement pick up.
There are far fewer characters as well, though that's not...more
I made my way slowly through this book, and by the end of it, I found that I enjoyed it despite the fact that, at times, it seemed to move along at a snail's pace. There were a number of new characters introduced and I think that is what made things seem so slow. For instance, their was an heiress whose only purpose was to whine and complain and be on the scene at the climax. So, who cares?? However, the scenes involving FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast were always entertaining as the chara...more
Another excellent read from Preston and Child, this one set (primarily) on an ocean liner. Descriptions are wonderful; characters diverse and free of stereotypes; scenarios on board ship or in an ancient Tibetan monastery are written to perfection. This setting would be perfect for a modern-day mystery - or a horror and suspense thriller. The story was perfect and I didn't see it coming - any of it. I also learned a host of new words which apply to Tibetan and Asian antiquities. (I always expand...more
Agent Pendergast's Magical Boat Ride

This book reminded me of when I was in the navy. Storm tossed ship, stolen asian artifacts, hallucinations, gambling, smoke monsters, and a bunch of pretentious ship mates who were just asking to be murdered.

Like my last deployment, this book was pretty awful but had a few bright moments I will never forget. The part where Pendergast says screw it and comes up with a plan to save himself and let everyone else get murdered like an extra from Speed 2 actually h...more
Duncan Mandel

A luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, awash in wealth and decadence...

An ancient Tibetan box, its contents unknown, sealed with a terrifying warning...

An FBI agent destined to confront what he fears most--himself...


From Publishers Weekly

In the exciting eighth supernatural thriller from bestsellers Preston and Child (after 2006's The Book of the Dead), FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast and his ward, Constance Greene, seek peace of mind at a remote Tibetan monaster

Brandon Cooper
Like Still Life With Crows, the fourth entry in the Pendergast series, Wheel of Darkness (the eighth) is another stand-alone novel that doesn't really get the characters anywhere. More or less, everyone ends up in the exact same position at the end as they were at the beginning, both physically and in terms of the narrative. That's not to say that the middle part isn't a decent read; while others here don't seem to enjoy Wheel's setting, I still think that's what P&C do best. I still love th...more
Christine Van Heertum
Après la trilogie palpitante concacrée à Diogène, le frère de Pendergast, difficile d'écrire une intrigue captivante. La première moitié décrit un Pendergast quelque peu "absent", comme transparant dans le décor surchargé du plus grand paquebot des mers. Des crimes sont commis, mais Pendergast est étonnament relégué au second plan : on ne le voit pas examiner les lieux des meurtres, ni enquêter sur le comment du pourquoi. Tout au plus se concentre-t-il sur la mission que lui ont confiée les moin...more
Jim C
My rating is 1.5 stars.

This continues the story of Agent Pendergast and Constance. This is part of a series but it can be a stand alone novel. In this novel Pendergast is trying to locate a stolen item that was in the protection of Buddhist monks. The search leads him to the high seas and onto a maiden voyage of an ocean liner.

This is probably the weakest novel of this series. I had no problem with the setting and the action sequences from this setting was well written. Part of the problem was t...more
Dawn Prough
As I mentioned in an update, this is probably my least favorite of the stories involving Pendergast, the pale-skinned intellectual with an answer for everything. I'm not sure why I didn't like this one as much; Pendergast and his ward, Greene, are here and in fine form. As always, Pendergast runs around and solves mysteries with culture and aplomb.

This time, he's on the trail of a murder who has stolen a rare Tibetan artifact. The monks of the monastery send Pendergast and Greene on this missio...more
I listened to the audio book. I had never heard of this author or the characters before but found the book satisfactory. Pretty much a sleuthing, who-dunnit. If you are familiar with movies, take a 1/4 cup of Golden Child, add two tablespoons of DaVinci Code, mix into a bowl of Titanic and bake for many pages. Not great, but entertaining enough.
June (Kallandra)
As a series, these books are AMAZING! The main character is someone I've never come across in thriller/mystery novels. Aloysius Pendergast is beyond fascinating, from his odd looks (rather like an odd mix of a gentrified mortician or undertaker) to his broad spectrum of interests, hobbies and quirks. And that is not even including his mix of friends and let's not even begin to delve into his family pathos. Although this character is worth reading alone, it's not the only thing worth reading. The...more
Oct 02, 2008 Red rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adventure fans
Pretty good adventure story. Mostly set on board a cruise liner. A good introduction to the Pendergast series for me, even though it's not the first book. It was good enough that I would listen to another audio version, great mind endgager while driving.
Laura Ruetz
In this novel, Constance Green takes a larger role, and that is something that I found enjoyable. She is another character who we have seen for far too long as a secondary character and now she is evolving. In Tibet, in the hidden monastery where Pendergast studied once before, we find Constance and Pendergast. Something was stolen, and Pendergast is tasked with finding it. This is a journey that takes him around the world and then he and Constance join forces to find the thief on a large luxury...more
Damn. Three stars only for the writing, otherwise two would have been more than enough for Preston & Child's first descent into sheer paranormal crappiness. Seriously, what the hell...
Despite Pendergast being rather out of sync with what we've come to understand as his "character" for much of the novel and despite the fact that it feels like P&C attempted to shoehorn him into their own Agatha Christie-esque adventure... this was fun. The stakes (while still, you know, life and death) were a little lower than they were during the Diogenes trilogy and the standalone singularity of this novel was nice. But at the end of the day, it's also just kind of 'eh'. It could have bee...more
The book starts at an ancient Tibetan monastery, where Pendergast and Constance become involved in tracking down a stolen 1,000 year old box, which has never been opened, but contains a mystical and dangerous object that has been stolen. It then follows Pendergast as he tracks down the thief, to an Ocean Liner that is on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. As you journey through the book you discover on-board murders, suicides, and even a bit of card counting in the casino. Then add...more
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Bookworm Buddies: The Wheel of Darkness 3 28 Sep 28, 2012 09:56AM  
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr...more
More about Douglas Preston...
Relic (Pendergast, #1) The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3) Reliquary (Pendergast, #2) Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1) The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)

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