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Cold Vengeance (Pendergast #11)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,177 Ratings  ·  1,146 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, Large Print, 545 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas PrestonRelic by Douglas PrestonStill Life With Crows by Douglas PrestonBrimstone by Douglas PrestonReliquary by Douglas Preston
Top Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child Books
11th out of 21 books — 70 voters
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareForever by Maggie StiefvaterClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareSilence by Becca FitzpatrickDead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Can't Wait Books For 2011
435th out of 1,221 books — 6,918 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 10, 2011 Miranda rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I did not really enjoy this installation of the Pendergast series. It's not that it's badly written, but the authors are really starting to move Pendergast's character and plot lines into the conspiracy theory thriller genre. While I love a good conspiracy thriller, what I loved about Pendergast was the archeology, science, museum settings, New York City and New Orleans settings and Holmesian feel.

None of that is evident in the new Pendergast. He even goes so far as to make multiple glaring mist
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, take notice, I gave this book 4 stars, I like the Pendergast books... I give this preamble because I'm going to say some things that could be taken as negative. But they're not so negative that I didn't enjoy the book.

First let me say, I'm not a died in the wool Preston/Child fan (and why in the listing above does Child get short shrift?)[When I first wrote this, for some reason only Preston's name was listed]. I've read books written by them individually which I found (in my opinion) rang
L-J Johnson
Sep 15, 2011 L-J Johnson rated it it was ok
What have they done to Pendergast?!? I'm not liking this stereotypical action stud the authors are turning him into. Where are the strange mysteries, haunted hallways of museums, Pendergast's both cerebral and mystical take on the world? And that this particular storyline - Pendergast investigating his wife's accidental death/murder/disappearance from 12 years prior - is going to take three books is just ridiculous! I'm tired of novels just stopping, with no ending at all. This wasn't that long ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Mihir rated it it was amazing

Original review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Cold Vengeance is the second book in the Helen Pendergast trilogy that began with Fever Dream last year. I very much enjoyed the new twist envisioned by the authors as Pendergast begins to re-examine his past and find out about his wife. This move was a brilliant one by the authors and Fever Dream rekindled many a jaded fan back into Pendergast’s throes.

This book begins almost immediately after the events of the last book. Penderga
Aug 09, 2011 Becca-Rawr rated it it was amazing
Preston-Childs fans unite, but be warned. This book is best read with the others underneath your belt. A least the one before it, Fever Dream, if you want to understand this one. The other ten if you want the full impact. Do not pick this book up going, ‘Oh! A week-end beach read!’ This is not a beach read. If you want knitting patterns and recipes, the cozy mysteries section is out back.

Once again Preston and Child both grasp the mysterious aspects of their most memorable characters, this time
Aug 15, 2011 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Special Agent Pendergast has been in my life since I was a teenager, and I've followed his adventures through to my thirties. Like Corrie Swanson from Still Life With Crows, I too shared an admiration for the elusive FBI agent. However, through the series he has grown from an aloof and scrupulously scientific investigator to a man very nearly teetering on the edge of whatever is left of his sanity.

FEVER DREAM began the epic journey deeper into Pendergast's psyche as he realized his wife, Helen,
Michael Knudsen
Nov 29, 2011 Michael Knudsen rated it liked it
Special Agent Pendergast is one of my favorite characters in contemporary fiction. So here's why Cold Vengeance only gets 3 stars: This is the first of this particular cycle of novels that really feels like just an installment. Not only do you KNOW you're not going to get a decent resolution to this book, but you know it from the beginning. This would be fine if you're lucky enough to be reading the whole series after its publication, but argh, this is one of those cliffhangers we readers could ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: David Atkinson
This is the 11th Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast novel and apparently the 2nd in the Helen Esterhazy Pendergast trilogy.

This is not Preston & Child's best work. I've read the books they've written as individuals and you notice the absence of the other author. This reads like someone shoved these two men in a room with a typewriter and forced them to churn out a book.

Its a much slower read than their previous novels. Its better than Brimstone which in my opinion could have removed all
The latest of the Pendergast books is actually the second in a sequence within the overall series. In Fever Dream, Pendergast (and the reader) learned of the strange death of the agent's wife at the hands of her brother. Now that brother is going after Pendergast and also hinting at some long-running cabal behind the Esterhazy's lives.

There is much mayhem, vengeance in multiple directions, and misdirection, as Pendergast attempts to learn the truth about his wife. People from past novels return
Rick Fisher
Feb 09, 2012 Rick Fisher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
"Cold Vengence" is an amazing follow up to Preston/Child's last A.X.L. Pendergast novel, "Fever Dream". This is Preston/Child at their best.
From page one, everything works. Full of twists and turns. And, the cliffhangers at the end leave more than one story line unanswered. A sure fire way to ensure avid fans will return for the next go round.
After growing somewhat tired of agent Pendergast, this story arc has completely renewed my love of this character.
Highly recommend. But, this is not a
Benjamin Thomas
This 11th novel in the Special Agent Pendergast series is also the middle book in what is referred to as the “Helen” trilogy within the larger series. Picking up on the heels of Fever Dream, Pendergast has learned that his beloved wife, Helen, killed twelve years before by a rogue lion when her rifle misfired, had in fact been murdered. Now he’s out for answers and even vengeance, and the trail leads him to some nasty surprises.

While I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, I’m not sure I like the way
Shut up. They're my guilty pleasure.
Aug 07, 2011 Randy rated it it was amazing
Though it can be read as a separate novel, the storyline begun in FEVER DREAM continues here. In that previous book, Pendergast learned that his beloved wife, Helen, killed twelve years before by a rogue lion when her rifle misfired, had in fact been murdered. The rifle, untouched by him or anyone else since the incident, is taken from the gun case for cleaning. He finds it loaded with blanks.

Pendergast is on a mission to find his wife's killer, a trek that takes him form Scotland to New York to
Jun 04, 2012 C. rated it really liked it
If some of the previous Pendergast novels have left you scratching your head, I feel that in this one, many questions are beginning to be answered. I was kind of left hanging with Constance Green and the Helen story line, and to be honest, not interested in either one, because I love the Pendergast of old where he was like a mix of Twilight Zone and X Files. Those are the great ones, Relic, Cabinet, Crows, Brimstone, those are such stay up late and read books. When Constance came around, I wasn' ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Book 2 of the "Helen Trilogy", not a stand-alone book. Very fast-paced. We are given more info about Helen's death in Africa, but not all is yet revealed. The story line will conclude in the next book, Two Graves.
Jul 22, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it
Has there ever been, in all of literature, a more tortured soul than Aloysius X. Pendergast? To start with, his parents, deliberately and with malice aforethought, named him Aloysius X. Pendergast. Sure, he's a fabulously wealthy and preternaturally clever FBI agent (well, he carries the badge but sometimes seems to have the same relationship to the FBI as Sam and Dean Winchester), but the drama! The angst! His brother was a psychopath, a malevolent genius! His wife was eaten by a lion! Or was s ...more
Nov 06, 2011 RunRachelRun rated it liked it
Another book picked up at Barnes & Noble on Saturday night.... buy books, people!
J.F. Penn
Sep 21, 2011 J.F. Penn rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Full video review here =>

Special Agent Pendergast is an awesome hero, perhaps because he is just a bit odd and his family are a bunch of nutters, both living and dead. Pale and interesting with deep knowledge of arcane mystery and unorthodox ways of investigation, Pendergast is the anti-Bond. There is no sexual tension, but a lot of thinking and cleverness which makes for a more interesting story.

This is the 11th in the Pendergast books and although
Nov 21, 2011 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Chronologically this story picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of “Fever Dream”. Aloysius has once again come to grips with his beloved wife’s death and once again feels he has not much to live for. His brother-in-law is more than happy to try and make that particular wish come true. As Pendergast fights for his life we are given glimpses into what really happened to Helen, and could she, really, still be alive?

I found this book a bit lacking in the idiosyncrasies that make Pendergast, wel
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

My favorite enigmatic FBI agent,Aloysius Pendergast,is back,and he’s determined to find out what really happened to his wife,Helen,in Africa,where she supposedly died at the jaws of a vicious lion. Cold Vengeance starts off with a bang,with Pendergast on a hunting expedition in Scotland with his brother in law,Judson Esterhazy. Esterhazy tries to do away with Pendergast,but,if you’re familiar with this series,then you know
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it it was amazing
I thought Fever Dream was one of the best Pendergast books to land in a while so I was hoping that Cold Vengeance could at least come close. At first I was a little worried when I saw that on average it rated just above three stars here on amazon but as I got into the book I couldn't put it down.

This novel is about 90% Pendergast which to some could either be good or bad. I've seen mention made by some reviewers saying that Pendergast reads best when he's interacting with his, how shall we say,
Aug 07, 2011 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Allen
Nov 01, 2011 Beth Allen rated it liked it
Congratulations to me!

This is the first book I'v been able to finish since being laid up with a respiratory infection (and having to get to work most days).

Cold Vengeance tells a fast-paced, solid story, picking up where Fever Dream left off.

FBI Agent Pendergast, still haunted by the murder of his wife Helen, discovers that his brother-in-law is the keeper of some monstrous secrets. Pendergast's search for the truth leads him into some dangerous situations, as always, with his colleague Lt. D'Ag
Rusty Lundgren
Jul 13, 2015 Rusty Lundgren rated it really liked it
Rounded up from 3 1/2 stars.
Overall, I liked the book and would give it 3.5 stars if I could, but it's closer to 3 than 4. The story finished with a bang in grand cliffhanger style but I found it slow going and meandering for too long a period to say I really liked enough to give it 4 stars. Based on the finish, I am looking forward to the concluding chapter in the Helen trilogy.
Adam Criblez
Mar 24, 2015 Adam Criblez rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the last several books in the series. Pendergast losing his cool is refreshing
Patti Larr
Aug 03, 2011 Patti Larr rated it it was amazing
My only complaint is that it wasn't NEAR long enough!!! lol
I finished it the same day I bought it.
My husband is reading it today. I only got first turn because it came out on my birthay.
We LOVE all these guys' books. I'm so into the Pendergast stories though.... can't get enough!
Jun 19, 2015 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery and thriller fans
I have enjoyed all the books in the Pendergast Series and this one is no exception. I hadn't realized the series had gone in a new direction involving Pendergast's wife Helen (Nee: Esterhazy)and that this was the second book in the new plot line. Even though, the previous book, "Fever Dreams", sets this story up, nevertheless it can stand on it's own and sets up the next book, "Two Graves".

This book opens with Pendergast on a hunting trip with his brother-in-law Judson Esterhazy. As they confron
Dec 07, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cold Vengeance reads like you're watching it on the big screen, arcing back and forth between bursts of action and intrigue. Never before has Pendergast had to put his intellect, and in fact everything he thinks he knows to be true, to the test, pitting him against a foe only glimpsed at its very edges. We've never seen Pendergast so frantic before, allowing emotions to charge his assault towards discovering the truth. And indeed, the very desperation exerting from his pores is something that ca ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Eilonwy rated it really liked it
Cold Vengeance solid continuation of the story that began in Fever Dream, following Agent Pendergast's attempt to find out what really happened to his wife 15 years previous. I definitely recommend reading Fever Dream first-- there are so many references and continuations that without you'll be lost. In fact, if you read FD when it first came out, you may even want to revisit it first, to reacquaint yourself with characters and events so that this new investigation makes sense.

There are a lot o
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Relic (Pendergast, #1)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • Dance of Death (Pendergast, #6; Diogenes, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)

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“Already up to his waist in the quaking bog, Pendergast stopped struggling and stared up at his assassin. The icy glitter in the pale gray eyes spoke more eloquently of his hatred and despair than any words he might have spoken, and it shook Esterhazy to the core.” 6 likes
“Mitochondrial DNA is completely separate from a person’s regular DNA. It’s a bit of genetic material residing in the mitochondria of every cell in the body, and it is inherited unchanged from generation to generation, through the female line. That means all the descendants—male and female—of a particular woman will have identical mitochondrial DNA, which we call mtDNA. This kind of DNA is extremely useful in forensic work, and separate databases are kept of it.” 0 likes
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