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The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  16,964 ratings  ·  833 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...
ebook, 532 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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
When you look at this book individually, it's not entirely bad. Mystery novels are supposed to be a fun romp with a whodunit. But when you look at this book as compared to the rest of the series it belongs to, it becomes a bit worse. Nothing about The Wheel of Darkness added to the series. The plots drew from Titanic and Sherlock Holmes. And dare I say, the characters seemed to have different personalities. I just hope this book was a fluke and the rest of the series will shine.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
After the events from the last three books, Pendergast can't help but worry about the emotional health of his ward, Constance Greene. His brother really caused her both physical and emotional harm that she must recover from. To help, Pendergast brings her to a Tibetan monastery, which not only helps her find a new serenity. It also starts them on a surprising pathway to a mystery.

An ancient, unknown relic is stolen from the monastery. As Pendergast and Constance pursue it, they learn that a blac
Sarah Echo
Although this is obviously not a continuation of the Diogenes trilogy, there are some signs that Diogenes’s evil legacy is alive and well, especially in the fragile character of Constance Greene. She keeps her secret until the very last page of the book, which leaves a very welcome opportunity for another sequel. This book is different from many in this series, as it does not take place in New York City, so many of the regular characters are missing. But, like Still Life With Crows, it remains v ...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
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
Betsy Ashton
I have now read all of the Pendergast novels. By far, this is the most fantastical. Mixing Tibetan mysticism with human greed, the book takes the reader on a wild ride from a monestary in Tibet to a luxury ocean liner, all in search of a stolen ancient artifact. FBI Agent Pendergast and his ward Constance Greene have to find the artifact before its horror is unleashed on an unsuspecting world. While a stand-alone novel, readers would benefit from a thorough knowledge of earlier Pendergast novels ...more
C.M. Apolant
The eighth installment of the Agent Pendergast series proved a thrilling change of pace after completing the Diogenes trilogy, and despite a seeming barrage of lukewarm or hostile reviews, which made me half expect this to be a disappointment, it was an excellent, thrilling adventure that ties up some loose ends left over from The Book of the Dead. And very satisfactorily, at that.

True, this one diverged from the other books, sometimes dramatically so, yet Pendergast was more his old self here,
This is a book I would have never picked to read; it was a gift. I was not familiar with the Prendergast series and I thought the authors did a good job writing a book that could stand alone. Enough references were made that the reader could piece together most of the back story. A mysterious chest has been stolen from a Tibetan monetary and Prendergast and his ward, Connie, have been called in to find it and to save the world from a ghastly fate. It seems if the box in opened the person opening ...more
A bit drawn out, but still good. Love the little surprise at the end! Don't want this series to end!
Bas Linders
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child grabbed my attention from the very beginning when I read 'Relic'. Their stories' characters are always carefully sculpted and story lines are often derived from intricate research and consultation with experts on the subject. The scientific element that makes for amazing plot twists and conclusions is the very foundation for their succes, and that's where this book is just missing a tad of the magic.

This time it's not science or history, but mysticism that is th
T.M. Calhoun
This is the weakest Pendergast novel I've read so far. It didn't captivate me quite as much as the others did. However, the setting, a luxury liner in a dire emergency far out in a storm at sea, was highly entertaining. For that alone, it is deserving of 3 stars. Also, it was interesting getting to see a bit more of Constance. However, I did miss, more than I realized at first, the familiar, friendly faces of D'Agosta, Bill Smithback, Nora Kelly and Margo Green.
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
Nem lehetett nem észrevenni, hogy ez a könyv sem itthon, sem a nagyvilágban nem aratott fényes sikert - még a Pendergast-rajongók körében sem. Igaz, ami igaz, most valami olyat kaptunk a népszerű szerzőpárostól, ami merőben más, mint az eddigi kötetek. A "más" azonban nem feltétlenül jelent "rosszat" is egyben. Ha megengeditek, a magam részéről azt tanácsolnám a könyvvel kacérkodóknak, hogy igenis érdemes átrágni magukat a történet első harmadán, mert ami utána következik, az teljes mértékben me ...more
Renata Landgrafova
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Bookworm Buddies: The Wheel of Darkness 3 34 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...

Other Books in the Series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 15 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)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)

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