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The Dance of Death (Pendergast #6)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,578 Ratings  ·  615 Reviews
Following the New York Times bestselling Brimstone, Preston's and Child's DANCE OF DEATH pits Agent Pendergast–praised by Publisher's Weekly as a "ruthless descendant of Holmes"–against his most personal and dangerous foe yet: his brother Diogenes. When people close to him are viciously murdered and he is framed, Pendergast becomes a fugitive, trusting only his old friend ...more
MP3 CD, Unabridged, 0 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Random House Audio (first published 2005)
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Anton It's possible, but if you decide to read the other books after this one, you'll kind of lose the element of surprise. This is the last installment in…moreIt's possible, but if you decide to read the other books after this one, you'll kind of lose the element of surprise. This is the last installment in the trilogy; the previous books have all lead up to the events of the last book. Reading the other books may not feel so satisfying when you already know where it all is going.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
The idea of an 'evil genius' Supervillain disappearing from the face of the earth to plot and scheme, and plan the ultimate crime, seems laughable, and stereotypical on so many levels, at first. The fact that he is the brother of the protagonist enhances this impression. The thing is, however, that there's nothing laughable about the way he goes about it.

Dance of Death opens with a classroom discussion of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, during which an unflinchingly gruesome and disturbing death
I was dissatisfied with this outing featuring FBI Agent Pendergast working with NYC Detective Dagosta to stop the fiendish plans of Pendergast’s twisted brother Diogenes. A “perfect crime” is promised on a certain date in the near future while along the way Pendergast is being tormented by the horrific murders of his close friends in various parts of the country. What is disappointing is how little success Pendergast has in stopping those murders. It was sad to see Pendergast so pressed against ...more
Apr 12, 2009 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these two authors, both together and as individual writers. They always put together a whopping good story.

But, frankly their FBI Special Agent character Aloysius Pendergast is starting to wear a bit thin. He has always had a bit of unbelievability about him, but it is getting worse and worse.

And now we have his evil brother, Diogenes, who is approaching godhood in his abilities to do evil things without being caught. And his whole reason for living is to torment his brother without kill
Albert Riehle
I feel as if I'm coming to the end of my rope, in regards to the Preston & Child, Pendergast Series. On one hand, there's a lot of good in every book. On the other...there's just so much bad. And with each ensuing book, I feel like I've lost the want and will to continue, a bit more.

This is the second book in a row, as part of this series, that ends unfinished. If you can't tell a complete story in over 450 pages then you're doing a poor job of writing. And some will argue that the points of
This was the 2nd book in the Pendergast Trilogy. I've read the 3rd as well, and since I read them out of order it was interesting b/c I knew kind of what would happen. They are great books, highly intelligent. But, read them in order.
Hali Sowle
The middle book in the Diogenes sub-trilogy of the series doesn't have any of the supernatural elements of the other books in the series, rather it is a straight forward mystery, police procedural novel and perhaps the best book of the entire series. The book opens with D'Acosta, Constance and those close to Pendergast trying to come to grips with his death. Constance summons D'Acosta to Pendergast's home to give him a letter that was left for him asking D'Acosta to stop Pendergast's brother Dio ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Kasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The intelligent and luxurious thriller with a signature twist is back! Each book from this series is like a jewel but I simply loved book six and again it proved that no one can write the way this talented duo does, Pendergast is my favorite literary character, so much that I wonder what he’d do in hard situations and I picked up on his way of thinking, obviously I’m not some zen master/FBI agent with an intense IQ with the tact of a monk and stealth of a ninja but still, he’s someone you can be ...more

I could feel it coming in book 5 and now here it is. I'm so frustrated with this story. I really am. I've been loving Pendergast so much, but I can't stand this. It's so obvious where this whole story is going and I hate it. I don't like knowing the end at the beginning, especially when the end is so full of crap.

So I'm mad.

Really, really, really, mad.

And just a little bit heartbroken.

I haven't quite decided what I'll do. I kept trying to read it but I was too frustrated. I made i
Jan 25, 2010 Cassie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a better book in the Diogenes trilogy. Where Brimstone only teased with a few glimpses and mentions of Diogenes, this one made him integral. I really love the Pendergast and D'Agosta pairing but especially in this book. It was the first time I really felt that D'Agosta wasn't just running after Pendergast asking what the hell was going on, he had to spend the first part working things out by himself.

I absolutely loved this storyline! Brimstone sets up the penultimate showdown
Jan 20, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Not quite up to Preston/Child's usual standards, this book was a continuation of BRIMSTONE and the prequel to BOOK OF THE DEAD. While I don't mind continuing plots like this, ordinarily, this book FELT like a setup for the next in many ways - the characters acted at odds to their usual depictions, and the scenarios felt quite forced. I can ordinarily figure out where a Preston/Child novel is going well before it gets there, but the entire setup this time just felt...trite and forced.

Beyond that,
Oct 15, 2007 Radhika rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
If there were a wish-I-hadn't-wasted-time-on-this-book shelf, then that's where I'd shelf this waste of paper. Grrrr. This book illustrates one of my pet peeves so clearly. I hate it when authors keep you going on the promise of the most astounding secret about a protagonist that will be revealed and then end the book in preparation for the sequel. This is literary laziness and cheating the reader to keep them going with a false promise. The authors don't have enough material to write a good tal ...more
It took me a little while to get through this book. I'm not entirely sure why I put it down and kept wandering away from it, but I picked it up again yesterday (about 145 pages in) and finished it earlier this evening. Dance of Death is a little more scattered than the other Pendergast novels, but I love it just the same. There are lots of cameos in this book. If a character has come into contact at any point with Pendergast, they're here and have page time. I do enjoy the weaving of four story ...more
I hate to award the "annoying characters" tab but I've got to in the case of "Lt." Vinny Dagosta. Not sure if it's the narrator (who is otherwise unobjectionable) but I LITERALLY rolled my eyes several times at the level of buffoonery/idiocy displayed by a man who is neither New York's bravest or finest. He keeps his mouth shut when he should speak up, and blurts out all kinds of things he should keep in.

I enjoyed hearing (since this was an audiobook) about the unflappable, unbeatable Agent Pen
Even though this is sort of the “filler” novel in this trilogy in the middle of the Pendergast series, I think it may just be my favorite one yet in the series overall! It is certainly exciting - definitely an “edge-of-your-seat” read! The plot takes some shocking turns and it ends leaving you anxious for the conclusion in The Book of the Dead.

Like Still Life With Crows, the authors include a little inside joke with their shameless plug for their standalone novel, The Ice Limit. This kind of su
May 25, 2013 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, series, thriller
This book is about second chances for me. I became interested in this series because Anne Rice said how much she enjoyed the books. I have a thing about reading series in order, so I began with Relic. BLERGH! I wrote a bitchy review about it, made my point.

I was going to give up. Then I found this one: an FBI agent trying to outmaneuver his serial killer brother. Sounds like some good cheezzze. And it was! And guess what? I read it out of order...I am so proud of me (double points: 6th book in
Aug 27, 2013 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pendergast
The second in the "Diogenes Trilogy", I feel was better than the first.
Now, don't get me wrong Brimstone was another fantastic addition to the Pendergast series.....but, this one rocked.
How do you stop a twisted madman who tells you he's going to pull off the perfect crime? When that twisted individual is your brother that's hated your guts all his life. As well read, well educated as Pendergast himself, he finds himself hunting Diogenes, that could be his evil twin.
The Book of the Dead, book t
Sep 26, 2009 Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written thriller novel. I really enjoy the FBI Agent Pendergast Novels. In this novel Agent Pendergast is on the trail of the worlds most dangerous serial killer, who just so happens to be his younger brother. Pendergast's brother leaves a path of death and destruction with plenty of plot twists and turns.

I would recommend minimally reading "Brimstone" before reading this novel because it is the second in a series. One of the many reasons I like these novels is because they use several r
Apr 14, 2014 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You have to just let the story take you over and then ride the wave to its eventual conclusion (an ever-sharper cliff to hang on though it might be). As with any Great Villain, you can nitpick their plan and find the holes - but it's more fun, I think, to realize that the holes are irrelevant: it's the game that's where the fun lies. And this one is truly a race - not necessarily to save the day but simply to survive. It's disturbing, in a sense, to see Pendergast on the back foot - and shocking ...more
Mar 08, 2016 matteo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when I thought I was out... Preston and Child pull me back in.

Apparently a long break between reading books 5 and 6 was what I needed. This book flew by. The characters were interesting again (and it was a pseudo reunion from earlier books, although some old friends showed up only to get killed off). The ridiculousness of the previous book was somewhat left behind. Maybe the books that are set in New York City and involve the museum and the underground are just naturally better. This book,
Apr 07, 2013 Andi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's really important to read these books in order, because each one has major spoilers for the ones before.

The enigmatic Special Agent Pendergast is forced to confront an aspect of his past that he had hoped to put behind him, and in doing so, the lives of everyone he touches will be changed forever.

A supercharged thriller with a villain who is truly the equal of our ferociously intelligent protagonist, but bereft of any fragment of moral scruples -- and therefore Pendergast is either forced t
Aug 21, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, obviously I gave it four stars. But I have to just put this out there Laura Hayward annoyed the bejesus out of me in this book. I really liked her character in the others, but in this book I felt that she was being deliberately obtuse. The Laura in the other books would have believed Vincent she always admired what a good cop he was. Also she never liked Pendergast but how could she turn on him that much? Vincent told her what Diogenes was up to and she scoffed at the ...more
Sep 23, 2015 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FBI Special Agent Pendergast is an unforgetable character. He is a brilliant, strange, comical, distant, and weird person who Preston & Child have developed in 13 novels. Each of these 13 novels is in some way connected to those preceding it. Dance of Death is the middle of 3 novels that should be read in order to make clear sense to the reader. This is especially true of Dance of Death and the novel which follows it, Book of the Dead, since Dance ends with Pendergast in dire straits!
This no
Apr 25, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the previous book, readers were left with the mystery of our hero Inspector Pendergast having died while confronting one of his most challenging foes, an Italian duke from a long-powerful family. Detective Vincent D'Agosta watched his friend being chased by a horde of hounds, leaving everyone assuming that Pendergast could not escape.

In this book, we returned to Manhattan and a who's who of Pendergasts past allies. Margo Greene has returned to the Museum of Natural History to take over edito
Ingrid Hansen
Jeg fik endelig taget mig sammen til at læse bogen af de to herrer Douglas Preston og Lincoln Child som jeg har haft liggen i x-antal år på min bogreol som paperback. Fandt først for sent ud af at det var bog 6 i Aloysious Pendergast serien og bog 1 Diogenes serien.

Det var et irritations moment gennem hele bogen da der bliver refereret til gamle sager og personer fra de foregående bøger.

Men på trods af dette og de gentagende referencer så er historien og handlingen faktisk rigtig god. Der er fa
May 26, 2014 Jaksen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. Love that Preston/Child are so prolific and still writing. This book was crazy wild, with so many twists and turns it was dizzying. Thing with this series are the highs and lows I experience when reading - if you love this kind of story, this is a visceral read. I feel sick when bad things happen to a fav. character. I need a drink when everyone is totally going the wrong way in a wrong-headed manner. I love it when they triumph, but know omg what stones are Preston/Child going t ...more
Brandon Cooper
Apr 14, 2014 Brandon Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After an almost unrelated fourth entry and a disappointing fifth entry filled with Bond-like villains and terrible contrivances, P&C apparently decided to root themselves a little more firmly to the ground this time around. Overall, the effect is a little less laughable, and as always I am pleased to see a more human Pendergast. More prominent too is the supposed namesake of this trilogy, who barely even figured into the plot of Brimstone. The authors were smart to distinguish him just enoug ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Zoltán rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Már a Pendergast-ciklus előző kötete (Kénköves pokol) sem okozott csalódást, de ez a mostani történet még annál is jobb. Egyébként az a furcsa, hogy miközben a főbb szereplők ugyanazok maradnak, nemcsak a sztori, hanem a karakterek is folytonos változáson mennek keresztül. Ettől lesz megunhatatlan ez a regénysorozat. Az előző kötetben (melynek egy mellékszálából bomlik ki jelen könyv fő bonyodalma) a szerzőpáros nagy súlyt fektetett a misztikum látszatának fenntartására; a csata nem annyira a fe ...more
I keep picturing Pendergast as a the son that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes never had. I am glad that he has found a friend in his policeman friend. The fact that he has a brother that is equally smart, equally obsesses, and his polar opposite in morality is a tiny bit hard to swallow. The fact that his whole family is slightly off on the normality scale makes me wonder what there is there - a genetic condition, perhaps?
Chris Apolant
Sep 07, 2015 Chris Apolant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth installment of the Agent Pendergast series adds new dimensions to our well-loved cast of characters - and quite a few unexpected developments along the way. Alas, reading the series in order, I must admit it was a slight letdown after the brilliance that was Brimstone, yet like every novel in this series thus far, overall, it proved a gripping read. It starts off strongly, unfortunately, only to lag somewhat in the middle,but picks up pace strongly in the latter half, as we follow Pend ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book of a trilogy, Preston & Child provide us a fast-paced plot in which Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast returns following his supposed death at the end of "Brimstone." Still in hiding, Pendergast must enlist the help of his friends while still protecting them again a plot to kill everyone close to the Agent. Aloysius, a member of very wealthy New Orleans family, uses his Southern charm, ineffable politeness and unerring intellect, to help him anticipate and out maneuver danger ...more
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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)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)

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“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” 1 likes
“Human beings are disgustingly predictable, and this is as true of psychopaths as it is of grandmothers.” 1 likes
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