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Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
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Brimstone

(Pendergast #5)

by
4.14  ·  Rating details ·  31,111 ratings  ·  1,149 reviews
Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 740 pages
Published May 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published August 3rd 2004)
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Jane Goldberg Nothing. They just have Special Agent Pendergast as the main character. Still Life is much different. Not supernatural. Just a guy who was...can't…moreNothing. They just have Special Agent Pendergast as the main character. Still Life is much different. Not supernatural. Just a guy who was...can't say. I love this character. I'd love to meet him. He is so refined, but breaks out of his character in Still Life when he befriends an 18 yr old female who can't stay out of trouble. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,111 ratings  ·  1,149 reviews


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Sean Gibson
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve boxed myself into reviewing Pendergast books using food comparisons, which, fortunately, is not an overly restrictive framework (I mean, I’m only on book five, so haven’t had to start reaching for okra or polenta just yet), but has, thus far, been influenced by whatever I’ve eaten most recently that seems even remotely applicable. (Another reason I haven’t busted out okra or polenta, incidentally, because eating those things just seems ridiculous. I refuse.)

Fortunately, the stars aligned we
...more
Matthew
There are not enough stars in the world for Preston and Child! Dark mystery and intrigue! Forces of good and evil collide! Satan come forth from hell to take the souls of sinners!

Every chapter is interesting with a question answered or a new one raised. Every few pages, another cliffhanger. Each challenge presented seemingly impossible to overcome.

If you like mysteries, thrillers, horror, dark humor, crime drama, etc. Basically if you like unstoppable excitement from page one that goes on for bo
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it

Review Revisited

This is a fabulous series.

Brimstone is somewhat different from its predecessors. It's more Agatha Christie than Michael Crichton this time round. A little bit less horror; a little more mystery. The authors appear to be paying tribute to a number of literary classics and conventions in this novel. For one thing, one of the characters is lifted exactly out of The Woman in White. Aloysius Pendergast has always been decidedly Sherlock Holmes-like, but it's taken to the next level h
...more
Emma
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pendergast for President! I love this character and this series. Pendergast is the real deal.
Ginger
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, buddy-read
Another great book in the Pendergast series! I’ve been really impressed with this series and the writers. Preston/Child have tackled lots of different plots and they have all worked so far.

This book in the series, Brimstone starts off with a charred body found in a Long Island estate. The questions about the death seem to involve evil forces with the smell of brimstone in the air and a hoofprint scorched into the floor.

Did Satan really kill this man?!! Well, read this book to find out.

This book
...more
Emma
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
First name: ✔ ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“While dead men tell no tales, their corpses often speak volumes.”

Opening with one of the most intriguing mystery starters ever, Brimstone makes it seem like the devil himself has come to settle scores. Like many other Pendergast novels, sometimes it seems like the story is Paranormally focused, but by the end that's not always the case. I won't say whether it is or isn't this time around, just like Relic and Still Life with Crows, things are usually more than they initially seem, even if what
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, suspense
The Diogenes cycle with the Pendergast series is my favorite section. This one takes place in Italy. And true to its name has religious connotations. Not my favorite of the three, but still quite a baffling mystery to the very end.
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
4.5 stars. What can I say? Another stellar Pendergast adventure from Preston & Child.
Lena
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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Powerful men are dying of spontaneous human combustion and everyone’s blaming the devil. Never fear Pendergast is here!

And so is D’Agosta! He’s had some knocks since last we saw him but my goodness does he shine here.

D’Agosta is fierce.

D’Agosta is smoking hot.

D’Agosta sizzled.

I enjoyed so much of this book: the plot, historical anecdotes, the action, the sex, that ending. My only complaint is that they could have cut fifty or so pages, this was long.

4.5 Stars happily rounded up. I’m addicte
...more
Michael
I had some thrills with this one, the 5th in a series of 12. A mysterious death of a hated Manhattan art critic is judged as caused by internal heating, and a cloven hoof print and bit of brimstone at the scene raise the specter of the Devil’s work. FBI agent Prendergast and police liaison Sergeant D’Agosta make a team similar to Holmes and Watson. The victim’s guests and telephone calls made the night of his death have overtones of a man who has made a pact with the Devil fearful of payback tim ...more
TS Chan
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a big book for a thriller at over 700 pages but I devoured it hungrily as it was so good. On to the next one immediately, as Brimstone is the first book of the Diogenes trilogy within the larger series. And with that ending in this volume, impossible not to binge-read now.
Jaya
2.5
my least favourite in the series so far. wasn't as masala-esque as its predecessors. and that ending? bah humbug
✨Susan✨
I have liked other books in this series very much but I had a hard time getting into this one. I only related to two characters which is rare for me in a Preston Child book. It was a struggle to stick with it.
Mark
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of brilliant adventure novels
Recommended to Mark by: fate
The best reason for rereading a good book is when you switch from a dog-eared paperback copy to a first edition hardcover copy, so I did just that.

The book begins with a crime scene that clearly shows that the devil has taken care of the victim. This of course tickles a certain FBI agents interest and when he finds a certain former NYPD lieutenant Vincent in the humbly job of police sergeant at the same scene life is good for Vincent who suddenly becomes a liaison for the local police department
...more
kartik narayanan
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Brimstone starts off promisingly but putters out towards the end.

So..., the book is actually quite good till the last act. Once, the villain is revealed in all his Blofeld like glory, the book falters. Other than this (which is a big deal), Brimstone has excellent writing & characterization blah blah blah.

Preston & Child have used this book to set up a 'Moriarty' for Pendergast or is that a Mycroft? ;-). In addition, a new character is abruptly introduced which made me wonder if I had
...more
John
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to John by: Bookstore display
Shelves: not-recommended
OK, more popular genre fiction doing a very mediocre job of representing their genre.

Child and Preston must have a fan at the local independent bookstore because several of these McNuggets of entertainment are on their recommended shelf. After reading a few of them, I'm not sure why.

Two dimensional comic book characters (and not in a good way), over-wrought plots, unbelievable exploits, yadda yadda.

Probably the most fundamental criticism I can make regards their craft. They consistently tell us
...more
Lobstergirl
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trent Franks

This, the rollicking fifth in the Pendergast series, featuring spontaneous combustion, assassins, and 18th-century violins, is Preston & Child's best Pendergast thus far, despite some flaws. One overlookable flaw was an unnecessary side plot involving an ex-felon doomsday preacher who improbably sets up a grimy tent city in Central Park and gets hundreds (or maybe it was thousands) of New Yorkers to follow him as if he's a modern Messiah. Um, right. This felt like it was imported from a bad
...more
Kasia
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Brimstone is the fifth fantastic read from the ingenious Preston and Child duo and it doesn't disappoint. I thought that the book was simply fantastic and extremely delectable, and the moment I finished it I felt a deep hunger to pounce on the next, if I had the sixth book in my possession I have no doubt that I would be unable to leave it alone. Meticulously researched, the novel travels from the streets of New York into the lush and romantic Italy, where Pendergast meets with a nemesis so gran ...more
Marie
I read this book a long time ago and really loved it then just as I loved again this time around. It grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go till you get to the end. I had forgotten some of what happened in the book, but it slowly started coming back as I re-read it. To me it was as thrilling the second time around. Love Pendergast!

If you are not familiar with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child or you are new to the horror genre, then you need to read these authors and especially their series
...more
Shaina
My review and the shelves I had placed it on were gone.
I have a lot of reviews to replace Goodreads!!!!
Soo
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed
Mini-Review:

3.5 Stars

4.5 Stars for Narration by Scott Brick
3 Stars for Plot - I felt that the plot meandered and lost focus towards the end. The best parts were getting back known characters into the story line and a few peeks into Pendergast. I do love the atmospheric scenes & how the stories are character driven. It almost feels like a cozy mystery except the situations are a bit more dire than cozy.
Cherie
It was nice to have the whole story and not an abridged version.
Alex
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book! Solid 4.5 stars. The duo really has a way of fusing together both great dialogue and descriptive setting with a solid plot. There were several action scenes that had me on the edge of my seat, reminding me of the greatest action novels I've read - Dan Brown, Max McCoy, Patterson, and even other Preston/Child books. Great plot, per usual, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen next. And the fellas have a knack for knowing just when to switch to another su ...more
Tiffany PSquared
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I already loved the Relic/Pendergast series and reading this book may have sealed my dedication to it ad infinitum with the introduction (sort of) of bad boy, Diogenes.
I love the way Pendergast and D'Agosta play off of each other. The main story was enough though - the little sub plots were a little superfluous.


ᴥ Irena ᴥ
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, mystery
There are so many twists and turns in this story. Nothing is as you'd expect. No lead leads you where you thought it would. What started as a strange murder with a supernatural touch turns into something even worse.

I loved this book because Pendergast and D'Agosta are working together almost the entire book. There is so much action when these two are concerned that the story is full of edge-of-the-seat moments. The danger they find themselves in is real. Unlike previous books, the story in Brim
...more
Chris
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm honestly not sure what to say about this book. It was ok, I liked it more than the first Pendergast novel Relic. I just expected a better ending. For the most part I like the character Pendergast. He is the type of Agent that you want to follow because he has this James Bond style confidence, while is also not afraid to push the boundaries to get information he needs.

This book is a good stand alone novel. Having only read the first Perdergast novel I was concerned that I would be lost. A fr
...more
Andrew Sydlik
Feb 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Fifth Pendergast book, first in the "Diogenes trilogy," although Pendergast's diabolical brother hardly appears in this at all, so I don't understand why it is lumped with the next 2 books. Anyway, it is pretty typical of the Pendergast series - fast-paced action, mysterious crimes, a blend of science and the spiritual.

I like the complexity of the mystery and Pendergast's eccentricities, which remind me of Poe's detective stories. However, some of the narrative seems unnecessary, such as the sec
...more
Alison
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've ready by Douglas Preston and I'm ready to read more. Agent Pendergast is quite a character, a little of James Bond, a little of David Copperfield, and little like a cat with nine lives - which all makes it that much more interesting to read on to discover how he's going to get out of all the scrapes he gets into! Spontaneous Human Combustion? The Devil? are two of the theories put out there when a body is discovered burnt although nothing else in the house has been to ...more
John Beta
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
These Pendergast novels are like comfort food - I only partake a few times a year. As always, mystery, thrills, dashes of humor, and the amazing Aloysius X. L. Pendergast - an ever resourceful FBI agent. This is the sixth Pendergast novel and so far, and this one is in my top six of the series. Ha!
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8,057 followers
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

Other books in the series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Relic (Pendergast, #1)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • 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)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)
“He found Pendergast's cool gaze on him, and he fidgeted. He'd forgotten about those eyes. They made you feel like you had just been stripped of your secrets.” 17 likes
“Sleep is an unfortunate biological requirement that both wastes time and leaves one vulnerable.” 3 likes
More quotes…