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White Fire

(Pendergast #13)

by
4.08  ·  Rating details ·  25,249 ratings  ·  2,164 reviews
Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who--with brutal precision--begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergas ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,249 ratings  ·  2,164 reviews


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Peter
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After a break of many years I returned to my favourite series of old. It was a superb read. In my opinion this is the absolute highlight in this series so far. Starting with a dialogue between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle about a horrible story of a men eating Grizzly the authors switch into present time. Corrie Swanson tries to find out more about the skeletons of miners eaten by a grizzly. Soon she finds out that there was cannibalism involved and no bear attack. Where is the connection ...more
Matthew
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elementary, my dear Pendergast!

Modern day thriller combined with some classic Sherlock Holmes, Pendergast and crew travel from historic England to the ritzy slopes of Colorado's finest ski resort. The trail is full of bad decisions, corruption, PTSD, arrogant jerks, mysterious documents, and a blood-crazed grizzly bear. Somehow, it all fits together.

Fans of the Pendergast series will find many similarities between this book and Still Life With Crows. I can't touch on why too much without spoiler
...more
Shaina
This one has a touch of Conan Doyle and Holmes, some influence from Wilde, miners, forensic anthropology, crazy people, fires, hidden motives, murders most foul, secrets, and shoot outs in mines/ running in the dark as if your life depended on it....
ancestry and history vs new development and capitol.
Respect for the past and what is there must be taken for the truth WILL OUT.
Robert
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing Douglas Preston in person (twice) and Lincoln Child via Skype (once), I can’t help but be enthralled by the eccentricities of these two individuals, and the odd dynamic that must ensue from this powerful writing duo. So it’s hard not to see how Aloysius Pendergast might have developed from these two brilliant minds fully formed and ready for action. He’s odd and eccentric and intriguing and his dark suits never manage to get wrinkle, even when he’s bounding through snow drifts up to his c ...more
Sean Gibson
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know what makes Thanksgiving turkey even better? My mom’s savory sage sausage stuffing, and not merely for its alliterative awesomeness.

Before I proceed, allow me to briefly recap: going back to Relic, I’ve been using food metaphors for Pendergast books. It’s disgusting and absurd, given that most of these books focus on serial killers, and the book in question at the moment features multiple instances of the delectable scent of barbecued human flesh. But, here we are anyway.

So, back to Whi
...more
Ginger
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2018
Full review up!
White Fire is another excellent addition to the Pendergast series!

The book starts off in 1876 when Author Conan Doyle gets told a very upsetting story by Oscar Wilde at dinner one night. Oscar Wilde was on a American tour and stopped in Roaring Fork, CO during the tour and was told a tale of grizzly attacks by an old miner.

I loved the way White Fire starts since I love both Doyle and Wilde!

The book heads into present day and Corrie Swanson, a student at John Jay College of Crimin
...more
Craig
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not one of the better books from this team. Agent Pendergast takes a backseat to Corrie Swanson (from Still Life With Crows), his protege, and a student at John Jay College, majoring in criminology. She has to write a thesis and has stumbled on a series of grizzly bear maulings of miners in a Colorado mining camp, now turned into one of the priciest ski resorts in the country. At the same time, someone is targeting the homes and lives of these one-percenters, burning their houses down with the o ...more
Steven
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Preston and Child never cease to amaze and this book helps cement the fact that their Pendergast series remains to this day one of my top favorite series. do I really have to wait another year for another?

*Be on the lookout for a Q&A with the authors in the upcoming few weeks. I'll put links here, but it will be posted at Shelf Inflicted and a few other blogs! WITH A GIVEAWAY! :)



The RECAP:

Corrie Swanson needs to make a huge splash on her thesis, as she’s competing in John Jay College’s Rosewell
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
This book was really good, the story was very interesting and I love the connection to Arthur Conan Doyle. This is one of the best books in the series and I recommend it warmly!

As I never really enjoyed the Helen trilogy was I absolutely thrilled to finally read a Preston and Child book that had a really interesting and entertaining story. I was also glad that Corrie Swanson was back. She's a favorite character and I loved that she had a big part in this book!
...more
Terry
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Pendergast series book that does not disappoint. This is my favorite series across all genres right now. Only 3 more to catch up to the authors - exciting and disappointing at the same time! I enjoyed the classic connection to Sherlock Holmes in this book as well. I've always wanted to try reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's series, cant wait to pick that up as well. ...more
kartik narayanan
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
White Fire is a juicy mystery wrapped in Sherlockiana, with a pseudo-Sherlock Holmes story to boot. It is basically Preston and Child's acknowledgement of the fact that Pendergast has drawn heavily from Holmes.

This story has all the classic Pendergast elements going for it - a bunch of gory killings, an isolated place, some returning characters, great writing and Pendergast is not being as much of a dick as he's being lately. But, a couple of things bothered me. The first issue is how the final
...more
Kylie H
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is number 13 in the Pendergast series and another nail biter. Corrie Swanson one of Pendergast's associates is wanting to do forensic research as part of her studies at John Jay. She finds herself heading off to a mountainous former mining town called Roaring Fork now winter solace for the Hollywood wealthy wanting to get away and ski. The draw card for Corrie is researching a local legend that several miners had been killed and partially eaten by a grizzly bear.
As with all books in this se
...more
Emma
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
3.5 stars

Featuring Corrie Swanson, the young girl from an early book in the series and a personal favourite of mine: Still Life with Crows, this takes Pendergast to the terribly cold and rather inhospitable Rocky Mountains, where very rich people are hiding a very dark secret. The main focus is Carrie, who travels to Roaring Fork for her thesis project, a forensic investigation into a series of bear attacks which killed 11 miners in 1876. She's somewhat of an abrasive main character, though infi
...more
Jen
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was not a Pendergast book of note. Too much Corrie and not enought Pendergast. He's why I wait for the next in the series. Corrie pretty much annoyed me from the get go. Whiney, self-absorbed and quite stupid. There also didn't seem to be the thought, depth and layers that there normally are. I figured out who the arsonist was a quarter, maybe, of the way into the book. I realize that they can't bring back the older characters, but if Corrie is going to be a predominant character, I may dec ...more
Carolyn
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, crime
First up I have to admit that I have not read any of this series about FBI Agent Pendergast. However, I don't think that matters as it seems to be an off-shoot of the series entered on Pendergast's protege, Corrie Swanson.

Corrie is a college student who decides to enter a competition for the best forensic study by doing an in depth examination of some recently exhumed bones of a group of miners killed and eaten by a bear in the Rockies. However, when Corrie examines the bones she finds that the
...more
Charleen
I wasn't a huge fan of the Helen Trilogy, and I was unsure of this one in the beginning because Pendergast seemed to be very much on the periphery of the story... but in the end, I didn't have to worry. There's plenty of Pendergast to keep things feeling familiar, and I liked exploring his relationship with Corrie (makes me want to go back and read Still Life with Crows again). I was amused that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes played such a key role in the story, considering that Pend ...more
TS Chan
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and a fabled lost tale of Sherlock Holmes holding the key to the mystery. What could be more delightful to read? Oh, of course, having the eccentric, vastly intelligent and formidable Special Agent Pendergast back in action.

I always turn to these books when I needed to take a break from heavier reads (even fantasy qualifies as such given the amount of worldbuilding involved). And they never fail to thoroughly entertain with ease. Pendergast is an immensely compell
...more
fleurette
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Well, I have read all the previous books in this series. Some are better, some are worse. Unfortunately, this is not the better one. The whole series turns in some bizarre, a bit dull direction.

The story focuses on Corrie Swanson and Pendergast. Separately, they are not working together on a case most of the time, though Pendergast comes to Colorado to help Corrie arrested by the local police. And it’s a pity because maybe them working together could actually add some liveliness to this story.
...more
Chad
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good jumping on point for new readers of the Pendergast novels as this is a stand alone novel.
Kimberly
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

This story seemed--to me--a refreshing change back to the "old-style" Pendergast. His character seemed to regain much of his beloved "superiority" and unerring instincts that were sadly lacking from some previous books. Although I'm not a fan of Corrie Swanson (with the exception of her debut in STILL LIFE WITH CROWS), her character didn't bother me quite as much or "detract" unnecessarily from the overall narrative.

Also pleasant to note was that this was a stand-alone novel, and not
...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Pendergast heads to Colorado, and Corrie returns as well. Another great suspense story from P & C.
Jim C
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is part of the Agent Pendergast series but this one can be read as a stand alone novel. In this one, Corrie is writing a thesis for college. She discovers a group of old grizzly attacks that took place in Roaring Fork, Colorado. She goes there to look over the bones and there is more to these killings than a grizzly attack.

I have said this before that Agent Pendergast is truly a fascinating character. In my opinion, the last several books have veered away from what makes him one of the best
...more
Mihir
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: After the traumatic events showcased in Two Graves, readers were presented with a broken Pendergast (mentally, and a bit world-weary). So readers were interested to see what would happen to him post the revelations of the climax of the Helen Pendergast trilogy. What I liked was how the authors decided to side-step reader expectations.

This book is a standalone story and focuses on Corrie Swanson as she is looking for a historical project
...more
Julie
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So so..... there was a clumsy re-telling of the classic story, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and not a whole lot else. Several favorite characters were missing. There was none of the usual humor or fantastic creativity of this author duo. Pendergast seemed tired. Corrie Swanson was annoying. Maybe this series is past its prime?

Update 5/20/19: Re-reading this with my daughter this time. It will be interesting to see if I gain a new perspective and enjoy a better reading experience. 6/3/19 My da
...more
Tiffany PSquared
I admit to taking a hiatus on this series for over a year (two?) while I tried to tame my out-of-control dusty bookshelf.
But I regret that decision after reading this well-crafted mystery/thriller. It included everything I love about Agent Pendergast and his off-kilter escapades.
We also ended up getting two books in one with the inclusion of a previously lost/hidden Sherlock Holmes manuscript (wink) that Pendergast must use to help solve his current mystery.
If you have never heard of this series
...more
Simi
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sheesh. I have long been a fan of Pendergast. I mean, I think I may have a little crush on him- so I'm willing to suspend disbelief (he's a bit unreal) and put up with a bit of nonsense (it's genre thriller, nothing literary at all). But. This book utterly failed to live up to my expectations. I read it in two sittings and felt as it focused more on the protege than on Pendergast. The horror felt flat and the who-done-it aspect was not there. It pains me to think that this series may be on the d ...more
Marvin
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I've read the first novel of the Pendergast series, Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, when it first came out in the 90s. It didn't impress me much, at least not enough to check out another Pendergast novel. I'm assuming I didn't like it because I remember hardly any of it. I have the enviable skill of being able to mentally block out books I don't like. It is a helpful superpower in which only the political rants of Anne Coulter seem to be immune to. Anne Coulter is my Kryptonite. But ...more
Mark
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of great thrillers
Pendergast returns after the "Helen trilogy" which for me was somewhat a dip in the road in the series as written by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. For one I do not like books with open endings and reading one story over three years, one that occasionaly flirted more than any book before with an too overly amount of suspense of disbelieve.

But all is well with this new tale of Pendergast & Corrie Swanson, his protege and one of the persons he protects and stimulates. This tale of Americana is a
...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 A new Pendergast is a cause for celebrations, he is such a strange and unique character with such an intriguing back story. In this one his back story takes a back seat, so to say, and his protege Corrie, takes a much more active role.

An old silver mining town, that has now become a very expensive skiing enclave for the very wealthy. An old cemetery, old bones and a very old story Oscar Wilde told Conan Doyle, in the late 1800's when they found themselves in the same place. Now adding Wilde
...more
Glen
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, neo-pulp
When Corrie Swanson gets herself in trouble in Colorado investigating a series of deaths from the wild west days., Pendergast leaps to the rescue.

There's an arson killer in town, burning up entire families in their houses. Pendergast starts poking around and finds the usual conspiracy.

Without the distraction of a whole bunch of supporting characters, it struck me how similar Pendergast is to Eric Van Lustbader's Nicholas Linnear character. If I were making a movie, I'd cast Kyle Maclachlan for b
...more
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9,975 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 20 books)
  • Relic (Pendergast, #1)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast #3, Nora Kelly #0.5)
  • 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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“A strange, pale figure emerged—Pendergast?—and she felt herself suddenly in his arms, lifted bodily as if she were a child again, her head cradled against his chest. She felt his shoulders began to convulse, faintly, regularly, almost as if he was weeping. But that was, of course, impossible, as Pendergast would never cry.” 9 likes
“Carroting, you must understand, was a process by which animal fur is bathed in a solution of mercury nitrate, in order to render the hairs more supple, thus producing a superior felt.” At this last word, he threw a significant glance in my direction. “Felt,” I repeated. “You mean, for the making of hats?” “Precisely. The solution is of an orange colour, hence the term carroting. However, this process had rather severe side effects on those who worked with it, which is why its use today is much reduced. When mercury vapours are inhaled over a long enough period of time—particularly, for our purposes, in the close quarters of a hat-making operation—toxic and irreversible effects almost inevitably follow. One develops tremors of the hands; blackened teeth; slurred speech. In severe cases, dementia or outright insanity can occur. Hence the term mad as a hatter.” 4 likes
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