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Verses for the Dead

(Pendergast #18)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  10,914 ratings  ·  1,184 reviews
Preston & Child return with their #1 bestselling series, confronting FBI Special Agent Pendergast with the one challenge he never expected: a partner.

After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI's New York field office, A. X. L. Pendergast is abruptly forced to accept an unthinkable condition of continued employment: the famously rogue agent must now work with a partner.

Hardcover, Large Print, 434 pages
Published December 31st 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  10,914 ratings  ·  1,184 reviews

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Start your review of Verses for the Dead (Pendergast, #18)
Recently I saw this come across my Facebook feed:

"Google 'Florida man' followed by your birthday and post the title of an article that comes up"

Some examples of results:

- Florida Man Faked Robbery To Get Out Of Work (March 27th)
- Jury finds Florida man guilty of dismembering father, but not murder (June 21st)
- Pot keeps washing up on the shores of Florida: Deputies said a man tried to steal some (September 13th)
- Freak show owner may get no penalty (my birthday - November 30th)

Feel free to comme
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
It’s a mystery to me why the plotting in this series is so much better than in the other series written by these authors together, and also in the books written by them separately. (I read one two days ago that was unpardonable.) I’ve read every book in this series and it’s still entertaining me. In this one, Pendergast is forced to work with a new partner, Coldmoon, a Native American who’s mission is to never let Pendergast go rogue since Pendergast’s suspects tend not to survive long enough to ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Normally, I would say: "Pendergast, you're after my heart again in this one."

However, there are other hearts involved in Verses for the Dead.....multiple ones.

An elderly woman walks her dog in the wee hours of the morning in Miami. Their destination is the cemetery to visit the grave of her late husband. The heat of the day is already upon them. Little Twinkle breaks loose from the woman's weak grasp of the leash and heads directly for something on a nearby grave. Iris reaches for the item and f
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great way to end the series if Preston & Child decide to do just that!

Verses for the Dead starts off with FBI Agent A. X. L. Pendergast investigating a murder in Miami that defies explanation and lots of questions. Pendergast unfortunately has one thing that is affecting his flow of the murder investigation, and that is:

Dun, dun, duuuun, A PARTNER!

FBI Agent Coldmoon is now partnered with the elusive and eccentric Pendergast and doesn't really know what to think about him.
I loved t
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The 'Agent A.X.L. Pendergast' series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is one of my favorite mystery/thriller series and I eagerly await each new offering. # 18 in the series, 'Verses for the Dead' was worth the wait. If you follow this series, then you're aware that at the end of the last novel, SA Pendergast's future with the FBI seemed somewhat questionable. though Pendergast had received numerous commendations from the FBI and had a high case 'solve rate', he was also considered a rogue a ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
With Verses for the Dead, the 18th novel in the Agent Pendergast series, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child continue the soft reset they began in City of Endless Night. Once again it's a standalone story, one that only touches on the wider mythology, completely devoid of any monstrous themes or supernatural elements . . . and which introduces the twist of a new Director, uncomfortable with Pendergast's methods, and a new partner.

The introduction of a new character can often be uncomfortable, upsett
Liz Kirchhoff
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
While this was a good mystery with some great new characters, it lacked the depth and atmosphere that has been such a part of the rest of the series. The setup was fantastic and the mystery compelling, but the ending felt rather rushed. Still, it is always great to spend time with Pendergast. I’m looking forward to more Constance in the next book!
Bam cooks the books ;-)
In the latest book in this long-running series, FBI Special Agent Pendergast is assigned a young partner, junior agent Coldmoon. Of course, Pendergast has no doubt that his partner's main job is to spy on him for their new chief, Assistant Director in Charge, Walter Pickett.

Their first assignment takes them to Miami, FL, where a young woman has been murdered and a body part removed. Said part is found on the grave of a woman who committed suicide some ten years before and with this 'gift' is a
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Agent Pendergast is saddled with a new boss and partner as he investigates a serial killer who cuts out women's hearts and leaves them on the graves of suicides in Florida. The new director wants no part of Pendergast's unorthodox methods and is looking for any reason to get rid of him. This is a good jumping on point for new readers. There's very little of Pendergast's personal baggage, it's all about the case. I found it refreshing after so many volumes revolving around Pendergast's eccentric ...more
So sad to have caught up to the authors! I hope there will be more Pendergast books in the future. This one got back to the basics, and I found it refreshing as well as good. No doubt about the fact that Pendergast is one of my absolute favorite characters out there. Highly recommend this series!
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a joy it is to enjoy a book so much that you're sad when you reach the end! Over the years, I've become a fan of several series, including this one - never (or rarely) missing a new installment. And over those same years, I've watched way too many of them become rather stale; characters I'd come to love fall off their professional games, take on lesser roles in their own stories and even, in one instance, continue to act like a silly pre-teenager well into what should be grown-up years. Not ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eighteen books and still going strong in this series. That's quite something and our authors never seem to run out of things to keep FBI special agent A.X.L. Pendergast busy and on his game.

As a reader of this series, one knows full well that Pendergast is a loner when it comes to solving a case. However, in this book, our intrepid mysterious agent acquires a partner, Coldmoon, and as you can imagine, he is none to happy about that.

The two are assigned to a case where some grisly instances are
This was absolutely great and worth the wait I had to go through and it was back to classic SI Pendergast.! I loved Coldmoon. He was so hilarious and so opposite to Axl that it was perfect!!! Oh the coffee thing! Coffee lovers in general are so specific about their tastes usually and then there are Agent P’s habits of having to drink very expensive beverages; then you add in Coldmoon. Love it!
I liked how they ended up working together and so many things made me laugh, but it
Denyse Prendergast
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Descent to the Ordinary

A series I've always enjoyed, in large part due to its quasi-mystical overtones and interesting characters; the plots, though convoluted, are always coherent. However, the old crew are largely gone along with the hint of the supernatural; this is just another serial killer procedural. The story held my attention but it was just...ordinary.
Now THAT was a Pendergast book. I loved the last book, because, well, I love anything Pendergast, but let's be honest here... it felt a little like a retooled previous entry in the series. This one, on the other hand, was a top notch return to form. One of my favorite of the recent volumes in the series. Highly recommended.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
There was a particularly tender scene where Pendergast was consoling a mother of a victim of suicide with empathy and sensitivity. The mother, moved by Pendergast's empathy gives her daughter's medallion to Pendergast to keep saying, "I think you're someone who knows a little about lost causes." It was an extraordinary scene that stood out and underscored Pendergast's humanity and why I like his character so much.

Update: reading for a second time, as my daughter is here on a visit and we enjoy l
Stewart Tame
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serial killer is terrorizing Miami, removing the hearts of his victims and placing them on the graves of suicides. Agent Pendergast is sent to investigate, but will his new supervisor and partner cramp his style?

Also, I’d like to add a single word, which will mean nothing to new readers, but will intrigue the Hell out of longtime fans. This, by itself, won't spoil anything: Smithback.

As with all Preston & Child books, this is a tautly-constructed propulsive thriller of a book. Yes, it's the ei
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 actually. Preston and Child have always been favourite authors of mine. And, I really like their character Special Agent Pendergast, who is portrayed as an intriguing character with a very different way of looking at events. An excellent plot with real characters I can relate too. Unputdownable, my highest praise

Pendergast and his elderly ward Constance finally in Volume 18 do what readers have been waiting three books for, have sweaty drippy hard-thrusting sex thoughtfully examine together a terrarium devoted to the propagation of imperiled carnivorous plants. Then Pendergast is off to Miami Beach (clearly one or both of the authors domicile or vacation in Florida, which has unfortunately become the locus of recent books) to solve a painfully tedious series of killings. Preston and Child have taken a w
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A new FBI director in NYC is cleaning shop, painting a target on Pendergast's back. He dispatches him to Florida (with a new partner, Agent Coldmoon) to investigate a strange murder where the victim's heart is removed and left on someone's grave. Rather than focus on the victim, Pendergast works the case from the angle of the buried person, who was a suicide. There is a note of apology from the murderer signed Mr. Brokenhearts. As the bodies accumulate, Pendergast has to battle the local PD and ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, a-z-2019
Feels a bit more like the old Pendergast after a few books in the series that were a bit less than inspired. Wish there had been a hint of the supernatural as in some previous stories.
(view spoiler)
My blood alone remains. Take it, but don't let me suffer long.

Preston and Child have another great entry in the Pendergast series, and redeem themselves from the mess that was The Pharaoh Key.

Pendergast's longtime boss at the FBI's New York office, Longstreet, has died. Now Pendergast must deal with a new boss, Pickett, who is on the fast-track because of his ability to organize and encourage, but he sees Pendergast as a maverick who must either return to the fold or be banished to the hinterla
kartik narayanan
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Verses for the Dead is an excellent Pendergast story.

It has a good serial killer plot, the trademark Pendergast wit and quirks. And to top it all, Pendergast has a partner who is actually tolerable. The presence of the partner,'coldmoon' adds to the story and their interactions were enjoyable. The twist at the end was the added cherry in top. Plus, no constance, yay!
TS Chan
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Verses for the Dead is definitely one of the better books in this series with quite a mind-boggling and engaging mystery. And, Pendergast had to work with an FBI partner this time. One who's supposed to be carrying out a side agenda of sorts for his superior, with regard to Pendergast’s unusual ways. It's always interesting when new characters are heavily involved in the investigation with Pendergast and seeing their POVs of his mannerisms and methods. I found that Pendergast's charact
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In this the latest Pendergast novel from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs, our familiar and somewhat eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast is confronted with a new dilemma. His new supervisor requires he work with a partner, something he has never done, in an effort to quell his roguish ways (or force him out). So he enters this new case with Agent Coldmoon at his side, each wondering about the other.

And this case calls for Pendergast’s well known skills. He and his partner go to Miami for a
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: would-read-again

This was a standalone novel within the Pendergast universe in which the title character takes on a case for the FBI in Miami. An apparent serial killer who calls himself Mister Brokenhearts is at large, and Pendergast has been given a partner to help investigate. Agent Coldmoon is pretty much there to babysit Pendergast because of his questionable track record with suspect deaths. This is a change from previous novels, being a cut-and-dry mystery. I felt that the end reveal was a little too
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
a bit short, but it's satisfying to see sa pendergast in action once again (view spoiler)

Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel ends with somebody finding an human organ in a cemetery, which is rightfully the place for human parts albeit not partly but in a whole human package. It is placed upon a grave of woman who died in a suicide many years before.
Without a doubt it is a first offering with some more to follow especially the police and the FBI want to keep the victim count as low as possible so the FBI will be sending their best in strange and extra-ordinary cases.

Special agent Pendergast is the man the b
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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

Other books in the series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 19 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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