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Cold Vengeance

(Pendergast #11)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  24,885 ratings  ·  1,463 reviews
Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple. As he stalks his wife's betrayers-- a chase that takes him from the wild moors of Scotland to the bustling streets of New York and the darkest bayous of Louisiana-- he is also forced to dig further into Helen's past. And he is stunned t ...more
Kindle Edition, 457 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  24,885 ratings  ·  1,463 reviews

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Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I did not really enjoy this installation of the Pendergast series. It's not that it's badly written, but the authors are really starting to move Pendergast's character and plot lines into the conspiracy theory thriller genre. While I love a good conspiracy thriller, what I loved about Pendergast was the archeology, science, museum settings, New York City and New Orleans settings and Holmesian feel.

None of that is evident in the new Pendergast. He even goes so far as to make multiple glaring mist
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When I begin to intimidate you, you'll know it!" - Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast

Just when you think Pendergast has faced just about every challenge, these guys show up . . .

(view spoiler)

Much like the middle book of the Diogenes trilogy, this seems to serve more as a bridge than a complete story in itself. But, it is very good, action packed, and sees the return of a favorite character from earlier in the series (no hints or spoilers, you just have to read it for yourse
Karl Marberger
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Super good. A lot left to know yet.
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, take notice, I gave this book 4 stars, I like the Pendergast books... I give this preamble because I'm going to say some things that could be taken as negative. But they're not so negative that I didn't enjoy the book.

First let me say, I'm not a died in the wool Preston/Child fan (and why in the listing above does Child get short shrift?)[When I first wrote this, for some reason only Preston's name was listed]. I've read books written by them individually which I found (in my opinion) rang
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2018
Oh my God! What are you doing to me Preston & Child?!

You leave me with TWO cliffhangers in the 2nd book of the Helen trilogy? Good grief!

I love this series and these two writers. The action, mystery and complexities of each book is just so well done. I've never been disappointed with a book from the Pendergast series.

Thanks for the buddy read Terry & Matthew!
Can't wait to get to Two Graves which is the last book in the Helen Pendergast trilogy. It's been a rollercoaster of a ride and it's hard t
Sean Gibson
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
For reasons unfathomable to the (human) brain, I have been using food metaphors in reviews for books in this series, starting with the hot dog that is Relic. Someone should really stop me from ever putting pen to paper again, but until that happens, let’s keep it going.

This was the most challenging book to fooditize, in part because it’s a little different. There’s not a whole lot of Pendergast mystery solving, faux-supernatural creepiness, serial killers, or arcane NYC secrets. There’s not eve
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agent Pendergast is angry. Not just angry......really really really angry. And out for justice, with a shot of revenge. In the first novel in the Helen Pendergast trilogy (within the Pendergast series), he discovered new evidence in the death of his wife in a lion attack several years before. He swore he would find out who was behind her murder and avenge her. In Cold Vengeance, Pendergast not only discovers that the conspiracy is so much more diabolical and depraved than he thought, but he also ...more
L-J Johnson
What have they done to Pendergast?!? I'm not liking this stereotypical action stud the authors are turning him into. Where are the strange mysteries, haunted hallways of museums, Pendergast's both cerebral and mystical take on the world? And that this particular storyline - Pendergast investigating his wife's accidental death/murder/disappearance from 12 years prior - is going to take three books is just ridiculous! I'm tired of novels just stopping, with no ending at all. This wasn't that long ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Cold Vengeance is the second book in the Helen Pendergast trilogy that began with Fever Dream last year. I very much enjoyed the new twist envisioned by the authors as Pendergast begins to re-examine his past and find out about his wife. This move was a brilliant one by the authors and Fever Dream rekindled many a jaded fan back into Pendergast’s throes.

This book begins almost immediately after the events of the last book. Pendergast
TS Chan
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nooooo... a cliffhanger ending?!!

Yep, I finished this book in a single day because it was insanely absorbing. Pendergast is a maniac when desperate and I just love it!

The action in this book is worthy of Bourne and Bond, especially that climactic yacht scene.

Brb, reading the next book now.
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Preston-Childs fans unite, but be warned. This book is best read with the others underneath your belt. A least the one before it, Fever Dream, if you want to understand this one. The other ten if you want the full impact. Do not pick this book up going, ‘Oh! A week-end beach read!’ This is not a beach read. If you want knitting patterns and recipes, the cozy mysteries section is out back.

Once again Preston and Child both grasp the mysterious aspects of their most memorable characters, this time
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I can't believe this is the 11th Pendergast book I've read! Preston and Child still have the magic touch, and this series is still going strong. ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Brilliant! Fast paced (I really didn’t notice the pages flying by) action with barely a pause for breath. Pendergast is wonderful. #Pendergast for President.
I always learn so much in these books. They make me laugh, ponder 🤔, “ get the feels” as many of you would say, etc.
Know this, these authors are very good at leaving you hanging SOMEWHERE so that you just must pick up that next one ASAP.

I don’t think this review requires a spoiler warning at all, but just in case this next paragraph may be slightly spoilery?!? So sensitives stop here. 💙

This one gets in deep about Helen and her lineage, and picks up where the last book leaves off. It gives
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
Binge listened to this with my daughter today. This is what she said about it: "High intrigue. Most excellent addition to the stories about Agent Pendergast." ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Special Agent Pendergast has been in my life since I was a teenager, and I've followed his adventures through to my thirties. Like Corrie Swanson from Still Life With Crows, I too shared an admiration for the elusive FBI agent. However, through the series he has grown from an aloof and scrupulously scientific investigator to a man very nearly teetering on the edge of whatever is left of his sanity.

FEVER DREAM began the epic journey deeper into Pendergast's psyche as he realized his wife, Helen,
kartik narayanan
This book is an non-standard Pendergast since it is essentially an action thriller rather than a mystery. Somehow in the last few books, Pendergast has slowly switched from being an intellectual type who is a marksman, to being Mitch Rapp. I find that this is slowly reducing the appeal of this series since it seeks to compete in a genre where there are much better ones available. I come to Pendergast because it is creepy and there is a mystery to be solved, not because I want to read about the a ...more

Preston and Child have their little arsenal of stock phrases they can't quit. Depending on where their novels are set, and how much time is spent mountain climbing or in subterranean caverns, there will be varying amounts of susurrus and fingers scrabbling for purchase. Here we have only one "low susurrus of wind" and one set of feet finding a purchase aboard a yacht. But we do have two instances of fingers being tented: Dr. Felder, Constance's psychiatrist, "tented his fingers." Pendergast even
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: David Atkinson
Shelves: favorites
This is the 11th Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast novel and apparently the 2nd in the Helen Esterhazy Pendergast trilogy.

This is not Preston & Child's best work. I've read the books they've written as individuals and you notice the absence of the other author. This reads like someone shoved these two men in a room with a typewriter and forced them to churn out a book.

Its a much slower read than their previous novels. Its better than Brimstone which in my opinion could have removed all the
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11) by Preston & Child.

Special Agent Pendergast believes his beloved wife, Helen, was murdered. From across the sea in Scotland through the Moors and back the Louisianna Bayouis and into New York City he pursues those responsible for her death. The people responsible for Helen's death is not all he finds. The lies and deception go beyond anything he was seeking. To his shock, he finds that he himself had been betrayed and had been living a lie perpetrated by the love
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just terrific - Love this series! If you haven't started reading it, you need to! ...more
Michael Knudsen
Special Agent Pendergast is one of my favorite characters in contemporary fiction. So here's why Cold Vengeance only gets 3 stars: This is the first of this particular cycle of novels that really feels like just an installment. Not only do you KNOW you're not going to get a decent resolution to this book, but you know it from the beginning. This would be fine if you're lucky enough to be reading the whole series after its publication, but argh, this is one of those cliffhangers we readers could ...more
Kylie H
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have to be one of my favourite crime series - this book is number 11 in the Pendergast series. I don't want to spoil anything but in this book Pendergast is shocked when someone he thought long dead appears to be alive. Other characters from earlier books make a reappearance and as usual Pendergast finds himself in a lot of tight situations with the odds stacked against him. From the Scottish Moors to central New York, this book delivers on many levels. ...more
Benjamin Thomas
This 11th novel in the Special Agent Pendergast series is also the middle book in what is referred to as the “Helen” trilogy within the larger series. Picking up on the heels of Fever Dream, Pendergast has learned that his beloved wife, Helen, killed twelve years before by a rogue lion when her rifle misfired, had in fact been murdered. Now he’s out for answers and even vengeance, and the trail leads him to some nasty surprises.

While I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, I’m not sure I like the way
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If some of the previous Pendergast novels have left you scratching your head, I feel that in this one, many questions are beginning to be answered. I was kind of left hanging with Constance Green and the Helen story line, and to be honest, not interested in either one, because I love the Pendergast of old where he was like a mix of Twilight Zone and X Files. Those are the great ones, Relic, Cabinet, Crows, Brimstone, those are such stay up late and read books. When Constance came around, I wasn' ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
“Aloysius! The Covenant... they’ll kill me!”

Yes, I think they will.

I am both enraptured and annoyed. The authors are clearly inspired by The Holcroft Covenant, the movie version, and have teased to death the Nazi connections in Helen’s past. Oooh Nazi, isn’t it fracking awful that is still salacious fodder?

I did not finish this book dying to pick up the next one. I finished this book pissed.

And I am done with Constance Green. Done.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this series found me in 2003 I had no idea it will be a friendship for life.

Pendergast's 11th novel reads swiftly with sharp, short chapters brimming with brutal action and a newly reopened mystery from the past unfolding into something quite sinister. As usual the threats get greater while more of our favorite characters are put in major jeopardy, I was shocked to have to say goodbye to familiar faces but the story unfolding promises a grew new set of adventures.

Janice Boychuk
***** STILL 5-STAR!! *****

6 years later, and I've now read books 1-11 in this series. I have a better understanding and appreciation for this one, knowing more in-depth knowledge of certain characters who appeared previously, such as Corrie Swanson, Vincent D'Agosta and Constance Greene, to name a few.

What can I say, I just LOVE the Pendergast character... on to the next book of the trilogy!!


This is the second book I've read with the protagonist Aloysius Pendergast and
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though it can be read as a separate novel, the storyline begun in FEVER DREAM continues here. In that previous book, Pendergast learned that his beloved wife, Helen, killed twelve years before by a rogue lion when her rifle misfired, had in fact been murdered. The rifle, untouched by him or anyone else since the incident, is taken from the gun case for cleaning. He finds it loaded with blanks.

Pendergast is on a mission to find his wife's killer, a trek that takes him form Scotland to New York to
The latest of the Pendergast books is actually the second in a sequence within the overall series. In Fever Dream, Pendergast (and the reader) learned of the strange death of the agent's wife at the hands of her brother. Now that brother is going after Pendergast and also hinting at some long-running cabal behind the Esterhazy's lives.

There is much mayhem, vengeance in multiple directions, and misdirection, as Pendergast attempts to learn the truth about his wife. People from past novels return
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Horror Aficionados : Cold Vengeance - Preston/Child 71 56 Feb 14, 2020 12:06PM  
Play Book Tag: Cold Vengence by Douglas Preston - 4 Stars 1 7 Nov 01, 2019 01:38PM  
PRESTON CHILD INTERVIEW 10 97 Nov 07, 2011 08:25AM  
Ask Preston & Child!: KILLL HERRRRR 74 190 Oct 05, 2011 02:44PM  
Ask Preston & Child!: Where do you get your main characters from? 43 163 Oct 01, 2011 02:03PM  
Ask Preston & Child!: Where's the supernatural? 7 84 Sep 11, 2011 04:51PM  

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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 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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