Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wheel of Darkness” as Want to Read:
The Wheel of Darkness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  20,544 Ratings  ·  1,018 Reviews
A luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, awash in wealth and decadence . . . An ancient Tibetan box, its contents unknown, sealed with a terrifying warning . . . An FBI agent destined to confront what he fears most-"himself." . .
FBI Special Agent Pendergast is taking a break from work to take Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wheel of Darkness, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if you thought Pendergast went odd adventures before . . . you haven't seen anything yet! 

This is a book that as I try to review I fear that anything I say will be a spoiler.  When that is the case, I find a bullet point review lets me share my thoughts without giving too much away.

- The book has a slightly different feel than any of the previous ones
- You can read this one as a stand alone. However there are a few points that tie it back into the rest of the books that will be spoilers i
Tom Kouhsari
Mar 04, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are two types of people who rate this book highly. Those that have never read the rest of the Pendergast series and those whose understanding of the rest of the Pendergast series is skin deep.

This book is an insult to the rest of the series. I wonder if Preston and Child just got to the point where they said "I bet we can write any piece of garbage and put our names on it and put the name Pendergast in it and people will still love it"

Anyway, you could easily have written this book and rep
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the Pendergast series
This is the latest book in the "Pendergast series" from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It's their superhero FBI agent at it once again, saving lost pieces of art, relics and outwitting everyone all while making you, the reader, feel like you need to go out and start buying Hugo Boss suits and driving around in vintage luxury cars.

Actually, this book is a departure from the usual behavior of Agent Pendergast. He actually becomes a victim of sorts in this book and it's interesting to see Pres
Steven Turek
Sep 17, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
After a leaving their last book soaked with uncertainty, Preston and Child return with a very disappointing conclusion. Many a thread are left untied with the conclusion of this book. In their past books they have treated the unknown with science and explanation, but here they delve way too deeply into the supernatural. The ending is remenicent of the deus ex machina endings of ancient Greek theatre. The authors build up the suspense, but then take the easy way out by having very improbable thin ...more
J.S. Bailey
I have a hard time getting into Preston & Child novels. Their plots are interesting but we never really get to know the characters. Just who is Pendergast, and who is Constance? What are their motivations? Their hopes? Their dreams? Their fears? I gather from reading that Constance is immeasurably old but still looks very young, but I don't know what led to her longevity. These characters, as well as the "supporting" cast, seem paper-thin to me because they're really just a name and a face a ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love most of what these guys Douglass Preston and Lincoln Child write together. But I esecially love the story line of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast and his "ward" Constance Greene.Yeah the books are a bit over the top and Agent Pendergast gets away with ALOT of stuff no Real FBI agent would, but the books are great. Always some end of the world /Crazy person with a venetta to destroy everything plot , and yet always different and fresh. This one takes place on a brand new Ocean Liner called B ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you look at this book individually, it's not entirely bad. Mystery novels are supposed to be a fun romp with a whodunit. But when you look at this book as compared to the rest of the series it belongs to, it becomes a bit worse. Nothing about The Wheel of Darkness added to the series. The plots drew from Titanic and Sherlock Holmes. And dare I say, the characters seemed to have different personalities. I just hope this book was a fluke and the rest of the series will shine.
Okay, this was a tough one.

From what I’ve read so far and in my own personal opinion, within Preston/Child’s series about FBI agent extraordinaire Aloysius Pendergast the books are either very good (like, for example, Still Life With Crows) or not good at all (Relic).

Interestingly enough, “The Wheel of Darkness” was a bit in between.

Maybe I should mention that I haven’t read “Brimstone”, “Dance of Death” or “The Book of the Dead” up until now, so Constance was a new character for me, but I li
Lee Miller
The language is arch to the point of smugness, the situations are ridiculous, and the characters are absurd, but I couldn't put it down. It's as if two writers got together and said "let's take a junior high boys' James Bond fantasy and see how far we can stretch it before it breaks."

And, for some odd, reptilian-brain reason, it worked, at least for me. A major theme involved Tibetan mysticism, which added a fun, exotic feel. I also enjoyed the fact that much of the action took place on an ocean
Sep 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of like an old boyfriend who I'm tired of but keep hanging out with out of guilt. This book had it's moments of fun, and Pendergast is always great to read about. Problem is, he didn't really DO much in this book. It had a really good premise, but just got lazy and ended with a fizzle. Did I love it? No. Will I read the next Lincoln-Child bit of fluff that comes out? You betcha.
Definitely the weakest one yet.

2.5 stars

Zu Beginn hat mir das Buch eigentlich ganz gut gefallen. Das gestohlene Artefakt aus Tibet und das setting auf dem Kreuzfahrtschiff versprachen absolute Spannung. Die verschiendenen Perspektiven der Passagiere haben einen interessanten Einblick in die Geschehnisse an Bord gegeben und es wurde so schnell Spannung aufgebaut.

Im letzten Drittel hat mich das Buch dann allerdings verloren. Es wurde immer wirrer, konfuser und abgedrehter. Das war dann leider so gar nicht mehr nach meinem Geschmack u
Martin Gibbs
Jan 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zzzgarbage
I'm sorry, no. I loved the Relic and the Reliquary (there really are folks who live in the undergound subway tunnels, and it is a fascniating study). There was a possibility of truth to both, because there possibly are plant chemicals that could warp your brain and turn you into a monster.

But this?

I have never thrown out a book, until I read this. For long and long, it seemed Preston and Child wrote things that bordered on paranormal, but still had a logical explanation. They still held my inter
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
This book is one of the standalone books in the Pendergast series, though of course one will have a deeper understanding of some of the characters by having read the earlier books, particularly when it comes to Constance, Pendergast's ward, who takes a much more prominent role than Pendergast in much of the book.

One of the most interesting parts of this book is an event that shows that Pendergast is not infallible and cannot always keep himself from from harmful influence. I was uncomfortable th
This was...fine? I was expecting a typical jet-around-the-world type of an adventure/thriller book. Instead, I got an adventure on the high seas. There were some great moments in here, full of sassiness from Pendergast and Constance. But there was also a lot of stuff I didn't especially care about. I mean, honestly? The paranormal aspects were kind of unnecessary and I think I would have preferred the story without them.

Yes, I skipped like 6 Pendergast books, but the author's note at the back s
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nu būtībā ir tā, ka pirmā puse ir tāds diezgan labs krimiķis, bet otrajā grāmatas pusē parādās mistika (rēgi utt). Man noteikti būtu patikusi grāmata daudz vairāk, ja tā mistika būtu ielikta jau sākumā vai nebūtu vispār. Citādi bija sajūta, ka no viena žanra pāriet otrā.

Vēl man kaut kā likās diezgan stulba tā izglābšanās. Tik liels kuģis un tik ātri pagrieza.. Bullshit! (kā teiktu Ārnijs).
John Inman
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. On to #9, Cemetery Dance. I guess I have to say this is my most favorite series of all time. Nine books in and I'm not the least bit bored. Not sure how many more Pendergast books there are, but I know I'll read them all. And probably more than once.
ashley c
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Read this when I was a young teen, way before Goodreads. Can't remember how it went but I remembered the sleepless nights; I bought this evening time and wouldn't stop reading it until I was done late into the night. Ah, memories.
Sabarish waran
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loving this series
Diana Long
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pendergast 8th book in the series. One thing is certain...there are an over abundance of skeletons in this characters closet...and I am enjoying all of these adventures.
Andrea Wright
This one took me longer to get into for some reason and I did not enjoy it as much as the others. I'm thinking it was because of the setting being on a large ocean liner. Pendergast was a little different also and it was just not as enjoyable as usual, although it ended well and I'm still glad I read it.
Patricia Kurz
The beauty of this series is AXP's interest in and contribution to the story; in this one he opened and he closed the story, but the plot was so fragmented that it was hard to decide if this book was about Constance or Pendergast. At the end, even though Constance's role is revealed as being key, I found this episode weak and not believable.

But the story itself is what lacks the ability to hold interest. There is a monastery, there are monks. There are trusts made and broken. AXP takes off and l
Darren Vincent
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

I am not new to Preston and Child's books, together or as a solo authors, but this one did not feel like it was written by the same guys that have written the many books that I love. As much as I have read by them, I have not yet read the entire Diogenes Trilogy, and maybe that is the problem. I thought I was reading the first book in that trilogy. After reading this book, I am not sure if I want to read the trilogy.

I did not like Pendergrast in this novel. I don't remember dislik
Eric Aubin
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read from this pair of authors. One has to accept a bit of an suspension of reality of course but this book is fun, entertaining, and a quick read. I recommend.mend it.
Sonia Cristina
Confesso que fiquei um pouco desiludida. Como os livros do Pendergast têm sempre uma linha que continua de livro para livro, neste achei que faltou alguma coisa:

- Para já, o Pendergast não estave tão espirituoso como nos habituou nos livros anteriores, não havia aquelas cenas mais engraçadas, do jeito dele. Claro que foi engraçado vê-lo a arreliar o pessoal do navio;

- N’O Livro dos Mortos ele conheceu uma mulher por quem ficou completamente apanhado assim que a viu, até foi bastante engraçada a
Monica Rodriguez
While The Wheel of Darkness continues the story of Agent Pendergast, it is a stand alone and not connected to the Diogenes arc. It is a very different story than the previous books, where Pendergast faced his nemesis and brother. Compared to those, this book is calmer, slower, and a bit less exciting. The height of suspense of the previous books isn't reached here. I was nearly midway through before I felt the pace and excitement pick up.
There are far fewer characters as well, though that's not
Jim C
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My rating is 1.5 stars.

This continues the story of Agent Pendergast and Constance. This is part of a series but it can be a stand alone novel. In this novel Pendergast is trying to locate a stolen item that was in the protection of Buddhist monks. The search leads him to the high seas and onto a maiden voyage of an ocean liner.

This is probably the weakest novel of this series. I had no problem with the setting and the action sequences from this setting was well written. Part of the problem was t
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i have been a big fan of Preston & Child ever since their first book together, "Relic", which was a fantastic action novel. the movie was good, but, as they say, the book was better... :) "The Wheel of Darkeness", continues with the Agent Pendergast story line started in Relic and carried on through about 10 books already. i had let this one sit on the shelf for a long time because i had found the last 3 books in the series, which the authors call the Diogenes trilogy, somewhat disappointing ...more
Laura Ruetz
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, Constance Green takes a larger role, and that is something that I found enjoyable. She is another character who we have seen for far too long as a secondary character and now she is evolving. In Tibet, in the hidden monastery where Pendergast studied once before, we find Constance and Pendergast. Something was stolen, and Pendergast is tasked with finding it. This is a journey that takes him around the world and then he and Constance join forces to find the thief on a large luxury ...more
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Preston and Child refer to this as a “stand-alone” novel but if this is your first exposure to Aloysius Pendergast, the mysterious and mystical FBI agent and Sherlock Holmes doppelganger, that may be a bit of a stretch. AP begins this adventure by taking his ward, Constance, to a Tibetan monastery high in the Himalayas where he hopes to expose her to the world she has missed (see what I mean). They soon learn that a valuable and perilously dangerous antiquity, long entrusted to the monks, has be ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookworm Buddies: The Wheel of Darkness 3 35 Sep 28, 2012 09:56AM  
  • Death Match
  • Excavation
  • Conspiracies (Repairman Jack, #3)
  • Temple Of The Gods (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #8)
  • Threshold (Chess Team Adventure, #3)
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 17 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)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)

Share This Book

“Trying to fulfill earthly desires was like carrying water to the sea; a never- ending task, and an ultimately useless one.” 4 likes
“The mandalas were meant to be objects of contemplation, aids to meditation, their proportions magically balanced to purify and calm the mind. To stare at a mandala was to experience, if only briefly, the nothingness that is at the heart of enlightenment.” 4 likes
More quotes…