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Brimstone (Pendergast #5)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  27,551 Ratings  ·  977 Reviews
A body is found in the attic of a fabulous Long Island estate.
There is a claw print scorched into the wall, and the stench of sulfur chokes the air.
When FBI Special Agent Pendergast investigates the gruesome crime, he discovers that thirty years ago four men conjured something unspeakable.
Has the devil come to claim his due?
Some things can't be undone.
ebook, 752 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2004)
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Patricia Alton They reference previous books and it does help to understand the characters relationships with each other but you can still enjoy the story on its own…moreThey reference previous books and it does help to understand the characters relationships with each other but you can still enjoy the story on its own if you don't read the previous books.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sean Gibson
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dirk Grobbelaar

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
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
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pendergast for President! I love this character and this series. Pendergast is the real deal.
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
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
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.
Jovana Vesper
Bože, daj svima zdravlja i sreće a meni šesti nastavak Preston/Čajld romana!

Obožavam ovu franšizu, to je i slepim miševima u mom dvorištu jasno. Koja šteta što mi je trebalo toliko vremena da pročitam "Sumpor" do kraja ali šta ću kad su mi obaveze stale na put. Zbog toga sam u čudnom raspoloženju sad kad sam gotova.. Prvih 400 strana sam praktično u dahu pročitala a ostatak suviše razvlačila da sam se u tom istezanju distancirala od kraja, dok ne stigoh do Epiloga. E to je druga stvar!

Prvo čega
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O agente Pendergast e o sargento Vincent d'Agosta apaixonaram-me.

Este livro é o primeiro de uma trilogia que devo dizer me impressionou pela positiva, tanto pela história como pela mestria da escrita e ainda pelos carismáticos polícias.

Adorei o brilhantismo de Aloysius Pendergast, que por mais alhadas em que se metessem (ele e colega) estava sempre um passo à frente e avaliava todas as situações de um modo muito analítico, com extrema calma e sangue frio. Não recorre à violência a não ser em ú
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
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
Andrew Sydlik
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
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Beta
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Nina Ivanova
Full review/Цялото ревю - click, click

Това е книгата ми с най-ниска оценка от прочетените от поредицата досега и, признавам, вина за това има и фактът, че не четях подред. Не, не ми попречи толкова факта, че знаех какво става по-нататък. Ще обясня.
Романът започна страхотно, съвсем в стила на Пендъргаст. Д'Агоста винаги е бил един от любимците ми, затова приветствах и него. А самият случай беше разкошен от самото начало и ставаше по-добър глава след глава. Това е любимото ми в книгит
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
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I picked this up for a pittance on sale, having read and enjoyed Relic and Reliquary many years back. I've not read the others in the series and only have dim memories of prior events.

The plot is fairly ridiculous, with a potential involvement of the devil rapidly becoming obviously not satanic in nature, though still remaining pretty out-there in terms of ludicrousness. The motivation seems so unlikely that you have to laugh: they really went to all that trouble for that..? There's an entirely
Hali Sowle
Another solid Pendergast novel from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs. This book reunites Pendergast and Vincent D'Acosta in search for a seemingly supernatural murderer. A man is murdered in a room in his locked, alarmed house in Southampton, NY. Vincent D'Acosta has returned from Canada leaving his not so lucrative career of writing crime procedurals behind him (along with his wife and son)but instead of being reinstated as a Lieutenant in the NYPD he's found a job as a Sargent with the South ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite of the Pendergast novels, since Pendergast and D'Agosta are reunited in their crime-solving efforts. The two characters are at their best when they are playing off of one another. In some ways the novel is reminiscent of Thomas Harris's Hannibal, however that's likely just because they share a setting in Florence, Italy. Overall, it's great fun, like all of Preston and Child's books, and the cliffhanger ending is quite a nasty one. It's also the beginning of their "Diogenes ...more
In Preston’s The Monster of Florence, he mentions working on a novel while living there, and I think this must be the one! It’s a really enjoyable mystery - and Florence itself is beautifully captured. The uncertain ending, though, makes me glad that I have started reading this book with a few of its sequels already published! I wouldn’t want to wait long to have some loose ends tied up! Apparently, this is the first book of a trilogy within the series, which is a rather interesting convention w ...more
Elizabeth A
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is the fifth book in the Pendergast series, and the first in the Diogenes Trilogy, but since Diogenes does not make an appearance (yes there is a letter), I'm not sure why this is labeled as such.

At this point you are either already a fan of FBI agent Pendergast and his cool Southern ways, or you are not. In this book he reunites with D'Agosta and Hayward, two New York cops he has worked with on earlier books.

This story involves gruesome crimes, the stench of brimstone, Faustian pacts with
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
This time Pendergast and a certain police officer friend of Italian descent ended up in Florence as people back in NYC were spontaneously combusting, the devil coming to reclaim souls, and predictions of the final apocalypse. Interesting times indeed!

I really enjoyed the banter between these two characters while they were abroad, not only because it was entertaining in and of itself, but also because it reminded me of some of the conversations between Benton Fraser and Ray Vecchio in my most fa
Letitia Moffitt
I've enjoyed all of the Pendergast books, including this one, but I wasn't as thrilled with Brimstone as the others. This is probably mostly just personal taste, as Brimstone seemed just a wee bit too over-the-top and bloated for my liking. Several side plots seemed completely unnecessary and a few scenes seemed gratuitous. Also, as other readers have pointed out, Pendergast is starting to seem too much like a superhero in that no matter how bad things look, you know he's going to miraculously g ...more
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The only reason I am giving this one three stars is because one of the characters (not mentioning who) had the most pointless backstory ever. It was building and at the end it lost all it's steam and it did not just die but it also disintegrated into little specks of disappointment still visible on my face. That "2nd story" part was totally useless and I've wasted my time on it. Otherwise, great story but far from "perfect thriller" as one review on the book calls it. Also, the ending was not su ...more
Daaaaaamn, shit's about to hit the fan...

Pendergast ja D'Agosta ovat loistava parivaljakko.

4.5 tähteä. Seuraavaan osaan pakko päästä heti.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the idea of borrowing a character from a great book and dropping him into this story. One of the best of the Pendergast series.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
audio book narrated by Scott Brick who evokes the atmosphere that I appreciate in this telling

Pendergast dazzles me with his ability that are approaching super natural, however, reaches the attainments that reader may hope that man can accomplish.
Most enjoyable are the teachings and reflections on what we call history.
thanks to the author, I will proceed on further into the series
Diana Long
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible to be scared to death or become violently ill reading a book? If so, this one is liable to accomplish that. The 5th novel in the Perdergast series, this, out of the ones I have read thus far was probably the most insane, revolting and terrifying of the lot. I am a Preston-Child junkie, there I admit and don't have a single regret.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 1 5 Dec 22, 2015 06:43PM  
  • Utopia
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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
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)
  • 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)

Share This Book

“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.” 16 likes
“The twentieth century showed us the evil face of physics. This century will show us the evil face of biology.” 2 likes
More quotes…