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Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all . . . Who murdered her? FEVER DREAM Revenge is not sweet: It is essential.

405 pages, Hardcover

First published May 11, 2010

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About the author

Douglas Preston

149 books11.7k 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 front teeth to his brother Richard's fist; and various broken bones, also incurred in dust-ups with Richard. (Richard went on to write The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event, which tells you all you need to know about what it was like to grow up with him as a brother.)

As they grew up, Doug, Richard, and their little brother David roamed the quiet suburbs of Wellesley, terrorizing the natives with home-made rockets and incendiary devices mail-ordered from the backs of comic books or concocted from chemistry sets. With a friend they once attempted to fly a rocket into Wellesley Square; the rocket malfunctioned and nearly killed a man mowing his lawn. They were local celebrities, often appearing in the "Police Notes" section of The Wellesley Townsman. It is a miracle they survived childhood intact.

After unaccountably being rejected by Stanford University (a pox on it), Preston attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature. After graduating, Preston began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as an editor, writer, and eventually manager of publications. (Preston also taught writing at Princeton University and was managing editor of Curator.) His eight-year stint at the Museum resulted in the non-fiction book, Dinosaurs in the Attic, edited by a rising young star at St. Martin's Press, a polymath by the name of Lincoln Child. During this period, Preston gave Child a midnight tour of the museum, and in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to Preston and said: "This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!" That thriller would, of course, be Relic.

In 1986, Douglas Preston piled everything he owned into the back of a Subaru and moved from New York City to Santa Fe to write full time, following the advice of S. J. Perelman that "the dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he's given the freedom to starve anywhere." After the requisite period of penury, Preston achieved a small success with the publication of Cities of Gold, a non-fiction book about Coronado's search for the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola. To research the book, Preston and a friend retraced on horseback 1,000 miles of Coronado's route across Arizona and New Mexico, packing their supplies and sleeping under the stars--nearly killing themselves in the process. Since then he has published several more non-fiction books on the history of the American Southwest, Talking to the Ground and The Royal Road, as well as a novel entitled Jennie. In the early 1990s Preston and Child teamed up to write suspense novels; Relic was the first, followed by several others, including Riptide and Thunderhead. Relic was released as a motion picture by Paramount in 1997. Other films are under development at Hollywood studios. Preston and Child live 500 miles apart and write their books together via telephone, fax, and the Internet.

Preston and his brother Richard are currently producing a television miniseries for ABC and Mandalay Entertainment, to be aired in the spring of 2000, if all goes well, which in Hollywood is rarely the case.

Preston continues a magazine writing career by contributing regularly to The New Yorker magazine. He has also written for National Geographic, Natural History, Smithsonisan, Harper's,and Travel & Leisure,among others.


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5 stars
12,772 (37%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,721 reviews
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,988 followers
September 8, 2017
I have been in the habit lately of using gifs in my reviews, so it is likely that you will see some here.

Oh, wait! I feel one coming on - this was me this entire book:

Holy cow! This book was a rush! I thought things were intense and suspenseful in previous Preston and Child books, but they raised the bar and way outdid themselves. I have no clue how they fit so much action, mystery, suspense and general bad-ass-ery into one book.

Here is a quick summary in gifs:

Finally - if only Antonio Banderas was a bit paler:

Read this series . . . That's just it - clear your TBR, grab Relic (first in the series), and start at the beginning - don't start here!. If you like all the things I previously mentioned, especially the bad-ass-ery, then you will love ALL this!

Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,797 followers
July 17, 2019
Sometimes you crave food because it’s predictably good—Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, for example, nature’s most perfect glowing yellow, boxed food. Other times, you want to experience something you’ve never had before, and so you set your taste buds to open-minded (because, yes, tongues have brains—it’s basic biology, people, which you would know if you am as smart as me am).

What happens, though, when you’re expecting one kind of flavor and you get another?

It can go one of two ways: the mistaking-pistachio-ice-cream-for-mint-chocolate-chip way (exceedingly unpleasant, and I curse to the deepest bowels of hell the people who decided to make those two flavors, one abominable and one like an angel making sweet, vigorous love to your mouth, virtually identical in color), or the thinking-you’re-getting-eggs-and-toast-and-winding-up-with-chicken-and-waffles way.

Fever Dream is the latter.

It all began during a rare childless getaway, highlighted by a stay at a bed and breakfast that is literally just begging to host a murder mystery (case in point: https://twitter.com/Gibknight/status/...). In fact, I swear I heard it say, “Please kill someone here, but conspire with the butler and make sure to sprinkle some red herrings about before you do” when I walked in. In addition to preparing to happily comply with the house’s wishes, I also decided, given that I might actually have some quiet reading time, that a good mystery/thriller was in order and, knowing that Preston and Child (and Pendergast) are always reliable, decided to crack open the next book in the series that I hadn’t read.

Only Fever Dream isn’t really like its predecessors; for one, we start out in the sweltering heat of an African safari and progress to an unusually emotional Pendergast intent on solving a 12-year-old cold case involving someone very near and dear to him. It was most definitely not eggs; it was something completely unexpected, and something my literary palette was neither prepared for nor, did I think, in the mood for.

Now, while I am what you might call a picky eater (c’mon…I was born and raised in southwest suburban Michigan, where the Panda Forest at the mall is the most exotic cuisine one can experience), I have tried to expand my taste vocabulary over the years, particularly when I’m in a public setting, and especially when I’m in a public setting where I have no alternatives other than starvation and/or a bowl of stale hard candies in the parlor. And so, with an eager proprietor looking on, I shoveled a forkful of sweet waffles and savory fried chicken into my piehole and it was…well, it was good. The texture was odd, and it felt like a weird thing to consume in the stately dining room of a 150-year-old mansion, but it was delicious.

I ended up scarfing it down, licking the plate clean, and belching like a bullfrog into a bullhorn, much to the dismay of the proprietors of the B&B. Likewise for Fever Dream. It was an unexpected joy, and while I might have preferred a slightly more conventional setting given where I was, it all worked out in the end, despite the fact that Pendergast really went off the rails, Laura Hayward joined him, and there were a lot of creepy swamp rednecks running around shooting things. No matter how ridiculous these stories get, though—and they’re getting more ridiculous by the book—Preston and Child remain masters of craft who keep pages turning.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go paint “Rache” on a wall, snuff out a party guest, and throw some KFC on my Eggo.
Profile Image for Ginger.
788 reviews373 followers
July 22, 2018

Good grief, what a book!! I was not bored once while reading Fever Dream and this was one of the craziest Pendergast books that I've read in the series.
This is the 1st book in the Helen trilogy and it involves the mystery of Helen Pendergast, the late wife to Special Agent Pendergast.

Damn, I really don't know what to say in this review that will not be a potential spoiler! This book goes in many different directions and CRAZY plot twists. I loved it!
So, I'll elaborate just a bit. Fever Dream involves a lion, some birds, swamp people and set in the South. That's all you get! hahaha
I'm so excited to read the rest of this trilogy to find out more about Helen and what she was involved in.

If you've never heard of the Pendergast series and you love suspense, a bit of horror, kick ass action and cool science, look no further. If you want to check this series out, I suggest starting with Relic.

I'm so glad I started this series last year.
Yeah, I've read 10 Pendergast books in a year and a 1/2!
I love this series, writing and the main character of Pendergast! All the characters in this series have become favorites of mine and feel a bit like family now. It's always an enjoyment when I start a Pendergast book and settle in for a rollercoaster of a ride!
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,722 followers
May 3, 2022
Fever Dream is the 10th book in the Pendergast series written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, also the first in the Helen arc. I've enjoyed the previous books in the collection, and reading this one at the same time as a good friend is always a treasure. We're connecting on Wednesday this week, so I look forward to comparing notes. Pendergast is suave, intelligent, intense (yet calm), and mesmerizing. As an FBI agent and solver of the world's problems, he knows exactly how to fix things. When it comes to learning a secret about his deceased wife, he doesn't know where to begin. Apparently, she was murdered and he never even knew it. How does that happen to such an intelligent man?

Pendergast's personality has been built like a toppling tower throughout the years. He's forgotten the insanity of his brother from childhood, and perhaps when Helen died, his unnatural intuitions about people began to grow even more... but he misses the ones closest to him. As Pendergast chases a criminal mind to seek the truth, frequent partner Vinnie is injured and sidelined for a while. Vinnie's girlfriend, who hates Pendergast, and is a NYC captain, reluctantly steps in...a bond is sort of formed, and we see a new side of Laura. Together, the new duo almost dies in a tragic way, but is it the beginning of an understanding between them? At the end, one of Helen's killers is caught, but the other still lurks. Readers know who it is, but Pendergast does not seem to yet. I'm confident he'll discover the truth in the second book of this arc.

I can't believe I'm halfway through the collection, plus there are spinoff series to consider in the future. What fun! I've already ordered the next book and will read it later this week.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews491 followers
December 8, 2017
So far, this book is my favorite in the Agent Pendergast series. Fever Dream is the 10th book in the 16-book series. A 17th book, City of Endless Night, is coming out in 2018.

Pendergast's wife, Helen, died 12 years before during a safari in Africa. She was attacked and killed by a lion. While in New Orleans at his family's home, Pendergast discovers evidence that Helen's death was not an accident. It was murder. Immediately he knows he must investigate, identify Helen's killer, and get justice (or revenge) for his wife. He enlists the help of NYPD officer Vincent D'Agosta. As they investigate, Pendergast discovers that there were things about his wife that he didn't know. She was researching a dangerous, mind altering virus and illegal medical experimentation and someone wanted her silenced. Pendergast is willing to go from the jungles of Africa to the swamps of Louisiana to find out who killed his wife.

Pendergast is still tall, pale, brooding and upper class snooty. A'gosta remains city tough and NYPD through and through, with a strange loyalty to Pendergast. And Captain Laura Heywood is still pissed that Pendergast always seems to get A'gosta injured or in trouble. This story gives some new insight into Pendergast....his past and how he deals with emotion. We see some chinks in the FBI agent's armor. There were so many things about his wife that he didn't know, and he struggles with that knowledge while hunting for her killer. This book is an action-packed thriller. I think the series has found new direction following the ending of the Diogenes storyline. I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

I don't really care for the Constance Green portion of the story. I felt like it was inserted inbetween portions of the investigation just to keep readers reminded that Constance is still around....still strange. She goes from being in a tibetan monastery, to on board a ship, to in a mental hospital....bleck. I know that her storyline will be picked up in a subsequent book, but I almost feel like it's an unnecessary cord attached to the Diogenes plot. I'd rather the series just moved forward with new, creepy investigations without opening the can of worms that is his time-displaced, strange ward, Constance. But, I know it's coming......like a strange black cloud on the horizon.

I enjoyed this book....and I love this series. It's creepy, weird and exciting. I'm definitely moving on to book #11!

I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of this book. It was narrated by Rene Auberjonois.He reads at a nice, even pace and is easily understood. I have partial hearing loss but am able to easily hear and understand him. I also like his accent and the way he does dialogue for Pendergast. After listening to most of this series on audiobook, I prefer Auberjonois as narrator. The audiobook is about 14 1/2 hours long. The quality is great. Enjoyable listen!

To find out more about the authors and their books, check out their website: https://www.prestonchild.com/
Profile Image for Emma.
2,509 reviews853 followers
January 16, 2018
Fantastic! A different setting for this story and Laura Hayward and Pendergast are in the driving seat. Most of the action takes place in the South this time and one of the many things Preston and Child’s do very well is setting. Tons of action and a cliff hanger...thoroughly enjoyable read. Recommended series but start with the first book. #Pendergast for President .
Profile Image for Caz.
10 reviews2 followers
December 4, 2013
Fever Dream could have been a good book. The central premise -- that Pendergast finds out his dead wife was murdered, seeks revenge on her killers, and goes on to discover secrets she kept from him -- is intriguing, and there are a few good set-pieces, such as a car chase through a Louisiana swamp. And Preston & Child aren't terrible authors; I enjoyed the two Diogenes-featuring novels in this series, albeit only by ignoring a lot of extraneous words that were probably meant to sound clever.

But I literally couldn't finish this book. I forget exactly how far I was, but at some point after the reveal of the painting built up as so horrifying that nobody would talk about it, I put it down and haven't been able to bring myself to pick it up again. There are just so many things to read that interest me more, such as ingredients lists on the backs of cereal boxes. Speaking of that painting, did anyone reading this actually get to the reveal and feel that the painting deserved its build-up? I can't have been the only one who didn't buy that every man, woman and child who'd looked at it would had been shocked into lifelong silence.

Part of the problem is that the writing is so lazy. A lot of the novel's flaws -- such as sentences just an edit away from fluency, and inconstancies like a character having a New Zealand accent in one chapter and an Australian one in another -- seem like they came out of a lack of effort rather than a lack of talent. And the story is full of flat bit characters who have no personality besides a duty to shove the plot along, and clichés presented with a completely straight face. I couldn't stop laughing when Pendergast and D'Agosta were driving through creepy skeletal trees towards a mansion, and the mansion was silhouetted by a bolt of lightning that must have taken a wrong turn on its way to a Hammer horror movie. The Pendergast universe seems to operate on the rule that if the authors think it's cool, it doesn't have to make sense -- and while turning off your brain to enjoy something isn't inherently bad, this book pretty much requires it all the way through, which is likely to annoy anyone who cares that a bullet shouldn't throw somebody backwards into a wall.

As for the characters, I couldn't stand them. They just weren't likeable for me at all. The authors can't go five minutes without reminding the reader that Pendergast is handsome, aquiline, cultured and frighteningly intelligent. When he quotes the classics you can taste the authors' self-satisfaction, and when he talks you start to feel sorry for their thesaurus. And the reverse is true for D'Agosta: he's working class and A Regular Guy and it must be true because the reader is constantly told it. He'll be swigging a Bud while his upmarket partner delicately sips from a glass of 300-year-old Château de Fancier Than You, which will be described with a loving obsession I haven't seen since the feast scenes in Brian Jacques' Redwall books.

Wordiness isn't a problem for me (I love Tolkien to pieces), but this book has words for the sake of words instead of using them for interesting description or anything like that. Smart or cultured or eloquent protagonists don't automatically get my back up, but when a character is eloquent like a thirteen-year-old in a wolf roleplay on Proboards, I can't even start to take them seriously. Clichés don't piss me off inherently, but to throw them prefabricated into a would-be serious drama and expect them to still be scary or emotionally engaging just stinks of laziness on the part of the authors.

Several of my friends absolutely adore this book, and it was recommended to me as if it had descended from Heaven on a moonbeam to bring peace and love to the world of literature. I was looking forward to reading it. I just wish I'd actually liked it.
Profile Image for TS Chan.
719 reviews886 followers
March 8, 2020
I'll call it right here, right now. This is the best Pendergast novel I've read so far, and I'm going to stop holding back on the 5-star rating.

Why? Because it got really personal for Special Agent A.X.L Pendergast, and we get to see a side of this enigmatic man which we've never seen before. It was intense. It was almost scary. And it was exciting!

From the very first book, Relic, we were made aware that Pendergast had a wife who died many years ago. Twelve to be exact. How she died was relived most brutally in the first few chapters of Fever Dream; a flashback to that fateful day in which Pendergast witnessed what I deemed one of the most horrifying ways of seeing your loved one die.

Fast forward to the present day where Pendergast discovered that his wife did not die of a tragic accident, but was instead murdered. This cool, calm, collected and ever-so-composed man was consumed by vengeance.

Had Pendergast been a man of lesser control, the hinges of his sanity might have weakened under the emotional intensity of his thoughts.

The ferocity of his investigation to follow a cold trail of a dozen years was immensely engaging to read. Mysteries upon mysteries surrounded his wife, which baffled even the man who was full of secrets himself. Make no mistake, Pendergast is a ruthless man if he wants or needs to be. And frankly, I love it!
Profile Image for kartik narayanan.
740 reviews207 followers
February 24, 2018
Fever Dream is a great whodunnit. Pendergast finds out that his wife was murdered rather than being killed in a hunting accident. So he gets on the trail along with D'Agosta.

This book has all the trademarks of a good Pendergast story - an intriguing mystery, a new antagonist, some great action, subtle humour and a deep look into Pendergast's background. Specifically, I liked how Pendergast shows the same characteristics as Diogenes towards the climax of the book.

I am looking forward to the next book in this new trilogy.
Profile Image for Colleen.
753 reviews44 followers
December 8, 2015
Ahhhh! Curse these authors! I was up past dawn reading this book, slept for a few hours, and after bolting awake, made some coffee and got back to reading. And I won't know the final end of this plot line until the next book, so will have to wait another year at least! Not really a spoiler so much, since the authors do this with like 90% of the Pendergast series.

Part of why these books are so clever and fiendishly addictive is because the reader kibitzes for most of it. I'm not going to reveal Villain #1, but the authors do fairly early on. Very few suspense novels or movies do this, which is strange because it's so effective. Knowing something that the protagonists do not and seeing how they're going to fall into a trap, I think heightens things rather than just springing cheap surprises on the reader.

Also because I'm so distracted with information I know that the heroes don't, when twists do come I'm totally taken aback by them. So kudos to Preston & Child--they can work a plot that very very few other authors can do (I put them up there with Christie in how they can pace a story--and perhaps are better than her, because she is the Queen of Trick Endings).

One thing I am a little bored with is the Constance Green plot lines. I think more could have been done with her from the her introduction and I was okay with her being promoted to a more major role in the Diogenes Trilogy of books, even though I found her slightly annoying in those. However, Wheel of Darkness (and the whole stupid Tibetan monastery drama) was by far the worst book of the whole series in my opinion and her popping up here kind of continued that line which I hoped was forgotten.

Maybe something good will come of it though. And bits with her were very minor--obviously just setting something up for the next book or books (since the note to reader says not to worry, more Pendergast books are coming, even though they're working on a new series).

All the Audubon parts were neat as well. Did not know that John James Audubon was French and came to America to escape conscription to Napoleon's Army. I read up on him after reading this book and yeah, all the facts of his life neatly synched up with the plot (though I'm sure not the big reveal at the end).

Not sure how I'm going to make it till the next book comes out. I hate waiting!
Profile Image for Joseph.
697 reviews94 followers
July 19, 2014
You know how you buy a bag of Chee-Tos? And you sit down, open the bag and absently eat a handful, and even as you're thinking, "Yeah, that was probably enough of that," your hand is already snaking back into the bag? And then the next thing you know the bag is completely empty and you're covered with orange dust and feeling vaguely ill? Yeah, these books have that effect on me.
5,062 reviews57 followers
May 29, 2019
Agent Pendergast accidentally discovers his wife's death was not an accident, but murder. He immediately calls on D'Agosta, and the two start traipsing around the world, looking for leads.

It turns out his wife had a secret life, connected to a mysterious foundation located in the swamps of Louisiana.

Not bad, maybe a little lowball compared to some of the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Merry.
637 reviews82 followers
September 18, 2022
Continuing the series in order written. Very enjoyable standard police procedural investigating Pendergast's wife's murder. Little that can be written in the review that will not give plot points away or has been already written. Interesting premise medically. Story is left on a cliff hanger to lead into next book.
Profile Image for Bren.
825 reviews131 followers
March 10, 2019
Después de que el libro anterior de esta serie me quedara debiendo, Douglas Preston y Lincoln Child se han reivindicado conmigo con esta nueva entrega.

Éste, además de ser el décimo libro de la serie de Pendergast, es el primero de la trilogía de Helena, decir que como comienzo de trilogía es fabuloso, es quedarme corta, tiene mucha tela.

Para empezar cada libro que leo de esta serie, cada que me sorprende cuando me entero de cosas de la vida personal de Pendergast, no termina de sorprenderme, es un personaje tan enigmatico, tan complejo, que mucho de lo que me hace regresar a esta serie es precisamente este personaje, me han creado la necesidad de llegar al fondo de este personaje, claro que es un pozo sin fondo, imposible saber todo lo que uno quisiera sobre él.

Como siempre nuestro Aloysius se mete en una investigación fuera de la ley, como siempre saltándose las reglas, como siempre, está en medio de una situación donde corre en peligro su vida y la que lo acompañan en su investigación, sin embargo y a diferencia de la mayoría de las entregas anteriores, en esta ocasión no hay nada que caiga en lo fantasioso, es una investigación casi como de espías, un asesinato ocurrido muchos años atrás y cada cosa que se va revelando con relación a ese tema nos lleva a una aventura como las que ya nos tienen acostumbrados estos autores.

Me encanta, no estoy muy segura de que esta trilogía le llegue a la de Diógenes, pero sí que va a ser una de las buenas, llena de acción, asesinatos y una persecución de esas de adrenalina, sobre todo las sorpresas están a la orden del día.

¿He dicho que esta novela no es tan fantasiosa? Bueno, es verdad, pero nuestros autores no pueden dejar fuera el tema ¿verdad? Así que, sí, hay que esperar sorpresas de esas que tanto gustan en esta serie.

En esta ocasión no han dejado fuera a Constance, un personaje que se está convirtiendo junto con Pendergast, peculiar y también difícil de comprender.

Estos autores tienen en definitiva la fórmula perfecta del entretenimiento, cada libro me la paso genial leyéndolos, cada entrega me sorprende y se han convertido en poco tiempo en consentidos de mi estantería, me faltan muchos libros para ponerme al día con la serie, pero a diferencia de otras series que he comenzado y no he terminado, esta me ha atrapado desde el primer libro, a ver si este año logro ponerme al día y logro llegar al 18.

Sin duda una serie bastante recomendable para quien no se haya animado a leerla, sí que son muchos libros, pero vale la pena cada uno de ellos.
Profile Image for Natalie.
632 reviews54 followers
May 26, 2015
If you want to get in the full spirit of this review the background music should be a Kidz Bop version of "Oops...I Did It Again".

1. First response: Outrageous, bloody, awful (& bloody awful too) but still somehow entertaining. The Audubon plot and bio-entrepreneurship elements are fascinating. Found myself realizing how fortunate I have been to be able to view Audubon's double elephant folio at the Cal Academy library.
2. Plot elements somehow couldn't be more ridiculous.
3. OTT Example: . WTF?
4. If it is possible, this got even more over the top before it finally drew to its false cliff-hanging conclusion. NEVER AGAIN. ARRRGGGH.
5. I hate this audiobook production. It is so irritating. I might have given this book a two if I hadn't listened to it via this audiobook. double ick.

Why never again? "Fool me twice, Shame on me!" It's been FOUR times now: Blasphemy or better yet Impact. It's been FIFTEEN years since Pendergast first appeared in Relic you'd think I'd have learned by now to READ SOMETHING else. duh.
Profile Image for Gary .
200 reviews184 followers
September 16, 2019
It was good. I liked the finale to the Diogenes trilogy much better, but this series is consistently good and addicting. It has a bit of a formulaic feeling to it, but it’s a formula that works and if it isn’t broke why fix it. I keep coming back for more and plan to finish the series.
Profile Image for Andre Farant.
Author 10 books10 followers
November 27, 2011
I have been following the Pendergast series of books since Relic, published in 1995. Since then, nine more books (with a tenth on the way) have been published featuring the clever and eccentric FBI agent. Like Arthur Conan Doyle before them, Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston have created in FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast a character that elevates any plot in which he might feature and, similarly, enlivens the reading experience. There is more than a little dose of the Holmsian in Pendergast’s genius and eccentricities, his method and madness.

With Fever Dream, Preston and Child delve deeper into the history of the enigmatic FBI Agent, as they send him on a mission with intensely personal roots. Pendergast uncovers new information that leads him to suspect the death of his beloved and long-lamented wife might not have been accident, as originally believed. As usual, New York cop Vincent D’Agosta is along to help out but, as a real treat and fun change of pace, we also see Pendergast teaming up with Captain Laura Hayward, Vinnie’s boss and lover, and a person who does not count Pendergast among her favourite people.

Preston and Child are kings at infusing a crime-suspense narrative with Crichton-like techno-thrills. Fever Dream is a perfect example of such mastery, with strange science masquerading as the supernatural, and the life and art of John James Audubon playing an intriguingly unlikely role in the mystery.

An interesting subplot involves Pendergast’s ward, Constance Green, who, with her every action and very presence, seems to foster more questions than answers, promising that she will remain an important player in Pendergast’s continuing adventures.

Still, the strength of the series is in its main character and, In Fever Dream, Pendergast is in excellent form, despite the emotionally draining aspects of his investigation. As an added bonus, Fever Dream sets off yet another unofficial trilogy and introduces a brand new villain.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Terry.
366 reviews78 followers
July 23, 2018
Another great installment in the Pendergast series, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. With this being the first book in the Helen trilogy, we're drawn into another great mystery with lots of surprising twists and turns that promise to keep us in suspense for two more books to come. This book, maybe more so than the prior in the series, kept me guessing the whole time and led to lots of "What the ..." moments! Great fun from start to finish. As before, I definitely recommend this series to anybody that likes mystery, thrillers and action stories. I continue to feel like these are very well-written books, making them very easy to read and enjoy. Can't wait to get to the next one!

Profile Image for Wendell.
Author 40 books60 followers
June 17, 2011
Get set for the usual irritating tics one expects from this pair of talented and dangerously complacent writers, who either eschew or don’t have editors and, if you listen on CD, for René Auberjonois to be perfectly awful as a reader. His Africans sound Italian; his women sound like RuPaul; his southern crackers sound like someone trying to satirize an old Hee-Haw sketch. He doesn’t know—and his “director” apparently never told him—that the airport in Florida is pronounced Sarasota-BRAYdenton (not “Bradd-enton”), or that the secret avian flu project is called Aves because it refers to the class of birds (and, thus, is pronounced /ävāz/ and not “aves” (as if it rhymed with “braves”). The story itself is interesting enough—and would have been more interesting still if the authors had cut about 20% of it. Child and Preston have been at this long enough to know what their weaknesses are; so all one can conclude is that they just don’t give a damn (and that they must be getting paid by the ounce): Pendergast sits down and “throws one leg over the other” at least 25 times in this book and, in describing their hero’s physical and emotional aspect, the writers have worn out the page in their thesaurus that gives synonyms for “cold.” We get it you guys. You know what else? We also didn’t forget, 20 pages after the last time you told us, about P’s pallid skin, pallid eyes, pallid hair, or pallid demeanor, or about his hair so light it seems white/silver/invisible/transluscent/colorless/platinum/frosted blah blah blah blah bla blah. Please stop torturing us. We freakin’ get it.
Profile Image for Jean.
52 reviews15 followers
October 16, 2011
Yowsa! I really liked this book. Had me turning pages late into the night. Doug and Lincoln can be overly concerned at times with minute details in describing things or places, but man the action scenes really get your heart pumping! Well done Preston and Child! Can't wait for the next one, which has been ordered for me at my library! (Large Print)
Profile Image for Marialyce (on our way to Venice).
2,038 reviews709 followers
May 27, 2010
Loved it! Such a super suspenseful book. While it was over 400 pages, it kept you enthralled throughout with Agent Pendergast and his team solving another mystery. Makes one want to go back and read the entire series.
Profile Image for Brian Regan.
184 reviews6 followers
May 20, 2010
In their latest novel about Agent Pendergast (their 10th??), Preston and Child return to form with a great page turner that stands well on its own while providing a great deal of background on the enigmatic FBI Agent. It begins with a flashback to the accidental death (by lion!) of Pendergast's wife, some 12 years earlier. Returning to the "now", the agent makes an unexpected discovery that completely changes his understanding of her death. What follows is a crazy roller-coaster ride involving John James Audobon, an extinct parrot, a missing painting and the mysterious figures we've come to expect from Preston and Child. Their best in years.
Profile Image for Lena.
1,152 reviews254 followers
February 19, 2020
“You know women sir, they like their little secrets.”
“So it would seem.”

Damn. This mystery based around the life of John Audubon and Pendergast’s late wife was engrossing. Now I want to read a biography of the man. These authors have a way of finding bits of fascinating history and giving them a morbid little twist!

Best Pendergast since Brimstone! It would be five stars if not for the WTF?!?! with Constance Green. That plot line has gone off the rails.
Profile Image for Beth.
198 reviews25 followers
June 8, 2010
My mental rating was 4 stars throughout, until I got to the delicious ending that rivals the end of Hannibal.
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,300 reviews394 followers
September 7, 2022
Not. Impressed.

The chapter when Pendergast and Hayward got caught by the gang of assholes was deeply uncomfortable and honestly, was it really necessary? I find myself nitpicking the bad things out of this book, which tells me I need a break from the series. The ending had my attention and I'm gonna get the next one eventually bc then I can start the Crew books and then the Nora series later, but... ehhhh about this one. I feel like Pendergast got a bit distracted, but maybe it was just me.
Profile Image for John Warner.
779 reviews24 followers
October 21, 2022
Although Pendergast's wife was mentioned in the first book of the Pendergast series, The Relic, the reader doesn't really learn of their relationship until this novel. Twelve years ago Helen Pendergast was killed by a rogue, red-manned lion, while the two were on safari. New evidence examined by Pendergast yields information that this event was no accident; she was murdered. As he and Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, currently on leave from the NYC Police Dept, began their investigation, Pendegast learns that he didn't know his wife's past as well as he thought.

I continue to enjoy the Pendergast series, and will continue to read them until the series' end, which currently number at 21. There is something inviting about the FBI's Special Agent often described as a slender man dressed like a wealthy undertaker, pale as a ghost, with silvery eyes and preternatural abilities.
Profile Image for Gary K Bibliophile.
229 reviews56 followers
September 23, 2022
So most of my GR friends loved this one - I thought it was an average Pendergast story - which even an average P&C story is still quite good 😀 Full RTC 🦜
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