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Dance of Death (Pendergast #6)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  22,181 Ratings  ·  717 Reviews
Dance of Death
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Warner Books (first published 2005)
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Dale Rosso I am guessing that it is very likely that Pendergast had one of his contacts keeping an eye on Smithback while he was at the asylum and reporting back…moreI am guessing that it is very likely that Pendergast had one of his contacts keeping an eye on Smithback while he was at the asylum and reporting back to him.
Beta It's possible, but if you decide to read the other books after this one, you'll kind of lose the element of surprise. This is the last installment in…moreIt's possible, but if you decide to read the other books after this one, you'll kind of lose the element of surprise. This is the last installment in the trilogy; the previous books have all lead up to the events of the last book. Reading the other books may not feel so satisfying when you already know where it all is going.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar
The idea of an 'evil genius' Supervillain disappearing from the face of the earth to plot and scheme, and plan the ultimate crime, seems laughable, and stereotypical on so many levels, at first. The fact that he is the brother of the protagonist enhances this impression. The thing is, however, that there's nothing laughable about the way he goes about it.

Dance of Death opens with a classroom discussion of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, during which an unflinchingly gruesome and disturbing death
Keep the Pendergast coming! 5++++++ stars

I cannot begin to even explain the goodness that is this book series. The story lines are creative and complex: it’s like watching the world’s most interesting puzzle being put together every time I read one of these. I am tempted to plow right through the whole series right now, but then I won’t have any left!

If you like action-mysteries and you have not read any of these books, you are doing yourself a disservice! Be sure to read them in order, though.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this as good as the others in the series. The evil brother story line seemed a bit TOO far fetched to me. Having said that, it was still a good and action packed read. I see the next one continues the story line so I hope it wraps up more satisfactorily.
I was dissatisfied with this outing featuring FBI Agent Pendergast working with NYC Detective Dagosta to stop the fiendish plans of Pendergast’s twisted brother Diogenes. A “perfect crime” is promised on a certain date in the near future while along the way Pendergast is being tormented by the horrific murders of his close friends in various parts of the country. What is disappointing is how little success Pendergast has in stopping those murders. It was sad to see Pendergast so pressed against ...more
Apr 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these two authors, both together and as individual writers. They always put together a whopping good story.

But, frankly their FBI Special Agent character Aloysius Pendergast is starting to wear a bit thin. He has always had a bit of unbelievability about him, but it is getting worse and worse.

And now we have his evil brother, Diogenes, who is approaching godhood in his abilities to do evil things without being caught. And his whole reason for living is to torment his brother without kill
Albert Riehle
I feel as if I'm coming to the end of my rope, in regards to the Preston & Child, Pendergast Series. On one hand, there's a lot of good in every book. On the other...there's just so much bad. And with each ensuing book, I feel like I've lost the want and will to continue, a bit more.

This is the second book in a row, as part of this series, that ends unfinished. If you can't tell a complete story in over 450 pages then you're doing a poor job of writing. And some will argue that the points of

I could feel it coming in book 5 and now here it is. I'm so frustrated with this story. I really am. I've been loving Pendergast so much, but I can't stand this. It's so obvious where this whole story is going and I hate it. I don't like knowing the end at the beginning, especially when the end is so full of crap.

So I'm mad.

Really, really, really, mad.

And just a little bit heartbroken.

I haven't quite decided what I'll do. I kept trying to read it but I was too frustrated. I made i
This was the 2nd book in the Pendergast Trilogy. I've read the 3rd as well, and since I read them out of order it was interesting b/c I knew kind of what would happen. They are great books, highly intelligent. But, read them in order.
Nancy Baker
I've been reading quite a few mysteries lately so my son loaned me this book. I've also been plagued with fatigue in the past 2 months, therefore sleep takes precedents over reading so it took me a while to get through this story. This story was co-authored and both authors did a flawless job in creating an appetizing story and meshing writing styles.

It was well written and I was pulled in during the first chapter. The story revolves around a policeman and an FBI agent (who at the beginning of
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I am not sure how long I could keep reading these books if Pendergast keeps pulling all these magic tricks out of his sleeve that keep him alive, make him vanish when cornered, gets him information, or simply keep telling me that he is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge that will have an answer to any question that is presented to him.

This time he is going against his brother, another walking miracle of human intelligence. While it sounds fun, the execution was not a particularly fun one. Agai
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The intelligent and luxurious thriller with a signature twist is back! Each book from this series is like a jewel but I simply loved book six and again it proved that no one can write the way this talented duo does, Pendergast is my favorite literary character, so much that I wonder what he’d do in hard situations and I picked up on his way of thinking, obviously I’m not some zen master/FBI agent with an intense IQ with the tact of a monk and stealth of a ninja but still, he’s someone you can be ...more
Hali Sowle
The middle book in the Diogenes sub-trilogy of the series doesn't have any of the supernatural elements of the other books in the series, rather it is a straight forward mystery, police procedural novel and perhaps the best book of the entire series. The book opens with D'Acosta, Constance and those close to Pendergast trying to come to grips with his death. Constance summons D'Acosta to Pendergast's home to give him a letter that was left for him asking D'Acosta to stop Pendergast's brother Dio ...more
I really must get going on this series. I had forgotten how much I've enjoyed Agent Pendergast and the adventures he gets caught up in. This latest adventure involving his brother Diogenes as his nemesis, has me turning the pages. I will be reading the third book in the sub-series soon, like this month. I want to know how it turns out. Sure, some of it's a bit over the top. Some of the situations are too contrived and not realistic, but I'm not looking for realism in this series. I'm just lookin ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Not quite up to Preston/Child's usual standards, this book was a continuation of BRIMSTONE and the prequel to BOOK OF THE DEAD. While I don't mind continuing plots like this, ordinarily, this book FELT like a setup for the next in many ways - the characters acted at odds to their usual depictions, and the scenarios felt quite forced. I can ordinarily figure out where a Preston/Child novel is going well before it gets there, but the entire setup this time just felt...trite and forced.

Beyond that,
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a better book in the Diogenes trilogy. Where Brimstone only teased with a few glimpses and mentions of Diogenes, this one made him integral. I really love the Pendergast and D'Agosta pairing but especially in this book. It was the first time I really felt that D'Agosta wasn't just running after Pendergast asking what the hell was going on, he had to spend the first part working things out by himself.

I absolutely loved this storyline! Brimstone sets up the penultimate showdown
Oct 15, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
If there were a wish-I-hadn't-wasted-time-on-this-book shelf, then that's where I'd shelf this waste of paper. Grrrr. This book illustrates one of my pet peeves so clearly. I hate it when authors keep you going on the promise of the most astounding secret about a protagonist that will be revealed and then end the book in preparation for the sequel. This is literary laziness and cheating the reader to keep them going with a false promise. The authors don't have enough material to write a good tal ...more
Just when I thought I was out... Preston and Child pull me back in.

Apparently a long break between reading books 5 and 6 was what I needed. This book flew by. The characters were interesting again (and it was a pseudo reunion from earlier books, although some old friends showed up only to get killed off). The ridiculousness of the previous book was somewhat left behind. Maybe the books that are set in New York City and involve the museum and the underground are just naturally better. This book,
Unfinishable: I only have a certain amount of book-reading time left in my life and I cannot waste it reading the kind of authors who make tongue-in-cheek references to their own earlier work as written by a recurring character. It's a tiny step away from actually putting themselves in the book as bit part characters, á la Clive Cussler.
En malta odottaa, miten Pendergastille ja Diogeneelle vielä käy.

Neljä tähteä. Onneksi on seuraava osa heti käsillä.
Absolutely awesome. Agent Pendergast goes toe to toe with his twisted brother Diogenes. Pendergast returns from the dead only to be confronted by Diogenes with a challenge., "Stop me if you can". Diogenes starts to kill off Pendergast's friends and sets him up to take the blame. With the ever faithful Lt. D'agosta helping him, Pendergast must stop his brother before he commits the perfect crime. But can he save his friends and himself? This may be Pendergast's greatest challenge.
Sabarish waran
Starting was good, writing was as usual intressting, but the ending got me disappointed by telling something very big crime Is going to happen and its another theft. Rather then making a perfect ending the author used it to continue the plot for another book.
Audio book
The story plot seemed very good. My problem was how the authors connected one scene to the other. The bridge, my term, seemed to flatten my understanding of where I was in relation to the story. Perhaps this is not a problem when reading because of format giving mental directions.
Diana Long
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing of these two authors keeps the story flowing and as always an exciting read. Number 6 in the Pendergast series.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, series, thriller
This book is about second chances for me. I became interested in this series because Anne Rice said how much she enjoyed the books. I have a thing about reading series in order, so I began with Relic. BLERGH! I wrote a bitchy review about it, made my point.

I was going to give up. Then I found this one: an FBI agent trying to outmaneuver his serial killer brother. Sounds like some good cheezzze. And it was! And guess what? I read it out of order...I am so proud of me (double points: 6th book in
I hate to award the "annoying characters" tab but I've got to in the case of "Lt." Vinny Dagosta. Not sure if it's the narrator (who is otherwise unobjectionable) but I LITERALLY rolled my eyes several times at the level of buffoonery/idiocy displayed by a man who is neither New York's bravest or finest. He keeps his mouth shut when he should speak up, and blurts out all kinds of things he should keep in.

I enjoyed hearing (since this was an audiobook) about the unflappable, unbeatable Agent Pen
Even though this is sort of the “filler” novel in this trilogy in the middle of the Pendergast series, I think it may just be my favorite one yet in the series overall! It is certainly exciting - definitely an “edge-of-your-seat” read! The plot takes some shocking turns and it ends leaving you anxious for the conclusion in The Book of the Dead.

Like Still Life With Crows, the authors include a little inside joke with their shameless plug for their standalone novel, The Ice Limit. This kind of su
Jovana Vesper
Iskrena da budem, da nemam pri ruci sedmi deo, tačno ne bih znala šta da radim. Za razliku od drugih slučajeva "Ples smrti" je akcijom napakovan, sa mrvom melodrame začinjen "most" ka kulminaciji ovog jezivog bratskog odnosa. Kad razmislim čini mi se da je reč pre o mitskoj opsesiji proizašloj iz dečije izneverenosti i povređenosti (tako akumulirane negativne emocije su praktično nepopravljive, naročito kod delikatnih i specifičnih ličnosti) nego o ludilu i mržnji. Ima tu svega po malo i po mnog ...more
It took me a little while to get through this book. I'm not entirely sure why I put it down and kept wandering away from it, but I picked it up again yesterday (about 145 pages in) and finished it earlier this evening. Dance of Death is a little more scattered than the other Pendergast novels, but I love it just the same. There are lots of cameos in this book. If a character has come into contact at any point with Pendergast, they're here and have page time. I do enjoy the weaving of four story ...more
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
It was really nice getting back to the Pendergast series after reading The Ice Limit and Mount Dragon, and now I'm really glad I decided to read them because some characters from those books had some minor roles in this one!

A few very odd killings had taken place in certain parts of the country and Pendergast is very certain he knows the identity of the murderer, but naturally everything begins to go wrong and many misunderstandings occur between the characters. One of my favorite parts of the b
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You have to just let the story take you over and then ride the wave to its eventual conclusion (an ever-sharper cliff to hang on though it might be). As with any Great Villain, you can nitpick their plan and find the holes - but it's more fun, I think, to realize that the holes are irrelevant: it's the game that's where the fun lies. And this one is truly a race - not necessarily to save the day but simply to survive. It's disturbing, in a sense, to see Pendergast on the back foot - and shocking ...more
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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)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • 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)

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“Do what? Kill me? Then my blood would be on your hands—more than it already is—as well as that of your four dear friends. Because you, frater, are responsible for all this. You know it. You made me what I am.” “I made you nothing.” “Well said! Well said!” A dry, almost desiccated laugh came over the tiny speaker. Listening,” 1 likes
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” 1 likes
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