Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Special Agent Pendergast Series #10
Advanced Reading Copy, 405 pages
Grand Central Publishing; publication date: May 11, 2010
Very Highly Recommended
At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning-and dreadful-discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?
With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden. Helen Pendergast had nursed a secret obsession with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon, in particular a long-lost painting of his known as the Black Frame.
As Pendergast probes more deeply into the riddle-the answer to which is revealed in a night of shocking violence, deep in the Louisiana bayou-he finds himself faced with an even greater question: who was the woman he married?
Preston and Child's latest novel, Fever Dream, featuring Special Agent Pendergast is a must read for fans of the series. I am a long time fan and let me tell you, this is Pendergast as you have never seen him before. Twelve years after the fact, Pendergast discovers that the death of his wife, Helen, was not an accident. As he struggles to keep his emotions under control, and with D'Agosta's help, Pendergast proceeds to follow the cold trail in an attempt to discover who wanted his wife dead and why. The investigation actually involves Helen Pendergast's secret interest in the painter John James Audubon. For those of you who have not been reading Preston and Child's books, please note that Fever Dream is also a very satisfactory stand-alone novel. I enjoyed the fast paced plot and the twists the investigation followed. No spoilers here, but I found the ending... perfectly chilling. Additionally, there is a special announcement by Preston and Child at the end of the book that has me giddy with excitement.
Very Highly Recommended
Special thanks to Hatchette book and Henry Choi, for this ARC. Both my husband and I were thrilled to received it. Thrilled. We are both fans of everything Preston and Child have written, as a team and individually. I'd show pictures of all their books in our bookcase, but, alas, books are packed up in anticipation of our move which is starting this weekend. Yes, it's true. We are moving and I took the time to read Fever Dream before finishing the packing. It was worth it.
The setting sun blazed through the African bush like a forest fire, hot yellow in the sweltering evening that gathered over the bush camp. The hills along the upper Makwele Stream rose in the east like blunt green teeth, framed against the sky. opening.
"Poor Aloysius, you miss your juleps. Well, if you take that FBI job Mike Decker's offering, you can drink juleps day and night." pg. 2
"She said the lion was peculiar."
"It had a red mane"
"You mean, a little darker than usual? That's not so uncommon."
"Not darker than usual. This lion's mane was deep red. Almost blood red." pg. 5
"Of the two of us," said Pendergast, "my wife is the better shot. On top of that, it's essential to have two expert shooters when stalking lion in the bush." He paused. "Unless, of course, you'd care to be the second shooter?" pg. 11
"The local Nyimba claimed the Red Lion could not survive without the nourishment of human flesh - but with it, he would live forever." pg. 7
“That’s a rather big gun for such a slender woman,” said Woking.
“I think a big-bore weapon is rather fetching,” replied Helen. pg. 16
“Done!” he said. “You are now certified to have visited your grandfather’s grave. I shall not have to disinherit you from the Pendergast family trust—at least, not for the present!” He gave a short chuckle.
Pendergast rose, and the little man stuck out a pudgy hand. “Always a pleasure, Mr. Pendergast, and I trust I shall have the favor of your company in another five years?” pg. 26
Every object, every knickknack and painting and paperweight and silver ashtray, was in its place, and every little thing carried a thousand memories of people long since under earth, of weddings and christenings and wakes, of cocktail parties and masked balls and children stampeding the halls to the warning exclamations of aunts.
Gone, all gone. pg. 28
Pendergast sat back in the chair. One hand—trembling ever so slightly—rose to his mouth.
Helen Pendergast’s death had not been a tragic accident. It had been murder. pg. 31