Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9)

by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

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Cemetery Dance (Special Agent Pendergast Series #9) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 322 reviews.
Aki More than 1 year ago
I was just stunned when Bill Smithback was brutally murdered in chapter one. Bill was in Thunderhead along with Nora Kelly which happens to be my favorite of all books. So I was in tears when he was killed. I liked Bill who was funny, kind, loved Nora, an unlikely hero, and a reported who just bummbled into a newspaper story. Preston and Child are good at characterizations and make you feel like you know the character personally.. The plot is about a voodoo cult who sacrifice animals in the name of their beliefs. There is a zombie on the loose murdering people connected to a society to protect animals from ritual killings. The scenes where the animals are sacrificed are heart wretching. There is also a creepy underground tunnel that chilled me to the core. I was glued to this chair until I finished those chapters. D'Agosta is assigned to solve Smithback's murder. Pendergast gets involved in the case because he was Smithback's friend also. They begin to slowly research and piece the crimes and evidence together. The plot is not slow and just takes off like a roller coaster ride. The evil person is just as intelligent and cunning as Pendergast which makes the final chapters exciting and thrilling. It is like Sherlock Holmes versus Professor Moriarty with Pendergast as Holmes of course. The end is clever, witty, and very creative. I have to say I rather loved the epilogue. I can't give anything way here so I will say it was a beautiful way to say good-bye to Smithback. Well written and an exciting plot. If you have not read Thunderhead, you have to read it. That is Bill Smithback and Nora Kelly's story. This book is one of Preston and Child's best books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Manhattan, New York Times William Smithback and his wife Museum of Natural History anthropologist Nora Kelly arrive home after celebrating their first anniversary with plans to do more rejoicing. Instead they are attacked in their apartment building by a neighbor, out of work British actor Colin Fearing. To the horror of Kelly; her beloved spouse is killed during the assault while his crazed killer leaves.---------------- NYPD obtains testimony from Nora and others who saw Fearing murder Smithback and the building's surveillance tape captures Fearing leaving dripping blood everywhere. The case is solved except for one problem as FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast and New York Police Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta learn; Fearing died two weeks ago having been found in the Hudson River.-------------------- Fans will be stunned with the opening sequence when long time secondary character Smithback is killed. That just sets the table for a great tense police thriller as Agent Pendergast investigates how could a dead man commit murder? The above paragraphs are the beginning of a great taut tale that fans will appreciate and newcomers will look for Aloysius' back cases (see THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS).---------------------- Harriet Klausner
Boiler1974 More than 1 year ago
Perhaps my favorite setting for Pendergast, I always learn more about the nooks and crannys of the big city. All the usual characters are here, with a fast and furious plot building to a big finish. This series is not the best choice for the late night read, not if you plan on getting a full night's sleep!
a_x_pendergast More than 1 year ago
Despite what some critics here say, this one will NOT disappoint true Preston-Child fans. I could not put this one down! Ok, the zombie angle may be schmaltzy, but it is ALL EXPLAINED in the end. I could not BELIEVE they had Smithback killed in this - I will miss him terribly like an old friend in real life. The authors are THAT good. Pendergast and D'agosta make one of the best sleuthing teams in literary history, in my opinion, and this one lives up to expectations. The book has a few moments where I had to put it down and shrieked out loud. These guys know how to write! I highly recommend this to readers; however, you may want to read their earlier books to know the characters first. R.I.P. William Smithback - your fans will miss you more than we can say. Preston & Child - congratulations on a FINE offering.. Keep up the fantastic work!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First let me say that I am a Preston Child fan, having read all their books. "Cemetery Dance", unfortunately, is not one of their better efforts. The plot, even for them, is not believable, and once the solution to the mystey has been revealed,not really very well conceived. The bad guys and support characters are stereotypical and are borrowed from TV detective shows. Many scenes of this book appear to have been based on a few 1970's Columbo episodes. Bill Smithback always was a character one could rely on for comic relief and has been a solid fixture in the Preston Child series, and its too bad he was "written off" in such a sub par story. Perhaps it is time Preston and Child to step away from this series for a year or two and concentrate on an independent, more creative, and well developed story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, fauvemistral should have checked their spelling before posting. It's hard to get your scathing point across when you can't spell. Anyway, great book, as usual! Love this series!! Don't hesitate to buy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish this would be made into a movie! Hated to see Smithback killed off but what a way to start! The action and suspense just keeps getting better! Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Special Agent Pendergast - a character sooooo smooth that ya gotta love the guy - quirks, over the top intelligence, wealth, logical and all that good stuff. I can only say, with the Pendergast series, I always have to remind myself to breathe when I get to the last 100 pages of any of the books. Very intense - I'm always exhausted after I finish the books. I've read all 9 - ready for the next. I strongly suggest that if you haven't read the series yet to start with Relic and worth your way through - a great read, all of them....and I DID mention intense, right?
Paridesea More than 1 year ago
I cannot say enough about how pleased I am to have found this series.I love it.
KKR More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to find that when I read this, which I did alone before listening to it on CD with someone else in the car, I was actually scared in a couple of places! The last time any book actually scared me was Preston and Child's Still Life with Crows, and that was only once when someone popped up at a window unexpectedly. I am a veteran of many vampire and other horror novels. and this is the best zombie novel ever, only rivaled by the more voodoo-y The Red of His Shadow, which I recommend. It has it all over the "28 days' type zombie stories in that there is a bizarre religion involved in the creation and support of the zombie population, as opposed to some virus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So exciting
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Warning: SOME SPOILERS. This was the first book I'd read by this duo. I'm not usually a fan of books featuring horror, zombies, cults, or voodoo, but this was an audio ARC I received from Hachette, and I went into it with an open mind. It was an enjoyable story. The reading by Rene Auberjonois was fantastic. Each chapter was like a mini-story, each character was interesting, sometimes annoying, but always intriguing. You knew bad things were going to happen, but you were never quite sure what, or who was going to be involved.I assume from the book jacket that the two main characters, as well as the first victim, have been around for previous volumes in the series. Detective D'Agosta's rough edges were the perfect foil for Special Agent Prendergast's refined manner. I did find myself wondering how these two got together and what the history was, so I would not recommend this book without reading others in the series first. I especially liked Prendergast's language : his sentences and vocabulary were luxurious without being pompous. The story concerns a murder with eye-witnesses who swore the killer was someone who was already dead and buried. Later the first victim is seen to be the murderer of another woman who was a colleague¿again committed in front of a room full of witnesses.There's a cult of celibates living on an abandoned estate in the middle of a park in New York City, who practice animal sacrifice. There's an obnoxious art collector/business man who uses his money and his lawyers to thumb his nose at authority. There's the bumbling police commissioner (why do all these detective books these days show the top guy as less than competent?), and some people who obviously played some important part in Prendergast's past but we don't get a good picture of who or what they did. All these stories are running together, but they're not tied together until the very end.I found the women rather underwritten. On the one hand, there's Laura Hayward, a police Captain who doesn't seem to have anything to do but play the love interest for D'Agosta, and then do a 'wonder-woman' to try to rescue him. Then there's Nora Kelley, wife of the first victim in the story, who tries to stay out of the way, but who manages to become entangled. It did stretch my imagination that as an archaeological expert who works with pottery shards, she knew how to set up and run a DNA analyzer. In spite of my questions about the characters, the plot kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. Even at the end, I was left wondering "what next?" I certainly will look for past and future books in this series.
bermudaonion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
listened to the audio version of Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child and was captivated right from the start. When the subject turned to zombies, I was a little bit skeptical, but stuck with it because I was interested enough that I wanted to know what happened. This book has lots of twists and turns and exciting moments. Some moments were so gruesome, they made me wince. The ending took me totally by surprise and made me glad that I stuck with the book, since I ended up really enjoying it. The audio version is read by René Auberjonois (I knew him as Clayton Endicott III in Benson) and he does a superb job ¿ not only does he create different voices, but he makes guttural zombie sounds! There is violence and some language in this book.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The successful writing duo of Preston and Child is back with the 9th novel in the Pendergast series.Pendergast is an enigmatic FBI agent with a seemingly unending store of knowledge, skills and talents. He ends up investigating (or seeking out) "X-File" types of cases. There is a cadre of recurring characters, including Detective Vinnie D'Agosta, journalist William Smithback, his archaeologist wife Nora and Wren - a researcher who seems to live in the bowels of The New York Public Library.In Cemetery Dance, one of these recurring characters is killed. According to eyewitnesses the killer was someone who was declared dead ten days ago....Preston and Child novels are plot driven, usually involving otherworldly elements. They are great suspense/thriller reads. But it is the character of Pendergast that people talk about the most when you mention this writing duo. His mysterious ways and endless abilities are great fun, reminding me somewhat of Sherlock Holmes. The locales chosen for their novels are fascinating as well. I have especially enjoyed the New York ones - I would love to see The New York Museum of Natural History. (the site of their first collaboration 'Relic' - also made into a movie)I listened to this latest offering in audio format. I was halfway through the first disc by the time I realized who the reader was - Rene Auberjonois. Who? He has numerous film and television credits, but the one I remembered his voice from was his role as Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He has read seven of the Pendergast books and I soon forgot Odo. The different characters are easily identified by voice changes and inflections. The suspense of the book is easily heard and projected through his reading.I have read all the previous books in this series, but I'm really getting hooked on audio books and may just listen to the next one as well.
BrianEWilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A suspenseful quirky story that's over the top in places. It's a compelling read that kept me up late finishing the last 100 pages. This is the first one of the series that I've read and I'm reminded of the May & Bryant Peculiar Crimes Unit series by Christopher Fowler.
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Newest installation of the Agent Pendergast novels by Preston & Child. I eagerly awaited its arrival at our library, and began reading as soon as I got it. The book seems to have been written explicitly for readers of the previous books, though, which I found kind of disappointing. I would hate for someone to have this as their first taste of the Pendergast books, it really lacks the life and spark of the other books. It did not live up to my expectation at all, and I had to drudge through to finish it.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am addicted to the Pendergast novels, and I'm unable to resist reading each new one as it comes out. I'm beginning to feel, however, that the series might be starting to get kind of tapped out. This was not as enjoyable as some of the earlier installments. Some of this may be because there was much less of an emphasis on Pendergast being an odd duck and doing extremely clever things, and part of it might just be that it's getting really hard for these books to be anything other than fairly predictable. Still, it's hard to argue with zombies, so this was good popcorn despite everything feeling a bit tired.
clarkisaacs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zombies, creepy people, death, and mayhem in New York City transport the reader from peace and tranquility to a page-turner which cannot be put down. Authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child demonstrate why they are the masters of creating fear in their recent novel Cemetery Dance.Characters are fully developed independent of earlier exploits in which they participated. Previous books by Preston and Child focused upon the activities of the main character Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI and his investigative abilities stand alone. But to name a few, The Wheel of Darkness, The Book of the Dead, Dance of Death, and Brimstone give you an idea how these fellows can write fearful books, just by the titles! Pendergast is a hero who is the exact opposite of Peter Falk¿s character, Columbo. Columbo is shabbily dressed, drives an old vehicle which makes one marvel at whether it will reach its destination or not, and appears never to be in command of the English language. Pendergast, on-the-other-hand, casts an aura of a strong detective extremely educated, nattily attired, travels in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, and is always in control. The commonality between these two sleuths is their uncanny ability to piece together clues which lead them to the next step in solving crimes.Where this book stands out above the rest, is the way in which the story unfolds. Oddly, the writing gets better as you proceed into the pages and the intensity arouses your interest so that you want more. Few books are rarely hard to put down. Cemetery Dance keeps moving you into mysterious passageways, spine-chilling caverns, darkness that is bloodcurdling, and with descriptive language keeping you begging for more even though you feel as breathless as the characters.The only short-coming in this book is the date chosen for release! Halloween would have been an ideal time to unleash this frightening tale upon an unwary public. A completely satisfying conclusion wraps up the end of this roller coaster saga and no, the butler did not do it! This is a story which will keep you highly entertained as you really get scared and will keep you guessing where another crypt has one more eerie entity. Highly recommended.
knitbusy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of the Lincoln/Child Penderast novels. They are always fun, full of action, and of course, they feature Agent Pendergast, who happens to be a favorite character of mine. You can learn more about Agent Pendergast here. All that being said, I did enjoy this novel, but not as much as previous offerings from the authors.Cemetary Dance begins with an attack on a pair of familiar characters (one of my favorite things about these guys, they are never afraid to do away with someone for the sake of the story), William Smithback and Nora Kelly, which leaves Smithback dead. This isn't much of a spoiler as it happens in the first ten pages of the novel. D'Agosta and Pendergast quickly find themselves investigating the case in an effort to protect the bereaved Nora, and to find justice for their murdered friend. Their investigation will lead them to a mysterious religious community located in the forgotten and isolated wilderness of a New York city park; a community which seems to have ties to the mystic beliefs of Obeah. They also find themselves forced to confront the notion of modern day zombiis as the body count mounts.Personally, I didn't find the mystery as compelling in this novel, as compared to previous story lines. Still, the authors did do a great job of keeping me turning pages. Pendergast was certainly in fine form, and there were plenty of his trademark antics to keep me smiling and anxious for more. The book ended with the promise of more to come, and it is safe to say I'll be running to the bookstore for their next Pendergast novel when it arrives.If you haven't read a Lincoln/Child novel previously, I'd recommend The Cabinet of Curiosities, which in my opinion is their best.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is it that these two are so good at setting up villains, but so bad at taking them down? It¿s one of the frustrating things about reading this series. Maybe it¿s because the characters are minor that they¿re given such lax consideration. If that were true though, they wouldn¿t have built up their villainy and assholishness to such a degree. This little diatribe is aimed at Police Commissioner Rocker, Kline and deputy chief Chislett. All three are set up intensely as peripheral villains, like others have been in the past, and set down with a mere sentence or two. Most unsatisfying.I also noticed some authorial tics here and there that took me out of the story when I stumbled on them. Repetitive word choices mostly. it's as if they were stuck on the same page in the word of the day calendar. Stertorous was one that stuck out. I do like, however, the way they illustrate Pendergast¿s character with very specific word choices in direct speech, conversation of others and as descriptors. Incommode. Internecine. Dally. Recapitulate. Fluent French or Latin. Precisely parsed sentences. The wrappings of mystery and hauteur never slip too far and unexpectedly mesh well with the man of action side of him.Some of Pendergast¿s unusual contacts and allies appear again; Wren from the NY Public Library, Proctor his driver and general factotum, and Aunt Cornelia who is still residing at Mount Mercy Hospital for the Criminally insane (I do hope that we¿ll get more of her and why she¿s there). A new character appears in Mousier Bertin who seems to be some childhood tutor. Constance is absent in this one, but is referred to once as carrying out some sort of mission on schedule. These supporting characters are used very effectively to preserve and enhance Pendergast¿s reach, influence and otherworldliness. D¿Agosta bugged the crap out of me in this one. Has he always been this immovably dense? For a man who¿s been through Mbwun fiasco; twice, you¿d think he¿d be more open to ideas. I think the hidebound, hard-nosed persona is wearing thin now. People adapt according to their experiences; they change and I¿d like D¿Agosta to be drawn more realistically in future. Because of this fixed character of ignorance and belligerence, I can¿t see how a thoughtful woman like Laura Hayward would be attracted to him; so that aspect rings flat to me.Nora bugged me too, but that¿s nothing new. She¿s a hindrance and a ditz most of the time. I never bought into the whole thing with her and Smithback and once again in her role as grieving widow I failed to buy into her studied performance. I¿ll be happy if we don¿t see her again. Smithback¿s actual demise didn¿t affect me since he has never been one of my favorite characters. A phony doofus about summed him up.Overall the mystery was fun and the pages just flew by. The combination of murder, a weird cult, spooky Manhattan woods, zombies and Voodoo is a good one, albeit trendy. The zombie part anyway. Each chapter is a cliffhanger as is the whole novel. That little tidbit with the family lawyer and a letter is most tantalizing. Damn them!
scarpettajunkie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cemetery Dance actually has nothing to do with cemeteries or dancing per se. It does, however, involve people being brutally murdered and then showing up from the dead to throw New York City into chaos. The lead characters are Lieutenant Vincent D¿Agosta and Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast, Vincent¿s charming foil. They are charged with solving the gruesome murder of William Smithback Jr. and also the safety of his widow, Nora Kelly, who was also the victim of attempted murder. The case seems open and shut. However, the meat of this story begins when nothing is as it seems. Immediately, it seems that the person who murdered Mr. Smithback has been legally dead for ten days prior to the murder. How can a dead man commit a gruesome murder? Also, how can all the witnesses and the security camera in Nora¿s apartment building be wrong? They all say the guilty party is one Collin Fearing who lived in Nora¿s apartment building. The story picks up steam from there. Lieutenant Vincent plays the part of a very skeptical and bungling New York cop who somehow gets the job done when unavoidable obstacles crop up. Nora Kelly plays the damsel in distress who tries to solve her husband¿s murder herself. It is a joy to watch Vincent stumble and Pendergast pick up the pieces. The charm of this story is that is seems to be the plot of a B movie when it is leading in an entirely different direction. I don¿t want to give away details, but just when you think you see where this story is heading, you will be wrong. It is a lot of fun to get taken in and given this thrill ride of a story to enjoy. This book was a fun, gripping, fast read. It kept me entertained the whole time and gripping my seat at other times. If you like detective stories and/or the undead this is a gripping story made to order. I would say Preston and Child have created a winner here and it gets my big thumbs up.
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, I just finished this book and it brought back the feeling I had when I first read Relic and met Agent Pendergast. When I first heard that this book had been released I was a little hesitant as I did not enjoy The Wheel of Darkness as much as some of Preston¿s and Childs¿ other books. But the first 10 pages will blow your mind! I could not believe how they started off the book and I have to admit I was a little devastated.That said I felt like after those first few pages you feel like you have a personal interest in seeing the murders solved and the murderers brought to justice. I found myself saying ¿Ok, I will stop at the end of this chapter¿ but it was hard to put the book down. I thought D¿Agosta¿s character was a little annoying and totally irrational, which in the context of the story is totally fitting, but was a bit much. Pendergast is his usual smooth and slightly odd self. I thought it was kind of funny that the book centers around zombies. I guess there is no escaping the craze. You will definitely be left guessing until the last few pages of the book.One minor point that did bother me was there was almost no reference what so ever to what happened to Pendergast in The Wheel of Darkness. I felt like that book showed a weakness in Pendergast and put him through such a trauma that I was curious to see how his character would adapt. I know at the end of Cemetery Dance it¿s mentioned that this is supposed to be a stand alone book but I would have liked to see some explanation of how Pendergast recovered so quickly from the events in The Wheel of Darkness.
Tommie1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More fantastic writing from these 2 authors!! Great stuff. Recommented to all
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've decided that I'm going to designate this book as a "ripping good yarn" because, by golly, that's what it is. This is one of those books where you just have to say to yourself, okay, this is totally escape reading and it's so far-fetched that it can't possibly ever be true. Once you get past that hurdle, then you can do what the authors intended for you to do: sit back, relax, and have fun with it. If you can't do that, then move along, because this book is definitely not for you. Literary snobs need not apply.I enjoy "ripping good yarns" (aka escape fiction) once in a while, especially from these two authors both together and independently. I especially enjoy the Agent Pendergast series, which I've been following since he first came out of Preston and Child's collective imaginations. He's an enigma and I like enigmas. I've read all of these stories; I've pre-ordered or bought each one as soon as I heard of its release, and I happen to like them. I am a Pendergast junkie. I absolutely cannot tell you much, because of the plot twists in this book. To tell is to ruin. The book opens with the murder of an old friend from other books in the series (whose name I will not divulge here -- but if you're a Preston and Child follower, you'll be a bit sad). The identity of the murderer is not in doubt -- it was one Colin Fearing, who lived in the same building, and was caught on tape at the building at the time of the murder. Several people recognized him. The only problem is that Colin Fearing was dead at the time the murder was committed -- his body had been even been identified by a relative. So...enter Agent Pendergast, who was a very good friend to the murder victim, and another recurring character, Lt. Vince D'Agosta of the NYPD. What begins as a bizarre case of murder gets even more bizarre as the investigation takes our heroes into the bizarro world of religious animal sacrifice and voodoo. But when a second killing occurs at the hand of another dead person, it just gets very weird, and their efforts to find the killer puts Pendergast and his pals in a very dangerous situation where their very lives are at stake. This book has it all...the supernatural, mystery, suspense...that is the hallmark of the writing of Preston and Child. There are plot twists that you won't see coming (or at least I didn't), and it's generally a very fun novel with quite a bit of action. Yes, it's a bit unbelievable, and it's a bit over the top in some spots, but the authors managed to grab me from the start and I didn't stop until I was finished. I think you'd want to read the other Pendergast novels rather than making this your first foray into the minds of these two authors. This book was much better than the last one -- Wheel of Darkness -- and I hope there are many more Pendergast novels in their futures. I'd recommend this book to people who enjoy fun escape fiction or to those who like a supernatural cast to their mysteries. These two authors are very good at their craft and now I'll just wait patiently until the next installment arrives.
CynDaVaz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great Pendergast installation.