Dance of Death
By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Read by Rene Auberjonois
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2005)
An Abridged Recording on 4 Cassettes or 5 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-044-4 (Cassettes)
ISBN: 1-59483-045-2 (CDs)
Reviewed by Herbert White - July 5, 2005
In this sequel to Brimstone, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child one again set Special FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast on the trail of a diabolical killer. A hair-raising thriller, Dance of Death is set in the mean streets of New York City and the cultured halls of such well known destinations as the Museum of Natural History. Rather than chasing an unknown killer, this time Pendergast is on the trail of a killer he knows all too well - his own, and supposedly dead brother, Diogenes.
Diogenes is an off-balanced, psychopath who blames his brother for events that neither man had any control over. In an attempt to exact what he sees as his rightful revenge, Diogenes starts on his bloody quest for vengeance by killing Pentergrast's friends and framing Pentergrast for the crimes.
In a classic ballet of good versus evil, the two brothers literally do the 'dance of death'. As they spar with each other and the body count continues to rises, Pendergast is forced to enlist the aid of NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta to help bring down his bloodthirsty brother and to help Pentergrast stay one step ahead of the Feds until he can prove is own innocence. A task that can only be done by catching the true culprit - Diogenes. Intermingled with this fast paced duel, are two surprising interrelated stories, that of an ATM robber called the Dangler, and a battle over the ownership of some sacred masks currently on display at the Natural History Museum. How Preston and Child interlink these two seemingly disparate plot lines with the main plot, is as thrilling and surprising, as is the story's finale.
This chilling story is wonderfully read by Rene Auberjonois, who has appeared in such shows as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Benson, and he has appeared in such movies as The Patriot and Batman. Auberjonois' reading of Dance of Death is energetic and enthralling. He ably differentiates between the two, eerily similar brothers, and his reading is well paced and it greatly adds to the story.
To top off this excellent thriller, this audio edition also includes a compelling interview by the authors with their own character, Aloysius Pendergast. This is a novel approach to providing background information on a character and as a means for making the reader really make a connection with a character. After listening to the interview, you may well become to believe that Pendergast is a real person...
The only drawback to this gripping story is that it ends on a bit of cliffhanger. The Dance of Death is technically the second book in a trilogy, with Brimstone being the first book, and The Book of the Dead the final installment. The third installment is not slated for release until the summer of 2006, so you'll have to wait until then to find out what happens next. However, if Dance of Death is any indication, it will be well worth the wait! In addition, although technically the sequel to Brimstone, and the part of a trilogy, Dance of Death is a self-contained story and all necessary background information is provided to allow readers new to the series to easily follow the story line.
Still Life with Crows, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
The FBI's eccentric Special Agent Pendergast is on the trail of a serial killer who is terrorizing a small Kansas town. To solve the mystery, he will need the aid of Corrie, a young tattooed woman, who is as hip as Pendergast is staid.
Last Man Standing, by David Baldacci.
Part police procedural, part psychological melodrama, Last Man Standing is a fast paced thriller that follows one man's attempt to rid himself of his emotional demons while at the same time tracking down those responsible for the cold-blooded murder of six of his fellow Hostage Rescue Team members.