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Verses for the Dead

A Pendergast Novel
Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Preston & Child return with their number-one best-selling series, confronting FBI Special Agent Pendergast with the one challenge he never expected: a partner.

After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI's New York field office, A. X. L. Pendergast is abruptly forced to accept an unthinkable condition of continued employment: the famously rogue agent must now work with a partner. 

Pendergast and his new teammate, junior agent Coldmoon, are assigned to Miami Beach, where a rash of killings by a bloodthirsty psychopath are distinguished by a confounding M.O.: cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them - along with cryptic handwritten letters - at local gravestones, unconnected save in one bizarre way: all belonged to women who committed suicide. 

But the seeming lack of connection between the old suicides and the new murders is soon the least of Pendergast's worries. Because as he digs deeper, he realizes the brutal new crimes may be just the tip of the iceberg: a conspiracy of death that reaches back decades.

©2018 Splendide Mendax, Inc., and Lincoln Child (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Great Return to Form with Twists

As a longtime fan of the series I've been a bit disappointed in the last two titles of the series which increasingly relied on side characters to advance the plot and occasionally made characters preceisely act against their established nature because of reasons. Seriously just having Diogenes walk away was ridiclous but here with Pendergast's retinue faded into the background watching him take on the more usual loose cannon cop problems is oddly refreshing given how wild the series was getting, and giving him a no nonsense partner who is none the less flawed (and better characterized for it) really boosts the story. Great stuff and I highly recommend to anyone who loves the detective genre, but especially to those who dropped off the series due to the over-reliance of Constance and Corey plots, back to basics, but better honed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pendergast

I doubt there will be enough books written fast enough to satisfy the appetite. I have to revisit old Pendergast books in my library to hold over til another is released. it is always sad to reach the end of his books.

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Not as good as usual.

I have joined Agent Pendergast through all of his adventures since Book 1 and have found them extremely entertaining due to (mostly) strong characterizations, interesting plots, many surprises and satisfying conclusions. But, throughout these literary excursions, Preston and Child have a tendency to reproduce the same character in too many books, albeit with a different name and different role, but the same nevertheless. This is one character: Someone from whom Pendergast needs information or a task completed refuses to cooperate. The Agent announces some dirt he has uncovered on that person and Pendergast gets his way. Here is the other character: For reasons of incompetence, ego, insecurity or whatever the motivating force, a person in power tries to thwart Pendergast or the cause of justice. In the end, that character gets his or her comeuppance. I don't know why the authors take this approach, but I am finding these all too predictable characters rather tiresome. Unfortunately, Verses for the Dead is a bit of a let-down in this predictability taken to the extreme. As well, the story line doesn't appeal as much as the usual Pendergast suspense and I did not care for our hero's law enforcement partner in this latest tale. In any event, Rene Auberjonois performed with his usual outstanding ability..

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • shelley
  • Raleigh, NC
  • 2019-01-01

Completely Absorbing Pendergast novel...

Let me start by saying if someone is going to leave a poor rating on a newly released book I would appreciate if a review was also posted. I don't think this is fair to the author or potential listeners. Luckily for Lincoln and Child, I believe they have enough dedicated readers who will ignore the low ratings without an explanation why.

Pendergast's newest book had me cringing at the beginning. Woman goes to the cemetery to visit with her deceased husband. She brought her Pekingese dog with her and ends up having a tug-of-war with him and the human heart the dog has found on top of another grave.
All of the Pendergast novels are very detailed and this one is no exception. This story is so intricately woven with details so specific you can close your eyes and see the different scenes unfold.
Of all the Pendergast novels, this one is as close to believable as I've seen. But again with the Lincoln/Child novels I don't look for believability, I look for a thrilling mystery with an outrageously shocking motive (it is!) that only Pendergast, with all his oddities can solve.
In this newest book Pendergast is teamed up with a partner (Coldmoon) who is part American Indian. Initially he is told by the new SAC to basically spy on Pendergast because of his strange ways. Things don't quite work out the way either expected.
I would really like to continue but I don't want to spoil this book for anyone else.
Renee Auberjonois as always does a wonderful job narrating.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

167 of 174 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jesse
  • SEBASTOPOL, US, Canada
  • 2019-01-02

Verses for the Dead

Another excellent Pendergast novel. While not a six or ten star read like Still Life or The Relic, this was fun engaging listen. I enjoyed it immensely.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • LaGrange, Ky, United States
  • 2019-01-06

Thoroughly engrossing

An excellent addition to the series. Pendergast fans will not be disappointed. At least one reference to past events in SA Pendergast's new partner opens the door for a stands alone novel about his early career as well.

As usual, Rene Auberjonois' narration is superb. I would love to see Hachette Audio or Audible redo the first two books if the series with him as the narrator.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Cass
  • 2019-01-10

Pendergast doing what he does best

I found this a solid, highly enjoyable story that kept me engrossed from beginning to end. As much as the drama of Pendergast's personal life is always interesting, it can be like a very rich delicacy - best savored in small doses between other flavors. For me, this book was a perfect, pallet cleansing break-away that allowed Pendergast to do what he does best while introducing some other interesting characters and dealing with a typically interesting and plot-twisty Preston and Child mystery. The authors did a great job and I enjoyed every minute.

The wealth of characters who make up this fictional universe and the authors' ability to make you care about them even when they only pop up occasionally has always been a strong point for this series, and Agent Coldmoon was a great addition in this tradition. It was entertaining watching him and Pendergast interact, and he was an interesting character in his own right as well. I dare to hope that this will not be the last we have seen of him and that like many other recurring characters in the series we may see him again in future stories.

There was interestingly less of a true "monster" supernatural/weird science focus in this book than many of the previous, but I think that worked well for this story. It's good to mix things up and have variety, and I like the way the situations in this book were handled. Not every single little question was answered, but all the important ones were and it felt realistic somehow.

Mr. Auberjonois also deserves all the credit in the world for his wonderful narration. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but it should definitely be mentioned since he does an absolutely magnificent job in this book, and in all previous ones. I really believe that no one else could bring this world to life quite the way he does and I very much enjoy and appreciate it.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and my only complaint would be that I wanted it to go on longer! I always mean to make these books last, and then I always binge them far too quickly and am sad when they are over. Already looking forward to the next one!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 2019-01-09

Decent listen ..but not amazing....

Pendergast personality and thought process seemed watered down weak. just very average from start to finish.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Ferris
  • 2019-01-08

Good story but not great.

The plot is involved. The story just doesn’t have that magical feel like some of the previous Pendergasts . But Rene was marvelous as usual. Hope you like Miami.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ladygem222
  • 2019-01-06

IMHO not the best.

This is the first time that I haven’t given five stars to this series. For some reason this book just did not click with me. Usually I can’t put the “book”down can’t wait to finish it not so with this one. Yes I will continue to read the series just hope this was a one time thing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • UCF Professor
  • 2019-01-02

I miss the multiple, complex plot lines and natural science points of interest

I’ll read any Pendergast novel with great enjoyment, and this one had a nice twist few will see coming. I also liked the new character, Agent Coldmoon. Compared to the early works of the series, however, it lacks the complexity of the multiple, grippingly suspenseful, richly interwoven plots. I also miss the interesting tidbits of natural science that enhanced the appeal of the earlier works. Except for some inconsequential mention of carnivorous plants, at the beginning, this feature was largely absent.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Ronald L. Dorazio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2019-01-07

Not the best Pendergast

If the Pendergast novel The Cabinet of Curiosities was a 10 (and in my opinion it was), then by comparison Verses for the Dead is a 4.5. Not the best by far, but since it was Pendergast it was still entertaining.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • Anderson, SC, United States
  • 2019-01-02

Good but not up to Pendergast standards

As usual Lincoln and Child did a good book...that being said, am disappointed, as this is not the Pendergast we know....not in this book and not in last one that was done either. Good police detective story but missing Pendergast unusual shenanigans, and have just made him into an ordinary FBI agent with superior intellectual skills. In this book and the last one... the old Pendergast seems gone
Was disappointed by Smithback...thought he was being resurrected, or had maybe just been in hiding in witness protection.
Saving grace in this one....we did not hear much from the lackluster, no personality Constance Greene. Also gone is Digasta.
Miss his personality and would love to see more of Cory Swanson with her fiery personality, along with...never fail to get your attention Diogenis..

12 of 15 people found this review helpful