Écriture dense qui maintient le lecteur en haleine. Difficile de le quitter tant les rebondissements (parfois prévisibles, parfois totalement inattendus) abondent. Une lecture en version originale où le dictionnaire intégré du Kindle se révèle fort utile vu la richesse du vocabulaire employé. Pour moi l'un des meilleurs si ce n'est le meilleur de la série; j'attends la suite en Kindle avec impatience.
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223 internautes sur 235 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
My on-again/off-again romance with Pendergast continues2 août 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have been writing tales of Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast since 1995's Relic. And I have been a mostly loyal fan in the years since. But I might as well admit that Pendergast and I engaged in a trial separation these past few years. However, I just read Fever Dream and I remembered why I had stuck with him for more than a decade. You don't just toss a relationship like that away.
And I'm hooked again. Cold Vengeance is book two in the Helen Pendergast Trilogy, in which the special agent is hunting the reason for and the identity of his wife's murderers. It begins just a few weeks after the events of Fever Dream. In brief, the novel is a deliciously drawn out cat and mouse game between Pendergast and the only opponent left standing in the last novel. As this pursuit unfolds, Pendergast comes to realize, "that he truly had not known his beloved wife. Like so many other fallible human beings, he had been blinded by love. He had not even begun to crack the ultimate mystery of her identity."
But he does make progress in that ultimate mystery--with the help of more than a few characters we've met in prior novels. Who was Helen Pendergast, and what was her family connected to? At one point, Pendergast's opponent challenges, "You think your fight's just with me, but you're wrong... The fact is you have no idea, no idea, of what you're dealing with."
By the end of the book, both Pendergast and the reader will have an inkling, but there's much yet to be uncovered. Preston and Child are masterful at building suspense, and the end of this novel will be the start of a torturous wait for the final volume in the trilogy. The book ends on more than one huge cliff-hanger. Along the way, there are shocks, twists, and revelations aplenty. This is some highly entertaining storytelling, and my favorite in the series for many years.
I was a fool to leave Pendergast these last few years! I will be waiting anxiously until I can see him again in the conclusion to this most compelling story.
115 internautes sur 123 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Fun, fast-paced . . . and INFURIATING!2 août 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
These days, it seems every novel published is part of a trilogy. Preston & Child's latest novel, COLD VENGENCE, is the second installment in their latest Pendergast trilogy, focusing on the enigmatic FBI agent's attempt to get to the bottom of his wife's supposed death twelve years earlier. In many ways, COLD VENGENCE is more successful than the first book in the series, FEVER DREAM, probably because the plot is smaller and more limited in focus. Most of the novel is concentrated squarely on Pendergast's efforts to discover the truth about his wife, Helen - he follows leads in Scotland, New York City, and various Louisiana locations, while trying to keep a step ahead of Helen's shifty brother, Judson Esterhazy. The opening chapters, in which Pendergast and Esterhazy are hunting in the Scottish quagmires, are extraordinarily gripping and set the stage for the relationship to come between these two men. Pendergast wants to know the truth about Helen; Esterhazy wants desperately to keep that truth secret.
Fans of Preston & Child will find references here to D'Agosta and Hayward (although very briefly - neither play major roles in the novel), a brief mention of Smithback and Nora Kelly (through a three-year-old newspaper article), as well as the reappearance of Corrie Swanson (first seen in STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). Preston & Child often interweave characters from one book to another, creating a well fleshed-out world that is recognizable and theirs alone. It makes for very satisfying reading for those of us who know these writers well.
While I did enjoy reading COLD VENGENCE, I was also disappointed in a few things. First, the novel is pretty much all Pendergast, which can verge a bit on overkill. Pendergast works best, I think, in conjunction with other characters - here, he's in just about every scene (and the scenes he's not in seem somewhat detached from the central story). There are also quite a few ridiculous plot developments (characters doing things that don't really make sense), and I found myself scratching my head a few times trying to figure out how Nazi war criminals were going to fit into the whole thing (there are clues, of course, so you won't feel totally lost at sea). Finally, because it's the second of a planned trilogy, I knew from the start that I wasn't going to get the answers or resolution I was looking for - but it still annoyed me, as I got closer and closer to the end, to read characters saying things like, "Later I'll explain everything to you," or "Later - we'll have plenty of time to talk later." There's very little explaining going on in this novel - just a lot of set up for what might be a terrific third novel next year. And that can be downright infuriating for a reader. I'm not fond of this "trilogy phase" we're seeing these days!
Overall, if you're a Pendergast fan, you'll probably love this. I do suggest reading FEVER DREAM first, even though it's not one of Preston/Child's best books. If you're totally new to Preston/Child, I'd suggest starting with their earlier, truly brilliant novels (such as RELIC, RIPTIDE, THUNDERHEAD, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, and STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). But COLD VENGENCE is definitely and fun and exciting novel.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
An Enigma That Will Both Entertain And Exasperate Readers8 août 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I also have read all the Agent Pendergast novels and felt that last year's "Fever Dream" was a rekindling of the true Pendergast character and spirit. Unfortunately, "Cold Vengeance", the sequel to "Fever Dream", regresses the series toward mediocrity once again. I am never happy after purchasing what I anticipate to be a great read and discovering it is the forerunner of a sequel or worse, a trilogy. Occasionally, a writer can pull off a trilogy but really, can't authors, for the most part, complete a story in two volumes, almost 800 pages? When does the story demand a second or third book and when does it cross over into the "let's-string-out-our-readers-with-another- cliffhanger-so-we-can-presell-our-next-book" arena? That is the question readers face after reading 764 pages in the first two novels only to find they must wade through another 350-400 pages to achieve resolution and closure.
"Cold Vengeance" IS entertaining despite its weaknesses. Even when frustrating their loyal readers, Preston and Child, often do keep them on the edge of their seats with tension and suspense (although a lot is also telegraphed in this effort). Pendergast is still on the trail of the killer(s) of his beloved wife, Helen, and "Cold Vengeance" picks up the thread of a deadly cat-and-mouse game between Pendergast and his brother-in-law, Judson Esterhazy. Although believing that vengeance is mine, Pendergast's best efforts at exacting revenge are foiled by hard-to-swallow coincidences and timing issues that thwart all his brilliant planning, analytical abilities and instinctive revelations. The inexplicable coincidences that continually save Esterhazy reek of author contrivance to move the story along, albeit, at Pendergast's expense. While some suspension of disbelief has always accompanied the Pendergast novels, Preston and Child really lean on that suspension to keep "Cold Vengeance" moving.
Pendergast is mainly alone as the protagonist in this effort with most of his supporting cast reduced to cameo roles, with the exception of Constance who gets more "screen time" than usual but for me, the jury is still out on her contributions to this series. As was the case with "Fever Dream", there is more violence in "Cold Vengeance" than many of the other Pendergast novels and while still demonstrating his brilliance and instinctive leaps of faith, Pendergast also makes an unusual number of mistakes and misjudgements that are quite out of character for him but does serve to increase his vulnerability as well as move the narrative along. If you are a Pendergast fan, this is a must read to continue the Pendergast narrative in many its layers and it is entertaining. However, it again shows cracks in the ability of Preston and Child to maintain the standards they have created with this great character and their ability to meet the high expectations their loyal readers have come to expect. Three and a half stars--entertaining but frustrating at the same time.
Note to Preston and Child: 1. Stop negating Pendergast's great skills by contriving accidental occurrences and inexplicable coincidences--it reeks of contrivance. 2. Respect your readers by not stretching a storyline into three books when it can clearly be done in two. 3. **SPOILER ALERT** Don't set up cat and mouse games that run for an entire book with coincidences "saving" someone from Pendergast's vengeance only to have him passingly shot down and dismissed by unknown killers at the end of the book.
83 internautes sur 99 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Rather Bland . . .6 août 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The deliciousness of Pendergast has always been his edgy creepiness -- you loved not quite knowing what he was up to as he took you to unexpectedly dark places and left you there. You trusted him because he never disappointed, even though he was always three steps ahead of you. He was a fascinating, bottomless well of a character who could scare and charm the heck out of you in equal measures. Until now. The Pendergast of Cold Vengence is a cut out, a single note, a boringly predictable shadow of his former character. The razor-thin plot progresses mainly because Pendergast makes mistakes -- yes, simple, ordinary mistakes! This is a diluted Pendergast I neither recognize nor enjoy.
41 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Enough is enough26 août 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Once upon a time readers, writers, editors, agents all understood the plots of books had a beginning, middle and an end. There would be a story arch, introducing characters and situations, then tension grew and finally there was resolution. Okay, some romance authors write trilogies but even then,though the characters may continue into other books each conclusion had its own resolution.
This rule is now being ignored and everyone seems to know this except the reader who puts down his or her ten bucks and thinks she is actually buying a complete book. I believe the change has been done by authors and publishers cynically in order to increase profits by ensuring continuing sales. To me the most egregious was "Echo in the Bone" by Diane Gabaldon because I trusted that author and respected the series. However I feel almost the same way about Preston and Child and the Agent Pendergast books. Up 'til now each book could stand on its own and the character of Pendergast was so compelling many of us were only too happy to buy and read each book. However, after just finishing (if I could call it that) Cold Vengeance I am prepared to leave Pendergast to his latest cliff hanger and move on.
For this reason I am giving this book a single star. Otherwise it was not my favourite Pendergast by any means. Perhaps when authors don't have to actually finish a story they are not under the same compulsion to write very well throughout. The book contains a lot of action, a fair amount of violence, virtually none of Pendergast's famous sardonic wit, and the usual characters are seen but never really interact with each other or the story. Rather than building tension Pendergast just covers a lot geography, Scotland, Louisiana, New York, etc. etc. There are evil Nazis and Pendergast gets out of impossible situations by doing improbable and poorly explained actions. (How did he actually turn into a sick old man in order to fool his evil brother in law?) He is more X Man than the urbane, cool headed FBI agent of previous books.
I was pleased to see Corrie Swanson return but she only shows up in order to be put in imminent peril which may or may not be resolved in the next sequel.
Big disappointment, and an irresponsible manipulation of the reader's loyalty for reasons that can only be for money. There is certainly no artistic reason for the cliff hanger conclusion. The book just stops!