Agent Pendergast Book Series

The vast majority of what I read is SF/F, but one of my all time favorite book series are the Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The series has been around since 1995 (!) and I’ve been reading for most of that time. It’s a modern day Sherlock Holmes series that’s mostly a detective mystery/thriller, but there are occasional SF/F elements involved. Unfortunately the genre concepts have mostly gone away in the later half of the series to be replaced by serial killers, which of course I’m not as interested in.

There have been a whopping TWENTY books staring Pendergast, not to mention even more spin-off novels, not to mention solo novels by Preston or Child taking place in their own continuities. The first decade of the Lincoln/Child books are stupendous page turners with a heavy X-Files vibe and I’ve read them several times.

I just finished reading the newest entry, BLOODLESS, and I loved it! This is without a doubt the best Pendergast book in almost a decade. It truly felt like a return to form for a series that had increasingly just become generic serial killer tales.

If anyone is interested in an engrossing mystery thriller, I highly recommend this series. It begins with THE RELIC in 1995, which was made into a very disappointing big budget movie that ruins the story. Not only does it completely change the monster in a ridiculous way… it omits Pendergast from the story! The star of the twenty book series! I remember reading this book as a teenager and being absolutely creeped out by the monster. And the premise of a creature stalking the night halls of the NYC Museum of Natural History is such an irresistible idea. (The movie, of course, was set in Chicago instead of NYC!)

The first three books in the series, THE RELIC, RELIQUARY, and CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, are all incredible thrillers. Their first trilogy, BRIMSTONE – DANCE OF DEATH – BOOK OF THE DEAD, are also excellent. I do feel the series never quite hit those highs again, but the middle books are pretty fun. And even the worst Preston and/or Child book is still absolutely worth a read!

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