Looking for a list of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Pendergast books in order? We’re here to help.
The Agent Pendergast series is a collection of eerie, riveting stories about serial killers. They are well-written and quickly engross the reader. Agent Pendergast is an FBI special agent with the freedom to pick his tasks and travel wherever he wants. He is extremely intelligent and gifted in many fields and has been dubbed the spiritual and ruthless successor to Sherlock Holmes.
The series was first released in 1995 with Relic and continues to this day with the latest book, Bloodless, published in 2021.
But before we jump into a list of the Pendergast books in order, let’s learn a little bit more about the series.
What is the Pendergast Saga?
The Pendergast saga is a series of books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, following Aloysius Pendergast. He is an FBI special agent in charge of unmasking the most bizarre and odd serial killers that American streets have ever witnessed.
In Preston and Child’s books, Pendergast solves paranormal events using the purest logic. Thus solving the various mysteries and crimes assigned to this experienced FBI agent.
Beyond the charismatic, smart-eyed agent, the Pendergast series is full of endearing and well-built characters. Such as Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, Aloysius Pendergast’s best friend and one of his greatest allies throughout his career, and of course Constance Greene, the ward of Agent Pendergast.
Pendergast Books in Order
The best way to read the Pendergast books in order is in order of publication. However, if you don’t want to read them all, most of them can be read as standalone novels.
Just note that there are two trilogies within the whole saga: The Diogenes trilogy and the Helen trilogy. The Diogenes trilogy is Brimstone, Dance of Death, and The Book of the Dead. While the Helen trilogy is Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, and Two Graves. So, make sure to take that into account.
Now without further ado lets review all the Pendergast books in order:
- Relic (1995)
- Reliquary (1997)
- The Cabinet of Curiosities (2002)
- Still Life With Crows (2003)
- Brimstone (2004)
- Dance of Death (2005)
- The Book of the Dead (2007)
- The Wheel of Darkness (2008)
- Cemetery Dance (2009)
- Fever Dream (2010)
- Cold Vengeance (2011)
- Two Graves (2012)
- White Fire (2013)
- Blue Labyrinth (2014)
- Crimson Shore (2015)
- The Obsidian Chamber (2016)
- City of Endless Night (2018)
- Verses for the Dead (2018)
- Crooked River (2020)
- Bloodless (2021)
Summary of the Pendergast Books in Order
Now that we’ve listed out all the Pendergast books in order, let’s take a closer look at each book.
Visitors are being horribly killed in the dark halls and secret rooms of the prestigious New York Museum of Natural History just days before a major exhibition opens. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot by human.
Despite the killings, the museum’s directors intend to throw a lavish party to honor the new exhibition.
Margo Green, a museum researcher, must figure out who — or what — is killing people. But will she be able to do it in time to prevent the massacre?
It is a techno-thriller that deals with the subject of genetic manipulation and the role of museums and the scientific community in society. The first book in this series served as inspiration for the film The Relic.
A maze of tunnels, sewers, and galleries lies under Manhattan, mostly forgotten by those who wander the streets above. There lies the ultimate secret of the Museum Beast.
When two grotesquely deformed skeletons turn up deep in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green helps aid the investigation. Margo must once again team up with police lieutenant D’Agosta and FBI agent Pendergast, as well as the brilliant Dr. Frock, to try and solve the puzzle. The trail soon leads deep underground, where they will face the awakening of a slumbering nightmare.
3. The Cabinet of Curiosities
Many years ago, New Yorkers used to attend “cabinets of curiosities,” which are collections of odd and bizarre objects. Nowadays, a residential skyscraper will be built on the location of one of the ancient cabinets in Manhattan. When the excavators break into a basement, however, they find a horrifying scene. The bones of 36 victims who were killed and mutilated by an unknown serial murderer more than 130 years ago.
Following the incident, Pendergast and archaeologist Nora Kelly launch an inquiry into the disappearance of a mysterious doctor who formerly wandered the city conducting strange medical experiments on living people. But, just as Nora and Pendergast are beginning to piece together the clues to the century-old murders, a new rampage of murder and surgical mutilation explodes all around them and it seems to be the very same perpetrator. New York City is facing chaos.
4. Still Life with Crows
A little Kansas town, a string of gruesome killings, and the wicked and hidden darkness that lurks beneath. A strange and horrible murder has occurred in a town where nothing changes, where Main Street is a two-block length of old and dusty stores. The mutilated corpse is painstakingly put in an elaborate tableau in the center of the unending cornfields.
Now Agent Pendergast comes, to find a community he must rip inside out to identify the killer who can only be one of them.
As a reminder, this book is part of a trilogy, so you’ll want to read all three of the next few Pendergast books in order.
Agent Pendergast discovers the carnage of a horrible murder behind the gates of a wealthy Hamptons’ home. The smoking ashes of art critic Jeremy Grove are in a locked attic next to a claw mark on the floorboards. The odor of brimstone permeates everything.
Pendergast starts working with police detectives Vincent D’Agosta and Laura Hayward to hunt for a more reasonable answer to a case that defies otherworldly logic. But their research eventually leads them from Long Island’s opulent estates and New York City penthouses to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where four men dreamt up something horrible thirty years ago.
6. Dance of Death
Agent Pendergast’s biggest foe is his crafty and wicked brother Diogenes, who has pursued him from the shadows his whole life. And Diogenes is the one who has laid down the challenge.
Now several of Pendergast’s closest friends have been brutally killed, and Pendergast has been blamed for the crimes. He must stop his brother while on the run from federal investigators, with the only aid of his old buddy NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta. But how can he stop a man who is on par with him intellectually and has had 20 years to prepare for the world’s most heinous crime?
7. The Book of Dead
The smuggled gem collection of the New York Museum of Natural History is returned, but the stones have been ground to dust… Diogenes stole the collection in Dance of Death. Now he is hurling a challenge at both the city and his brother, who is currently in a maximum-security prison.
The museum chooses to reopen the Tomb of Senef in order to alleviate the public relations crisis caused by the gem fiasco. It was a popular museum display until its closure in the 1930s for unknown reasons.
The killings — and tales of an old curse — resume as the tomb is unsealed in preparation for its spectacular unveiling. And the disastrous opening sets the tone for the final showdown between the two brothers from which only one will survive.
8. The Wheel of Darkness
Constance Greene is on a voyage tour with Pendergast in the hopes of bringing closure to recent painful occurrences and giving her a feel of the world that she has missed. They travel to Tibet, where Pendergast studied martial arts and spiritual sciences in depth.
Once there, they find out that a unique and hazardous artifact that the monks have been guarding for decades has been suddenly stolen from the monastery. Pendergast agrees to find and return the device.
The trail of clues takes him to the inaugural trip of the Britannia, the world’s largest and most opulent transatlantic. And also to a deadly passage across the Atlantic Ocean.
9. Cemetery Dance
In their Upper West Side apartment, William Smithback, a New York Times writer, and his wife Nora Kelly, an archaeologist at the Museum of Natural History, are savagely attacked.
The attacker was their bizarre, evil neighbor, according to eyewitnesses and the surveillance camera. But Colin Dearing was dead and buried weeks before.
Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta embark on their own private and rather unconventional search for answers. Their winding path leads them to a Manhattan enclave they never dreamed could exist. A clandestine, insular Obeah and voodoo sect that no outsider has ever survived.
10. Fever Dream
Fever Dream is the start to another trilogy, so be sure to read these next three Pendergast books in order.
Special Agent Pendergast believes his beloved wife, Helen, died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. But then he discovers it was an intentional murder.
Her rifle — her lone defense against the beast — had been purposefully loaded with blanks. So he starts digging deep into Helen’s history, and discovers a lot of information that Helen had tried to keep concealed.
As Pendergast delves deeper into the mystery he faces difficult questions. Who was his wife really? Why was she murdered? And who murdered her?
11. Cold Vengeance
Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple.
As he stalks his wife’s betrayers, he must also dig further into Helen’s past. The chase takes him from the wild moors of Scotland to the bustling streets of New York and the darkest bayous of Louisiana. And he learns that Helen may have been a collaborator in her own murder.
As he peels back layers of deception, he discovers that the conspiracy is bigger than he first thought. It stretches back generations, and is more terrible than he could have imagined. Everything he’s ever known…may be a horrific lie.
12. Two Graves
After his wife, Helen, is kidnapped in front of his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers across the US and into Mexico. But then things go horribly wrong. The kidnappers flee, and a broken Pendergast retires to his New York apartment and shuts out the rest of the world.
However, when a series of odd killings occur across multiple Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D’Agosta seeks the assistance of his buddy Pendergast. Pendergast is initially hesitant but eventually realizes that the murders are a message from his wife’s captors. But why is there a message? And what exactly does that imply?
When the kidnappers target those closest to Pendergast once again, the FBI agent sets out to find and punish the perpetrators. His mission takes him deep into the South American jungles, where he eventually comes face-to-face with an ancient evil that is raising up again…with possibly world-altering implications.
13. White Fire
Several workers were murdered in brutal grizzly bear attacks in 1876 in a remote mining area named Roaring Fork in the Colorado Rockies. The village is now a posh ski resort, and the medieval cemetery has been demolished to make room for development.
Corrie Swanson has requested for the remains of the deceased miners to examine them. However, she makes a discovery that puts the resort’s survival in jeopardy. In an effort to prevent her from exposing their community’s dark and brutal past, the town’s authorities capture and imprison her.
At this point, Agent Pendergast comes to assist her, just as people are fleeing due to a series of terrible arson attacks on multi-million dollar properties.
Pendergast uncovers an improbable mystery about Roaring Fork’s history, linking the resort to an accidental meeting between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde. Pendergast must unravel the puzzle of the past…before the town of the present goes up in flames, with the town under siege and Corrie’s life in grave danger.
14. Blue Labyrinth
When one of Aloysius Pendergast’s most ruthless foes shows up on his doorstep dead, a long-buried family secret resurfaces.
Except for an unexplained clue, the case bears all the characteristics of a perfect murder. Pendergast follows the mysterious turquoise stone left in the stomach of the corpse to an abandoned mine in the lonely Salton Sea in California, which takes him on a quest of discovery into his family’s nefarious history.
But Pendergast quickly discovers that there’s more at work than a gruesome occurrence in his family’s past. He’s being pursued by a sly killer seeking vengeance for a long-ago crime. Pendergast is quickly entangled in a deviously ingenious conspiracy that will leave him mentally and physically ill…and may likely lead to his death.
15. Crimson Shore
Pendergast investigates the theft of a priceless wine collection in Exmouth, a picturesque community on the north coast of Salem. He and his niece, Constance Greene, proceed to the coastal town, where they soon uncover something even more sinister. A locked niche in the wine cellar sheltering the bones of a man who was tortured and then entombed alive 150 years ago.
When they found uncover a recently slaughtered body wrapped in cryptic patterns the mystery becomes even more complicated. Suddenly Pendergast must figure out the connection to the witches of Salem who took refuge in the same place in the seventeenth-century.
16. The Obsidian Chamber
Pendergast is missing and assumed dead after a traumatic, unearthly encounter on the beaches of Exmouth, Massachusetts. Constance, Pendergast’s ward, withdraws to her quarters beneath the family estate at 891 Riverside Drive, sick with grief, only to be kidnapped by a mysterious entity from the past.
Meanwhile, Pendergast’s veteran bodyguard, Proctor, leaps into action, pursuing Constance’s abduction… But a terrible engine has already begun when Proctor finally finds the truth, and it may be too late.
17. City of Endless Night
The NYPD initially believes Grace Ozmian, the daughter of a rich tech tycoon, has merely gone on another wild trip when she goes missing. That is until her body turns up in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, with the head missing.
Lieutenant CD’Agosta takes command right away. D’Agosta is ecstatic when Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case, as he hopes the case will reinvigorate the special agent.
However, Pendergast and D’Agosta aren’t ready for what lies ahead. Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims. It also appears to be the work of two killers: A murderer and a mutilator.
It soon becomes evident that a malevolent spirit is haunting the broader metropolitan region. Worse yet, there’s something special about the city that has drawn the killer’s (or killers’) attention.
18. Verses for the Dead
Agent Pendergast must unexpectedly accept an inconceivable condition. The notorious renegade agent must now operate with a partner.
Pendergast and his new teammate, junior agent Coldmoon, go to Miami Beach, where a rash of murders by a bloodthirsty psychopath all have a special signature. The murderer cuts out the hearts of his victims and leaves them — along with cryptic handwritten letters — at local gravestones. The gravestones have one thing in common: All belong to women who committed suicide.
The apparent absence of a link between the past suicides and the current killings, however, becomes the least of Pendergast’s concerns. Because as he digs deeper, he discovers the heinous new atrocities might be only the tip of the iceberg of a decades-long deadly plot.
19. Crooked River
Dozens of identical blue shoes float in on the tide and wash up on the tropical beach, each with a viciously amputated human foot inside, shocking the placid vacation town of Sanibel Island, Florida.
Agent Pendergast ends his vacation and grudgingly agrees to examine the crime scene. He is instantly lured in by the perplexing conundrum.
In no time, Pendergast confronts the most difficult and mystifying task of his career. A tangled web of evidence that spans seas and continents, and with a connection to one of modern medicine’s most perplexing riddles.
All clues eventually lead back to a strong foe with a sadistic goal, who, in a bitter irony, sees Pendergast as the ideal subject for their nefarious research through startling twists and turns.
D. B. Cooper hijacked a flight from Portland to Seattle with a false bomb in 1971. Then he collected a $200,000 ransom, parachuted from the plane’s rear, and disappeared into the night.
Fifty years later, Agent Pendergast receives a strange and grisly case. In the ghost-haunted city of Savannah, Georgia, victims are turning up with no blood left in their veins. Fear and panic resurrect whispered legends of the infamous Savannah Vampire.
Pendergast and his partner, Agent Coldmoon, rush to figure out what, if anything, D. B. Cooper has to do with the case. They discover not just the answer, but an inhuman horror beyond all comprehension.
Well there you have it, all the Pendergast books in order. Have you read any yet? Which ones have been your favorite? Let us know down in the comments.
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