Fever Dream by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston - Audiobook - BOOK REVIEW

6/13/2010 08:02:00 PM

FEVER DREAM by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
As read by Rene Auberjonois Category: Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers
Format: Audio Book
Subformat: CD (AUDIO)
Edition: Unabridged
Publish Date:  5/11/2010
ISBN: 9781607881940
Price:  $44.98/$54.00

From the audiobook cover:

Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago.

Today, he discovers she was murdered.

Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder:  Who was the woman I married?  Why was she murdered?  And, above all ... Who murdered her?

From the publisher's website: 
Destined to be a fan favorite, this exciting new thriller from bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child features Agent Pendergast and tells the dark history of his murdered wife, Helen.

My take:  This book starts out in Africa with Agent Pendergast and his beloved wife, Helen, on a mini-safari.  A German photographer is killed by a lion at a nearby lodge, and Agent Pendergast is called to the scene.

Pendergast, Helen, and a native guide go through the stand of Fever trees to hunt the lion down, as Helen is herself a formidable force with a gun.  When the lion attacks, both Pendergast and their guide are injured, and Helen is dragged off after shooting at the attacker and apparently missing her target.  Pendergast later finds what remains of her body and, in turn, shoots and kills the lion that attacked them.

Cue to 12 years later.  Agent Pendergast is still mourning the loss of his wife when he sees that her gun, which he has kept meticulously preserved in a display case, has a spot of rust showing on it.  As he takes it down to clean it, he opens the barrels and finds wadding inside: wadding that shouldn't be there.  This means that she didn't miss her target when she shot at it - the gun was purposely rigged to shoot a blank round.  Up to this point, Agent Pendergast seemed to have come to a sort of peace with his loss, but finding that his wife's gun was deliberately sabotaged shatters that illusion of peace.  He then embarks on a cross-continent quest to find his wife's murderer.

Here is where I wish I had true writing skills.  This book is a work of art, with evocative imagery and description that paints a true picture in one's mind of each setting and of all of the action therein.  It is multi-faceted and multi-layered, with even side characters fully fleshed-out and brought to life.  It is superbly read by Rene Auberjonois, who skillfully allows the listener to know exactly which character is speaking with his many voices. Even the side storylines are interesting and informative.  I was especially intrigued with the storyline about Pendergast's ward, Constance, who is accused of tossing her child overboard on a sea voyage.  If I could get more fully in-depth without spoilers, I would.   This book provides everything that a literary hound looks for.

By the end of the book, we know that there will be another, hopefully equally as enjoyable, book to follow.  Bravo to Child and Preston for a book that offers so much more than a mundane murder mystery.

Book Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

If you'd like to know more:

Listen to an excerpt

Start reading online

BUY IT:  You can purchase this book through the publisher's website, which includes links to various online booksellers.  It is available in print through Amazon as well.

WIN IT:  I am hosting a giveaway for up to 3 copies of this audiobook for US and Canadian readers through 6/19/2010.


Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this title from Hachette Audiobooks to objectively review.  No other form of compensation was received for this post, and I am not required to post a positive review.  Any Amazon links contained in this review are affiliate links, and will result in a small stipend if a purchase is made through them.

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