These brilliant, incomparable “wild card” thrillers by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child combine breathtaking suspense with history, science, archaeology, anthropology, and more. And they all feature honorable, eccentric, enigmatic FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast with his silvery eyes, uncanny detection skills, and penchant for erudite learning and mysticism.

While the books are written so that you can jump in and read any book in the series that captures your imagination, for the most satisfying experience it’s best to read them all in order.

Truly unique, and highly recommended!


A #1 New York Times bestseller with more than one million copies sold, and a major motion picture.

Just days before a highly touted exhibition opens at New York’s popular Museum of Natural History, people are being brutally murdered in the building’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Results from the autopsies indicate that the killer is not human.

In spite of the murders, the museum’s directors are planning to go ahead with a big bash that’s been planned to celebrate the opening of the new exhibition.

Now museum researcher Margo Green must find out who — or what — is responsible for the horrifying killings. And she’s determined to stop the killer before there’s an all-out massacre.


Far beneath Manhattan, for the most part unthought of by those who walk the streets above, lies a complex warren of tunnels, sewers, and galleries. A place where secrets abide…

When two grotesquely deformed skeletons are found buried in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green is asked to help in the investigation, teaming up with police lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta and brilliant but eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast.

Soon the trail leads them deep underground, where they will face the awakening of something terrible from its sleep…


In an ancient tunnel beneath New York City, a charnel house containing 36 bodies is discovered. Horrifyingly, the bodies all show evidence of murder and mutilation, and it appears the crimes took place more than a century ago.

But while FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, a new series of “copycat” killings begins to terrorize the city.

The dreadful nightmare has begun…


Medicine Creek, Kansas is a small town in America’s heartland where nothing ever changes and nothing ever happens.

But now a grisly murder has occurred there, the body mutilated and placed on display in the midst of the cornfields that march on endlessly as far as the eye can see in every direction.

Something’s on the loose – an evil killer, or a deadly curse on the land – and no one is safe.

But FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast is determined to do whatever it takes to root out the evil…

5. BRIMSTONE (The Diogenes Trilogy)

In an elegant estate in the Hamptons, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are discovered in a locked attic, next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards, surrounded by the stench of brimstone. There are more things in heaven and earth than we dream of… could it be possible Grove made a Faustian pact with the devil, and he came to claim the soul he was owed?

Unable to resist a case that appears to have a supernatural basis, Pendergast teams up again with police officers Vincent D’Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to uncover a more down-to-earth explanation.

Their chilling investigation leads them from the elegant estates of Long Island to the legend-haunted ruins of Italian castles, where three decades ago four men conjured up something vile and unspeakable…

6. DANCE OF DEATH (The Diogenes Trilogy)

Agent Pendergast’s nemesis, brilliant and diabolical criminal mastermind Diogenes, has been stalking him his entire life. And, tragically, is his own brother.

Now Diogenes has thrown down the gauntlet…

Several of the people closest to Pendergast are viciously murdered, and he’s framed for the crimes. Forced to go on the run from federal authorities while he attempts to catch up with his brother Diogenes, Pendergast gets help from his old friend, NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta.

But how can they stop a man who is Pendergast’s intellectual equal, and has had two decades to plan the world’s most atrocious crime?

7. THE BOOK OF THE DEAD (The Diogenes Trilogy)

FBI Agent Pendergast is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison when, in a taunting move, his psychotic brother Diogenes returns the gem collection he stole from the New York Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately the jewels have all been ground down to dust.

To distract the public from the PR nightmare caused by the destroyed gems fiasco, the museum decides to reopen one of its popular museum exhibits, the Tomb of Senef. An astonishing Egyptian temple, it was widely visited until its quiet closing in the 1930s.

But when the tomb is unsealed in preparation for its highly touted reopening, the killings – and whispers of an ancient curse – begin again.

Now the final confrontation between the two brothers is about to take place. An epic clash from which only one can emerge alive…


Agent Pendergast has taken his sheltered ward Constance Greene on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give her closure from unpleasant events that recently occurred, as well as introduce her to the world she’s so far missed.

They head to Tibet, where Pendergast trained intensively in spiritual studies and martial arts, and while visiting a remote monastery learn that a rare and dangerous artifact guarded by the monks for generations has been mysteriously stolen.

Pendergast promises to track it down, and following the artifact’s trail, he and Constance embark on the maiden voyage of the Britannia, the world’s largest and most luxurious cruiseliner.

Little do they know their trip across the Atlantic will be fraught with terror…


New York Times reporter William Smithback and his wife Nora Kelly, an archaeologist at the Museum of Natural History, are brutally attacked in their upscale Manhattan apartment.

Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor. A man who reportedly was dead and buried weeks earlier.

NYPD Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation. But Pendergast and his friend Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta undertake their own decidedly unorthodox quest for the truth.

Following a serpentine trail, they enter a secret world they never could have imagined. A reclusive Obeah and Vodou cult no outsider has ever survived…

10. FEVER DREAM (The Helen Trilogy)

As Agent Pendergast is going through long-ignored possessions that sadly remind him of his wife Helen’s untimely death, he makes a shattering discovery. Mauled by a vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa, Helen’s death had always been considered a tragic accident. But now he’s found evidence that points to murder.

Assisted by NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, Pendergast embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of Helen’s murder, journeying deep into his wife’s past and uncovering her hidden secrets. Including her concealed obsession with famed naturalist and painter John James Audubon and his long-lost painting “The Black Frame.”

The answers Pendergast’s seeking can only be found deep in the Louisiana bayou on a night of soul-wrenching violence, but they raise an even bigger question…

Who was the woman he married?

11. COLD VENGEANCE (The Helen Trilogy)

Devastated by the discovery that his wife Helen’s mauling by a vicious lion while big game hunting in Africa was actually a carefully planned murder, Pendergast is determined to avenge her death.

Following a trail that leads from the wild moors of Scotland to the bustling streets of New York City and the moody, atmospheric bayous of Louisiana, he’s forced to uncover more of Helen’s hidden past. And is deeply shocked when he finds she may have collaborated in her own murder.

Digging down through layer after layer of deception, Pendergast realizes he’s dealing with a conspiracy that goes back generations and is far more horrific than he ever could have imagined.

Now he’s through the looking glass… where everything he’s understood, everything he’s trusted, everything he’s believed… could be turned upside-down and inside-out.

12. TWO GRAVES (The Helen Trilogy)

When his beloved wife Helen is brazenly abducted right before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast pursues the kidnappers across the country and into Mexico. But things go terribly, tragically wrong, and the kidnappers elude him.

Shattered by the experience, Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But he comes out of hiding to help his friend NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta investigate a string of bizarre murders he believes are a message from his wife’s kidnappers.

When the kidnappers strike again at those closest to Pendergast, the FBI agent, his thirst for vengeance renewed, sets out to track them down and destroy them. His quest takes him deep into the trackless forests of South America, where he must confront an old evil that’s stirring anew, with potentially world-altering consequences.

Confucius once said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, first dig two graves.” Now Pendergast is about to experience that unpleasant truth.


In 1876, a number of miners were killed by a series of horrific grizzly bear attacks in a remote mining camp in the Colorado Rockies called Roaring Fork. Today the site is an exclusive ski resort, and its historic cemetery where the miners were buried has just been dug up to make way for development.

Attempting to solve an old mystery, Corrie Swanson has arranged to examine the remains of the dead miners. But when she does, she discovers something so shocking it threatens the resort’s very existence. Trying to keep her from exposing their community’s dark, bloody past, the town leaders arrest Corrie and throw her in jail.

FBI Special Agent Pendergast arrives to help, just as a series of arson attacks on multimillion dollar homes spook the townspeople and drive away tourists.

During his investigation Pendergast discovers an unlikely secret, connecting Roaring Fork to a chance meeting between Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Now with Corrie’s life in imminent danger and the town under siege, he must solve the enigma of the past before everyhing goes up in flames.


A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Agent Pendergast’s most relentless enemies appears on his doorstep as a murdered corpse with an enigmatic clue. A piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach.

The mysterious clue leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California’s desolate Salton Sea, which propels him on a journey deep into his family’s secret, sinister past. But Pendergast realizes there’s more involved than a ghastly episode of family history… he’s being stalked by a cunning killer seeking to avenge an ancient transgression.

Soon Pendergast’s caught up in a diabolical plot that will leave him terribly stricken in mind and body, and could well end with his death.


Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast takes on a private case iinvolving the theft of an extremely valuable wine collection in Exmouth, Massachusetts, a quaint village on the coast north of Salem. But when he and his ward Constance Greene travel to the small seaside town, they soon discover something far more sinister. The remains of a man, apparently tortured and entombed alive a century and a half ago, in a bricked-up niche in the wine cellar.

Who is he, and why did he come to such a bad end?

Compounding the strange mystery, they discover a newly murdered body covered with enigmatic symbols in the salt marshes behind Exmouth.

The place where, as legend has it, the real witches of Salem took refuge when fleeing the 1692 witch hunts.


After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation in the salt marshes near the seaside town of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent Pendergast is missing and presumed dead.

Devastated by grief, Pendergast’s ward Constance Greene retreats to her private chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive… only to be abducted by a shadowy figure from the past.

With Pendergast absent, his longtime bodyguard and chauffeur Proctor springs into action, chasing Constance’s abductor through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.

But nothing is as it seems. And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, something terrible – and perhaps unstoppable – has already been set in motion… 


When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful, reckless, often-tabloid-featured daughter of a tech billionaire goes missing, the NYPD at first assumes she simply has taken off on another wild adventure. But then her body’s found in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, without a head.

Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta is the lead investigator on the homicide, and he’s delighted when his old friend FBI Special Agent Pendergast shows up, also assigned to the case. But Pendergast and D’Agosta aren’t prepared for what they’re about to encounter.

It soon becomes evident that a diabolical presence is haunting the greater New York metropolitan area, with Grace Ozmian only the first to fall victim. Even worse, there’s something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil attention of the killer. Or killers.

As mass hysteria erupts, Pendergast and D’Agosta find themselves targeted by a chilling nemesis threatening the very lifeblood of the city.

It’s going to take all their skill to unmask this deadly foe… and survive to tell the tale.


After a change in leadership at the FBI’s New York field office, Special Agent Pendergast is forced to accept the unthinkable. The famously unorthodox rogue agent now has to work with a partner.

Pendergast and his new partner, Agent Coldmoon, are sent to Miami Beach, where a serial killer is cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them at local gravesites, accompanied by cryptic notes. The victims are all women, but there doesn’t appear to be any connection between them – except that the gravesites all belong to women who committed suicide years before.

But Pendergast soon realizes the grisly new murders may be just the tip of the iceberg, a conspiracy of death that was set in motion more than a decade ago…



See more wild card thrillers

Thrillingly yours,

Kristy Dark


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