I’ve read all of this duo’s collaborations featuring Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast and have enjoyed them all. Their last was Cemetery Dance, which featured voodoo, cults, and zombies. The audio version was a blast, with Scott Brick narrating and providing hilarious zombie sound effects. Preston and Child obviously revel in depicting scenes of horror and somehow pull off scaring you senseless and making you laugh at the same time.
I was initially concerned that Brick, who has become my favorite Preston/Child narrator, did not narrate Fever Dream. I needn’t have worried, however; although Brick is unsurpassed with Pendergast’s honeyed N’Awleans voice, Rene Auberjonois did a great job and pulled me into the story immediately.
Heretofore we haven’t heard much about Pendergast’s wife, Helen, who died 12 years earlier. In Fever Dream, we find out what happened to her: She was killed by a lion while on safari with her husband in Zambia. Only now, however, does Pendergast make a chilling discovery: while examining the gun that crack-shot Helen fired at the lion all those years ago, he finds that someone had loaded it with blanks, assuring that Helen would be defenseless against the lion she and Pendergast had been sent into the jungle to kill.
Pendergast enlists his friend Vincent D’Agosta to help him find out why and by whom Helen was murdered. Attempting to retrace Helen’s steps in her last months reveals a lost Audubon painting, a family gone mad, and an assassin who appears to be killing off each player in the drama one by one. Could all of these convoluted plot lines be related? Could Pendergast and D’Agosta be next on the assassin’s list? Is this all completely over the top?! Hell, yeah, and that’s why I love these guys, especially in audio. Preston and Child do suspense and horror, mixed with dark humor, with absolute panache and glee. If it all strains credulity at times, the reader is having too much fun to care.
Check the WRL Catalog for Fever Dream
Check the WRL Catalog for the audiobook