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Fever Dream ? A Pendergast mystery
Douglas Preston and Lee Child
Grand Central Publishing 2010
405 pages

Fever Dream is an unusual Douglas Preston Lee Child mystery in that it is not particularly weird. Fans of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast are familiar with the rather fantastic plots involving Egyptian archeological reconstructions, Buddhist Arch of Covenants, weird Amazonian man-creatures or, yes, killer zombies. Fever Dream is about a lost painting by James Audubon, the famous bird guy. This is a traditional whodunit investigative mystery and quite a good one.

In Fever Dream Pendergast discovers that the death of his wife Helen some fifteen years ago was no accident. He calls on his friend NYPD detective Vincent D Agosta to help him find information about Helen and her past thus perhaps identifying her killer. They soon learn Helen Pendergast was not quite who she said she was and that her interest in James Audubon, his history, and a legendary missing painting colored everything she did.

Pendergast and D Agosta are soon digging around the history of James Audubon, the time he spent at an asylum, and the missing painting.

Things slowly start to come together but so do the attempts on Pendergast and the people working with and for him.

Pendergast associate Constance Green also shows up and is immediately arrested by the NYPD. She is there as a tertiary story point to put the fantastic element in this thriller.

Those used to the very wild adventures of this most unconventional of FBI agents might find this mystery novel a bit too standard. Those new to the Pendergast series should not base their appreciation of the Douglas Preston Lee Child novels on this mystery novel.

Fever Dream is an excellent read even if it does leave a couple of plot points open for further adventures.