White Fire (Special Agent Pendergast Series #13)

White Fire (Special Agent Pendergast Series #13)

by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child


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Past and present collide as Special Agent Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between a string of 19th century bear attacks in a Colorado mining town, a long-lost Sherlock Holmes story, and a deadly arsonist.

In 1876, in a mining camp called Roaring Fork in the Colorado Rockies, eleven miners were killed by a rogue grizzly bear. Corrie Swanson has arranged to examine the miners' remains. When she makes a shocking discovery, town leaders try to stop her from exposing their community's dark and bloody past.

Just as Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI arrives to rescue his protege, the town comes under siege by a murderous arsonist who-with brutal precision-begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast discovers a long-lost Sherlock Holmes story that may be the key to solving both the mystery of the long-dead miners and the modern-day killings as well.

Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack-and Corrie's life suddenly in grave danger-Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455525836
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/12/2013
Series: Special Agent Pendergast Series , #13
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" ( Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. In addition to his novels, Preston writes about archaeology for the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazines. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

Place of Birth:

Cambridge, Massachusetts


B.A., Pomona College, 1978

What People are Saying About This

Anne Rice

Another highly entertaining and genuinely thrilling story from Preston & Child starring their romantic, faintly gothic, and always mysterious FBI agent, Aloysius Pendergast. As always the prose is elegant, replete with exquisite descriptions, and this time we're treated to dashes of historic characters Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, as well as a positively delicious serving of the great Sherlock Holmes. Through myriad shocks, surprises, twists and turns, the suspense never lets up. Great fun to the last page.--Anne Rice

Peter Straub

WHITE FIRE is as incandescent as its title, a beautifully organized, tautly paced book that really did just yank me in and demand that I keep reading. I'm very grateful for the experience.--Peter Straub

Diana Gabaldon

A mile-a-minute thriller with a deeply entertaining plot and marvelous characters, in a setting that will chill your blood, and not only because it's 10 degrees below zero and covered with snow. My copy is full of crumbs because I couldn't put it down long enough to eat.--Diana Gabaldon

David Baldacci

As a fan of both Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, I began this book with great expectations. And in the first chapter we meet the two great men and their real life encounter, the result of which was two classic novels that have been devoured by generations of enthralled readers. But then Preston and Child, in their inimitable style, take the past and hurl it seamlessly into the present. Grizzly bear attacks from the late 1800s with stacks of old bones in a warehouse forcefully take on new meaning and create new dangers for our heroine, the compelling Corrie Swanson, and the steadfast Agent Pendergast who sweeps in to solve the case and save his ward. What Preston and Child are so good at are exemplified here: solid research, clear swift prose and enough twists to fill a jar of pretzels. Sit back, crack open the book and get ready for the ride of your life.--David Baldacci

Clive Cussler

Preston and Child have created a terrific mix of mystery and the unexpected that will keep you reading into the late hours of the night. They promise a great read and they have delivered.--Clive Cussler

Lisa Gardner

Preston and Child have done it again! WHITE FIRE continues their white hot streak of bestselling suspense as the most eccentric and ruthlessly clever FBI agent in the business, Pendergast, takes on old money and even older secrets with some literary help from Sherlock Holmes. Simply brilliant!--Lisa Gardner

R. L. Stine

I've read every Pendergast thriller. This is the most suspenseful and most horrifying of them all. This book holds chills you can't imagine. I'm still shuddering. I promise-- you'll shudder, too.--R.L. Stine

Customer Reviews

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White Fire 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 230 reviews.
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
Seeing Douglas Preston in person (twice) and Lincoln Child via Skype (once), I can’t help but be enthralled by the eccentricities of these two individuals, and the odd dynamic that must ensue from this powerful writing duo. So it’s hard not to see how Aloysius Pendergast might have developed from these two brilliant minds fully formed and ready for action. He’s odd and eccentric and intriguing and his dark suits never manage to get wrinkle, even when he’s bounding through snow drifts up to his chin or playing Russian roulette with a loaded revolver. More than just Pendergast, though, WHITE FIRE filled its pages with entertaining characters and a few individuals from the days of yore. With Corrie Swanson leading the charge and immersing herself in skeletal remains and mining caves and mountain passes, this novel piles on roadblocks and adventures in equal measure, and then douses the remains in cans of kerosene. With stoic individuals stepping to the forefront and the interweaving of a story within a story, this novel moves forward as much as it lingers in antiquity. Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde and Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson weave through the pages, leaving footprints in white blankets and half-eaten meals behind. The rush of adrenaline helped me maneuver from the first page to the last, the throttle easing just enough to keep me from overexertion, the pages pounding with the precision of a jackhammer. The vibrations echoed through my hands and all the way up my forearms, as I drove my snowmobile through the ensuing avalanche. The tight plot fit about as well as a snug pair of gloves, and I leaned my back from the resultant wind current, my teeth chattering and my feet stamping in protest. If you don’t mind Pendergast avoiding the spotlight as opposed to standing in the limelight, acting more as a mentor than the lead investigator, and you enjoy your plots more tightly woven than a pair of mittens, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this Colorado tale. I received this book for free through NetGalley. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annoyingly stupid heroine makes for a disappointing addition to the Pendergast series. Any redeeming qualities Corrie may have had in earlier books have been negated by her moronic decision-making in this one. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love Pendergast. He deserves nuanced supporting characters and a semi-intelligent plot, neither of which is present here. As always, the prose is fun. It's peppered with arcane and educational vocabulary and esoteric information about a variety of topics, all made interesting by the slightly florid (in a good way) writing style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful character the writers have in Pendergast! But this effort by Preston & Child falls short . The secondary characters are weak and simplistic compared the their early books. I, like another reader, skipped over several chapters that featured the Corrie character. She is portrayed as being streetwise, yet makes juvenile decisions boarding on naivete. I found her more of a distraction to the story than anything else. Pendergast is a winner...they should stick with him.
Butterfly3DR More than 1 year ago
Boring!  Authors  constructed the story around  Corrie Swanson,  No depth of character, just a petulant young lady.  The book is flat, no suspense, a huge disappointment ! I skimmed through most of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm very happy that I liked this book. The last few have been disappointing, but this time I really liked it. Exciting and kept my interest. K.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A page-turning thriller. I  was glad to see Agent Pendergast at his finest again.I could not put the book down .I
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is not exactly ruined by having allegedly intelligent heroine do something incredibly stupid, but I did skip large portions of narrative. This one was a bit predictable, to be honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Another of this series that did not disappoint. Must read! Interesting, enthralling and a page turner. Highly recommend!!
sams-kitten More than 1 year ago
White FireDouglas Preston and Lincoln ChildCan I just say, this book caused a lot of happy squealing on my end? First when Preston personally (!) sent me an Advanced Reader Copy (!!) Then when I saw the first page of the book, and again when I finished it. I have been a huge fan of Preston and Child's Special Agent Pendergast for about 10 years now. Having finished their latest sub-trilogy in the series, they decided to explore new ground with Pendergast. And by new ground, I mean going way back in the past to the ground at the root of all detective stories: Sherlock Holmes.I have long held that Pendegast is the most Sherlockian of detectives currently being written. So one of my squeals came when I openedWhite Fire to see a note that the character of Sherlock Holmes was used in this novel by permission of the Conan Doyle estate! Of course, how one of the greatest detectives in fiction got mixed up with Sherlock Holmes is a (typically, delightfully) twisted story.Special Agent Pendergast's protege, Corrie Swanson, is looking for the perfect research project to advance her studies at the College of Criminal Justice. She stumbles upon accounts of a man-eating bear in a Colorado mining town in the 1870s. Corri pours all of her resources into research, but powerful families in the town (now a high-class ski resort) are uncomfortable with what she unearths. While she digs around in the past, houses in the town are being burned to the ground. Corri makes some impetuous descisions, and this is where Pendergast has to come riding in to bail her out.Pendergast's take on the man- eating bear is wildly different, colored by an old Sherlock Holmes tale (invented in this book by Preston and Child. They do a remarkable job of alluding to Conan Doyle's style but still writing in a manner recognizably their own.) Pendegast must call on all of his resources to not only solve the case but keep Corrie alive (and out of jail.) He leverages all of his connections and explores all his fields of obscure knowledge before bringing all his impressive powers of thought and deduction to bear and, of course, solving the case! All this while attired in only the finest of bespoke black menswear (the detailed descriptions of his Colorado snow gear were pretty funny.)If you had merely said to me the words "Pendergast and Holmes" I would've been excited. Happily, this book was everything I hoped it would be- and more. Lincoln and Child do not disappoint. Fans of Pendergast will be happy to encounter him in this unique adventure. Readers new to the series will find this book an excellent place to start.The other top (altho not quite as good) Sherlockian detectives currently being written are J. Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme and J. Nesbo's Harry Hole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get used to them if you choose to read these books! This book had me hooked by page two! yes corrie did some stupid stuff.......she is a young girl after all! This book was a ride..Get the sample and you will be compelled to purchase.......then settle in for your very late night. Loved this book and am now reading them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next adventure!
Dragon49 More than 1 year ago
As usual Preston & Child has written another "hold on to your seat" stories. Love the books that have Agent Pendergast as the main character. This has kept me turning page after page to see what happens next. A book to hold your interest until the end.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Pendergast must rescue young Corrie Swenson again. In this one a story told by Oscar Wilde to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sets the stage for the whole book. Corrie comes across this story in Doyle's diary and gets an idea for writing her thesis. This takes her to Roaring Fork, Colorado where she immediately winds up in jail, and is facing a long prison term. It is obvious that the powers of the town want her research squelched and are hiding a big secret. On top of that there is a serial arsonist setting mansions in Roaring Fork on fire. It is up to Pendergast to get Corrie out of her jam and to help her solve the mysteries of Roaring Fork. on top of that he needs to try to calm down Corrie's stubborn behavior and pig-headedness which keeps getting her into dangerous situations. There is a lot of tense moments and the story is written in a very crisp manner that never gets boring. The authors even have an "unpublished" Doyle Sherlock Holmes tale that reads a lot like the author's own style. This is not the best Pendergast tale but it is a very good one. I give it 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so looking forward to another adventure of my favorite detective and this book did not disappoint! Clever, fast paced with just enough twists and turns to keep me up reading well into the night. Excellent read and was sorry to see it end!
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
I found this SA Pendergast installment fantastic!! Every single book, in its own way, has been outstanding. Could not put the book down and now have to wait patiently for the next one. The authors have such creative minds and thank you for many hours of enjoyable reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by these authors and won't be the last. The only negative comment I have to make is concerning the main character (Corrie). Her stupid decisions were iirritating at times, but other than that I couldn't put the book down. Finished reading it at 5 o'clock this morning. I will be back to read more books from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There aren't many books that have given me chills, but this was one of them! I could barely put this one down to work! Lincoln and Child have done it again, another amazing thriller with Pendergast at the helm! Seriously, the preview chapter should be Chapter 11. SO GOOD!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this during the winter - which is perfect because the action takes place in Colorado in the winter. Special Agent Pendergast’s friend Corrie Swanson is living in a small exclusive town in Colorado doing research when she stumbles across mysterious deaths and disappearances. Also some corruption- so she calls in Pendergast and let the games begin!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good characters and stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrilling,educ ational and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all the series when they first came out . Before I read book 17th I started the series over again. This book you can read by itself but I recommend to start from the 1st book. This way you can meet all the characters and know them better The book is worth reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Again , nothing but praise
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even better the second time around
Anonymous More than 1 year ago