At a Glance
When it comes to reading the Special Agent Pendergast books in order, having read the whole Pendergast series so far, I suggest you read the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Pendergast series in order of publication, starting with Relic. The reason is that, while most of the stories can stand on their own, there is a continuity involving the characters (especially surrounding Aloysius Pendergast) that you don’t want to miss.
Here are the Pendergast books in order with the latest novels added regularly.
New Pendergast Book
Pendergast Books in Publication Order
Aloysius Pendergast is an FBI Agent featuring in the entire series
- Relic (Pendergast #1), 1995
- Reliquary (Pendergast #2), 1997
- The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast #3), 2002
- Still Life with Crows (Pendergast #4), 2003
- Brimstone, (Pendergast #5, Diogenes #1) 2004
- Dance of Death (Pendergast #6, Diogenes #2), 2005
- The Book of the Dead (Pendergast #7, Diogenes #3), 2007
- The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8), 2008
- Cemetery Dance (Pendergast #9), 2009
- Fever Dream (Pendergast #10), 2010
- Cold Vengeance (Pendergast #11), 2011
- Two Graves (Pendergast #12), 2012
- Extraction (Pendergast #12.5), 2012
- White Fire (Pendergast #13), 2013
- Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast #14), 2014
- Crimson Shore (Pendergast #15), 2015
- The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16), 2016
- City of Endless Night (Pendergast #17), 2018
- Verses for the Dead (Pendergast #18), 2018
- Crooked River (Pendergast #19), 2020
- Bloodless (Pendergast #20), 2021
- The Cabinet of Dr. Leng (Pendergast #21), 2023
- Angel of Vengeance (Pendergast #22), 2024
The first three in the book series by the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Relic, Reliquary, and Cabinet of Curiosities could be included in the New York City book series due to the fact that they all take place in New York City (around the New York Museum of Natural History) and the characters are also present in each, including one of my favorite earlier characters, William Smithback.
In addition, there are two trilogies as part of the series. Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, and Two Graves are part of the Helen trilogy, while Brimstone, Dance of Death, and The Book of the Dead are part of the Diogenes trilogy.
Other Pendergast Novels by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
- Gone Fishing, 2017 (A novella in the Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night series) – A police lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta story
- Aloysius X. L. Pendergast, 2022
Should We Read the Pendergast Novels in Order?
FBI Agent Pendergast is a special agent who can easily pick and choose his tasks and can travel wherever he wants whenever he wants. A highly intelligent individual who is gifted in many fields has been often called the spiritual successor to Sherlock Holmes.
In the first few techno-thriller books of the Special Agent Pendergast series by the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, I felt that the authors wanted to make the novels standalone to allow us to read them separately from the rest. However, as various new characters got added in each new book – most of which would feature in subsequent novels as well, it became quite difficult not to want to read the next book in the series to see what happened with x, y or z character next.
For example, once Constance Greene is thrown in the mix, you will want to know about her (very odd) history, age, relationship with the two brothers (Aloysius Pendergast and his brother Diogenes), and what she is doing there anyway. In the later Pendergast stories, Constance’s character will be really fleshed-out and well-defined.
The more books you read in the Pendergast series where Constance is included or just mentioned, the easier it will become to learn more about this very interesting and exquisite person and the easier it becomes to feel attached to her and feel compassion for her. She really grew on me over the years. Thankfully Crimson Shore, the 15th Pendergast novel, is all about Constance. And our favorite FBI special agent. And did I mention…her? Yay!
Diogenes, his brother, is another of those characters that as evil as he might be, he is nevertheless a very interesting participant in the whole family story. And let’s not forget about Helen, who appears in some later novels, and her story continues from there on, even long after she…but I won’t spoil it for you more.
In the Pendergast series, it’s not only about the characters’ backgrounds but also the relationship that develops and grows over time, where seemingly unrelated small events in the lives of some characters will produce major ripples over time in the lives of others.
Each book reveals a bit more about Aloysius, about Constance Greene, about Diogenes, about Margo Green, and even his wife, Helen, about the secretive Dr. Leng, as well as about the various serial killer individuals involved at various times. While some of the main protagonists might appear in a few books only, they are always there, in the background, with the author revealing bits and pieces about them, allowing us to put a larger puzzle together.
So yes, reading the Pendergast books in order is something I’m glad I did right from the first book I have read many years ago, called Relic. The book got me hooked on the entire series, making it one of the most anticipated mystery series every year.
So, all in all, I highly recommend you read the Pendergast series in order from the very first one, Relic, and go through the list as shown above. You will be privy to some information and clues that those who read the books out of order will likely miss, along with a lot of back-stories that makes this world as rich and interesting as it is.
Each book in the Pendergast series flows seamlessly into the next without any interruption and if you read them out of order you might feel the whole story disjointed and let’s face it, much less fascinating.
One of my favorite books in the series is City of Endless Night, available from early 2018. For those who want to start reading this wonderful and addictive thriller series, above is the order of each book to get you started with. The numbering after the book titles denotes the order of the novels.
The book starts with the search for Grace Ozmian, the missing daughter of a billionaire who owns DigiFlood in the tech sector. Initially, it is supposed that she took off the way she often does, but things go from bad to much worse when a decapitated body is found.
Out beloved Vincent D’Agosta takes the case, and when Aloysius wants to help, police lieutenant D’Agosta is more than happy with the additional support, especially since diabolical forces are at work here, and probably regular police work will not suffice in solving this case.
This book goes back to the traditional style of the author duo, which I enjoy so much. However, there are not many recurring characters in this book except for Aloysius and Vincent. Constance and Vincent’s wife only appear briefly.
The latest book, The Cabinet of Dr. Leng, goes back to yet another enigmatic character in the series. It is followed by Angel of Vengeance, released in 2024.