Pendergast Novels In Order

Last Updated on August 25, 2021 When it comes to reading the Pendergast novels in order, having read the whole series so far, I suggest you do read the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Pendergast books 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 the FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast) that you don’t want to miss.

Here are the Pendergast novels in order by the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

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Bloodless  (Pendergast #20), 2021

List of the Pendergast Series in Order

  1. Relic (Pendergast #1), 1995
  2. Reliquary (Pendergast #2), 1997
  3. The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast #3), 2002
  4. Still Life with Crows (Pendergast #4), 2003
  5. Brimstone, (Pendergast #5, Diogenes #1) 2004
  6. Dance of Death (Pendergast #6, Diogenes #2), 2005
  7. The Book of the Dead (Pendergast #7, Diogenes #3), 2007
  8. The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8), 2008
  9. Cemetery Dance (Pendergast #9), 2009
  10. Fever Dream (Pendergast #10), 2010
  11. Cold Vengeance (Pendergast #11), 2011
  12. Two Graves (Pendergast #12), 2012
  13. Extraction (Pendergast #12.5), 2012
  14. White Fire (Pendergast #13), 2013
  15. Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast #14), 2014
  16. Crimson Shore (Pendergast #15), 2015
  17. The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16), 2016
  18. City of Endless Night (Pendergast #17), 2018
  19. Verses for the Dead (Pendergast #18), 2018
  20. Crooked River (Pendergast #19), 2020
  21. Bloodless (Pendergast #20), 2021

The first 3 books in the series, Relic, Reliquary and Cabinet of Curiosities could be included in the New York series due to the fact that they all take place in New York (around the museum) and the characters are also present in each, including one of my favorite earlier characters, William Smithback.

Should we Read the Pendergast Novels in Order?

In the first few books of the Pendergast series, I had the feeling that the authors wanted to make the novels standalone stories, 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 to not want to read the next book in the series just to see what happened with x, y or z character next.

For example, once Constance is thrown in the mix, you will want to know about her (very odd) history, her age, her relationship with Aloysius and his brother, and what is she doing there anyway. In the latest Pendergast books, Constance’s character will be really fleshed-out and well defined.

Crimson ShoreThe more books you read 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 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 simply continues from there on, even long after she…but I won’t spoil it for you more.

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, about Diogenes and even about his wife, Helen. 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. It was the book that got me hooked on the entire series, making it for me one of the most anticipated mystery series every single year.

RelicSo, all in all, I highly recommend you read the 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 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.

City of Endless Night 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 simply took off the way she often does, but when a decapitated body is found, things go from bad to much, much worse.

Out beloved Vincent D’Agosta takes the case, and when Aloysius wants to help, Vincent 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 Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, which I enjoy so much. There are not many recurring characters in this book, however, except for Aloysius and Vincent. Constance and Vincent’s wife only appear briefly.

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86 Responses to “Pendergast Novels In Order”

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  1. Vivien says:

    Love these authors’ books. I trying to rad them in order. Thank you dry much

  2. Evelyn Roe says:

    Novels aren’t my favorite genre until I stumbled across one of Preston & Child. Now I’m hooked; have already read at least 9 of them (read the one I stumbled across, ordered the rest of the Pendergast series and am anxiously awaiting what comes after Bloodless. Does anyone know if “Extraction” is available in anything other than Kindle. I can’t find it. Thanks very much.

  3. Joe Goedhart says:

    Adrian Brody or Tom Hiddleston hands down.

  4. Will says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch with dyed hair would be my pick to play Pendergast. Would love to see a television series or a string of movies like that

  5. Ruth says:

    Hmmmmmm, tv series or movie with Alan Cumming as Pendergast. I too read Book of the Dead a long time ago and have rediscovered Agent Pendergast.

  6. Jacquie says:

    Where in the series is Thunderhead? Which book comes before it and which book comes afterwards?

  7. MaryAnn Bakowski says:

    The first time I read a Pendergast novel was Book of the Dead. A friend gave it to me because of how much I enjoy Ancient Egypt. From that point on I was hooked. I read all the books prior to Book of the Dead and I have not missed a single one Additionally, I have read all the Crew novels and now Nora Kelly.
    Of course, I eagerly await the next Pendergast always. I have to say my least favorite character is Cori Swanson. Thanks to the authors for these wonderful and interesting books.

  8. Jean Luc says:

    What is Agent Pendergast favorite drink that included simple syrup and bitters?

  9. Terri D Fallis says:

    I have been a fan since the movie Relic came out. I read the book after the movie. I love the writing style of this pair and to date I have read every Pendergast novel, in order as written. At times there are past referrals to previous tales. You have lots of online book stores to acquire the novels. I would not pass up a Preston or Child’s separate novel written individually. They are a little different but quite good reading as well. And do sign up for the Pendergast email brief. Tales of future surprises. Enjoy! I have with each and every novel!

  10. Chris says:

    So love this series, on the edge of my seat every time, always wanting more.

  11. Sarah says:

    Does anyone know the correct reading order for the Pendergast series including the side stories (i.e. Thunderhead before Cabinet if Curiosities)?
    I had started CoC and realized Smithback was in a relationship with Kelley. I was like did I miss something, then started researching and realized I needed to read Thunderhead before CoC. Glad I did since it delved into how their relationship blossomed.

  12. Diane Helen Blocher says:

    Absolutely enjoy these books in order. Relic was my first Pendergast experience and I thirst for more and more each year. In the last few years I have become hooked on audio books relatively early in the Pendergast series and it is so enjoyable to be able to have Agent Pendergast by my side as I carry on thru the day. Each regular character is expertly fleshed out so that one really feels the relationship between them and our favorite Special Agent. At times I have found myself offended by any person in the storyline who underestimated our hero. These novels are entertainment at its best.

  13. Gib G. says:

    Crooked River. Another GREAT read. Thanks 🙂

  14. Sheila sikora says:

    Good Lord!! I am relatively new to this Pendergast series. I am blown out of the water by how absolutely engrossing and captivating they are. Wonderful characters, wonderful setting, like wow it makes you want to travel where ever Pendergast goes! Thank you for the great books!

  15. Mystery Sequels says:

    @Christi Clark I’m reading it now as well (will review it shortly) and it’s so engrossing, and what I especially like – Constance has a prominent place in this book as well (no spoilers).

  16. Christi Clark says:

    Thank you thank you for the new Pendergast novel!!! Crooked River has me thoroughly hooked, and keeps me hoping you continue writing Pendergast novels long long into the future. I love the intellectual engagement as well as the richly engaging, “can’t put it down” intrigue of these stories. More please!

  17. Linda says:

    Thank you for a simple list format!

  18. Envy4it says:

    In response to Mystery Sequels:

    In addition to the Pendergast series, of which I absolutely LOVE, I stumbled across a book that ended up being a series. You have to read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! By Steig Larsson who wrote the 1st three novels in the series. He passed away and subsequently the remaining novels are written by David Lagercrantz who is equally as good as Larsson in my opinion. I believe there are 5 in what they call the Millennium series. Don’t let the title fool you as it did for me. I thoroughly enjoyed them all. Waiting on the next one.

    Also waiting on the latest Pendergast book : Crooked River which is due out in February 2020.

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