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Still Life with Crows

Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
Series: Pendergast (abridged), Book 4
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Medicine Creek, Kansas. In a town where nothing changes, where Main Street is a two-block stretch of old and dusty businesses, a ghastly murder has taken place. The unknown victim has been placed in a small clearing in a sea of corn, mutilated and arranged in an elaborate tableau. Within twenty-four hours the sheriff is assuring a flood of reporters and tense residents that this is an isolated death - until Special Agent Pendergast arrives in the stifling August heat to declare it the work of a serial killer.

Soon neighbors begin to disappear - only to reappear as the lifeless centerpieces of unspeakable displays. Convulsed with terror, the townsfolk whisper of the legendary Curse of the Forty-fives. No one is safe from a killer who stalks his prey in the blackness of night...and whose grotesque crimes are revealed by circling buzzards under the cruel summer sun.

With the help of Corrie Swanson, an eighteen-year-old misfit, Pendergast unearths the secrets of this isolated town - from the dark histories of its inhabitants to the darker mysteries hidden in the endless cornfields. And ultimately, as he unravels the local curse and the truth of Medicine Creek's greatest enigma, the Ghost Warrior Massacre of 1865, Pendergast comes face-to-face with the unimaginable evil that lies at the heart of this small town.

©2003 Splendide Mendax, Inc. and Lincoln Child (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks. A division of AOL Time Warner Book Group.

Critic Reviews

"The Preston-Child team scores another big winner, perfect for the summer; highly recommended¿" (Library Journal)
"Yummy beach reading." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Still Life with Crows

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Venice
  • Venice
  • 20-08-2003

So Exciting! Like watching a film!

This book is sooooo gripping. I loved Cabinet of Curiosities and because the previous reviewer mentioned Special Agent Pendergast was in this book too, I decided to download it. I wasn't disapointed - it was even better than Cabinet of Curiosities! I am now firmly in love with Agent Pendergast and just itching for more.

The atmospheric music was brilliant, as was the ending.

The narrator is especially good - able to create seperate voices for each character in an exceptionaly talented way.

I have downloaded lots of books from Audible and this one will go down as one of my all time favorites. A ripping yarn, scary, atmospheric, gripping and delicious.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Craig
  • Craig
  • 21-08-2003

Awesome

Pendergast is one of the coolest characters I've run across. He would make a great old world vampire- the ones with class and manners but are spooky as you know what...and he's the good guy! I was drawn into the story from the very start. Nothing was given away or ultra predictable. Great detail and character building. I immediately bought "Cabinet of Curiousities" because I had to hear more from these authors. That book was good, but not as good as this one.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Bryan
  • 11-08-2007

Five stars – Yes it is that good!

There is nothing still about this book. From the beginning to the last word, you are taken on a well-crafted ride. What is happening out in the cornfields? Is it a real menace or something supernatural? The perfect setting for the perfect mystery. The narrator, Rene Auberjonois, was the ideal choice to lay the scene. His experience as an actor brought the characters to life. Through him, you are transported in the middle of miles of corn with something staking whatever finds. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s fast past tail is capped off by a double barrel shot gun of an ending…bravo!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 13-11-2008

My favorite!

This is my absolute favorite of the Pendergast books! I listen to it over and over again.

Rene Auberjonois is the best Pendergast and his other characters are spot on. The story moves swiftly and keeps you guessing till the last few minutes. For people unfamiliar with the Pendergast series, you can jump in any where; the books don't need to be listened to in order and this is a great place to start!!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Rowe
  • 13-05-2005

Good Book

I enjoyed this title quite a bit. As is usual with these Preston books, kinda weird story with soft ending but very entertaining. Rene Auberjonois is probably the best reader of the many books that I have listened to. He alone is worth the listen on this one. I recommend this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 28-10-2006

A win for the Narrator and the Authors

Pendergast is the perfect hero. I have listened to all the books available on Audible by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, all are great. But this story and presentation was probably the best of all. This story is brought to life expertly and with passion by Rene Auberjonois. This man can lend the personality and inflection required to make a story something you want to listen to. The use of music in this particular Audio Book in the series is very important in the impact of the story and well done. Shed a tear at the end or not, a well told story and another great audiobook.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Talia
  • 11-03-2013

Murder is afoot in Kansas

Set in Medicine Creek, Kansas, this story starts off with a particularly gruesome murder and takes off from there. Having spent time in small towns growing up, the local flavor of small-town America is pretty accurate. The overall atmosphere set out in the books during various stages - the locals, attitudes, the weather - it all adds to make the book very believable.

I have to admit to being seriously creeped out by this at times, and sometimes even a bit grossed out. I chose not to read certain parts of it while eating. The lack of an apparent motive for the serial killings, the deviation from a set pattern which usually defines a killer all held my attention and made me eager to keeping coming back for more.

The revelation at the finale of the book made my hair stand on end and just be seriously creeped out. Another fine story from Lincoln and Child!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra
  • 21-12-2004

Page Turner

As usual Pendergast is magnificent. The plot kept me intrigued. I can't wait for the next novel by these authors. I also highly recommend the Relic and Brimstone.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amber
  • Amber
  • 11-10-2004

Awesome!

This book was amazing. This is the second book I have "read" (listenend to) by these authors together and I am hooked. I am going to keep reading.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brittney Buckley
  • Brittney Buckley
  • 08-02-2020

Almost perfect

The book was phenomenal, in writing and in story. The reading was equally wonderful. The only downfall the performance had was the accompanying music. It was very distracting and too loud, it was hard to focus on the reader’s voice at certain parts.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for V. S.
  • V. S.
  • 15-07-2005

Special agent Pendergast is cool!

This book is sooooo gripping. I loved Cabinet of Curiosities and because Special Agent Pendergast was in this book too, I decided to download it. I wasn't disappointed - it was even better than Cabinet of Curiosities and that's saying something! I am now firmly in love with Agent Pendergast and just itching for more. He's such a weird and fascinating character!

The atmospheric music was brilliant, and the ending was especially satisfying - I never saw it coming. Rene Auberjonois (the narrator) is especially good - able to create separate voices for each character in an exceptionally talented way. Just close your eyes and he will transport you to the scary corn fields. This book has one of the best openings I have ever heard. It gripped me from the start and I couldn't stop listening.

I have downloaded lots of books from Audible and this one will go down as one of my all time favourites. A ripping yarn, scary, atmospheric, gripping and delicious.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kerstin F.
  • Kerstin F.
  • 01-05-2012

good book - shame about the presentation

I liked the book itself, but the frequent background music pretty much ruined it for me. Lincoln & Child have got enough talent to create atmosphere with their writing alone, so there is certainly no need for "mood music".
If anything, it threatened to distract from the rythm of the writing and was frequently very, very irritating. While I love audio books, in this case, I'd definitely recommend the paper version.