Douglas Preston on his Second Book of Helen Trilogy- “Cold Vengeance”

Following the interview with Lincoln Child on Cold Vengeance we are again blessed to have his co- author Douglas Preston over here in our interview forum. Here goes another interview on their latest release, the second installment in bestselling “Helen Trilogy”- Cold Vengeance. After learning so many things from Lincoln Child on their books, it’s our turn to learn a lot more from Douglas Preston on their Pendargast books and forthcoming releases from this interview.


  • What is Cold Vengeance all about?

It is about vengeance on many levels, both the pleasures of it and the corrosive effects of it.

  • Tell us something about the framing of the character Special Agent Pendargast.

He is a man out of his time, a gentleman from an old, decaying New Orleans family who finds himself in a world very different from the one he grew up in. And yet, in a curious way his stubborn adherence to an antique code of conduct and a set of values put him in a unique position to solve heinous crimes, and give him insight into the criminal mind that few share.

  • You are mostly popular among your readers to be a master storyteller. So can we know something about your storytelling or writing style?

Storytelling is one of the most ancient and I believe important of human activities. Stories tell us who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going on the deepest levels. A good story, I think, places ordinary human beings in extraordinary circumstances and by so doing tells us something about being human and what values we should live by.

  • What do you think makes Cold Vengeance a compelling read at the most?

Revenge is one of the most compelling, and most destructive, of human emotions. Cold Vengeance is the second book in what we call the Helen trilogy, which tells the story of Pendergast’s search for the murderers of his wife, and how he deals with them in the end. Confucius once said, “When you first embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” And in fact the third book in the trilogy, which we are working on, now, is entitled TWO GRAVES.

  • What has been your strategy to keep your readers hooked to Pendargast books for such a long time?

We believe it has something to do with his unusual, perhaps even unique, character. He is not your ordinary detective.

  • Tell us something about your long time friendship and co- authorship with Lincoln Child.

Linc edited my first book, DINOSAURS IN THE ATTIC, which was a nonfiction book about the Museum of Natural History in New York. That inspired Linc to suggest that we write a thriller set in the Museum. That became our first novel, RELIC, featuring Special Agent Pendergast. It was made into a movie by Paramount Pictures.

  • What was your reaction when for the first time you came to know that Cold Vengeance is at the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list? How did you celebrate the moment?

Oddly enough, we didn’t really celebrate. We exchanged a few phone calls, congratulating each other on what fine fellows we were, and then we got back to doing what we love doing, which is writing books.

  • We know plenty of adventures are waiting in the next Pendargast book. Any clue for our next journey with Pendargast?

As I mentioned earlier, we’re finishing the final book in the Helen trilogy, called TWO GRAVES. It resolves all the mystery and intricate plotlines that have built up in the previous two books of the series—and it has an explosive ending.

  • Who have been your favorite mystery/ suspense authors throughout your life?

I have always loved the English writer Wilkie Collins, who wrote The Moonstone and The Woman in White, among other wonderful books. I’m a huge fan of A. Conan Doyle, of course. As for more contemporary writers I love the books of Michael Crichton, David Morrell, Nelson DeMille, and Dennis Lehane.

  • What message do you have for your readers?

We have wonderful readers – and we thank you very much!

Browse all books by Douglas Preston at

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