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''Dance of Death'' is a novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child first published in 2005. It is part of their informal [[Literature/AgentPendergast Agent Pendergast series]] and the second novel in the Diogenes trilogy. This book also marked the [[MilestoneCelebration 10th Anniversary]] of Pendergast's first appearance in ''Literature/TheRelic'', and as such, featured the return appearances of several characters from past books, including a few that hadn't yet appeared in any Pendergast-related novels from the greater "Preston-Child-verse" such as Eli Glinn from ''Literature/TheIceLimit''.

Aloysius and Diogenes Pendergast have been at odds since they were children. Aloysius was a quiet, brilliant child, while Diogenes was brewing something dark inside of him. Now, Diogenes is planning his "perfect" crime with a simple dare to his brother -- "stop me if you can."

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!!This novel provides examples of:

* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Diogenes is almost always one step ahead of Pendergast.
* AxeCrazy: D'Agosta is warned not to get too close to Aunt Cornelia -- even though she's tied to a wheelchair she's managed to put two orderlies in the hospital in the last year.
* BackForTheDead: [[spoiler: Margo is murdered a few chapters after her reintroduction, though it's ultimately subverted as Pendergast managed to save her and fake her death until the novel's end]].
* BavarianFireDrill: Pendergast blows through security at the airport by employing these tactics, flattering the guards and convincing them that he already has his clearance to see the security tapes. The best part comes when he promises a surly technician a ten thousand dollar reward for pulling up the footage they need as fast as humanly possible. When he asks where he can collect his reward, Pendergast simply says "Ten thousand dollars? Just for doing your job? A ridiculous idea." The other techs get a kick out of it.
* [[BreakHisHeartToSaveHim Break Her Heart To Save Her]]: D'Agosta breaks up with Hayward so Diogenes won't target her.
* TheBusCameBack: Margo and Smithback return for the first time since ''{{Literature/Reliquary}}'' and ''Literature/TheCabinetOfCuriosities''.
* CallingCard: In his taunts to Pendergast, Diogenes uses Tarot cards to name the targets.
* TheCameo: Corrie makes a brief appearance during one chapter where one of Pendergast's associates helps put her in hiding in case Diogenes attempts to target her.
* CantKillYouStillNeedYou: [[spoiler:Pendergast realizes that Diogenes will not kill him at The Iron Clock, he needs him alive to enact his revenge]].
-->[[spoiler:'''Pendergast''':''You need me, because without me -- without your ''hatred'' of me -- you would have nothing left.'']]
* ChekhovsExhibit: [[spoiler: Several mentions are made of the Diamond Hall at the museum in the side plot, but it is played as secondary to the Sacred Images exhibition that is being set up. The Diamond Hall turns out to be Diogenes's real target and he cleans it out while Pendergast is trying to hunt down his next named murder victim]].
* TheChessmaster: Diogenes. Some of his moves have been plotted out for over a decade, [[spoiler:including the creation of Hugo Menzies]].
* CrazySane: Diogenes says that he let himself slip into complete madness for sometime before he learned to come back from it into a manageable insanity.
-->''And yet it was at this very moment, as he balanced on the cruel knife-edge of reality, that he comprehended there ''was'' a purpose waiting for him back in the real world. A double purpose: a reckoning and a reclamation. It would take decades of planning. It would be, in his own self-referential world, a work of art: the masterpiece of a lifetime... And so Diogenes did return to the world.''
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler:Hugo Menzies, the head of the Anthropology department and minor supporting character in Nora's side story, was actually Diogenes and pulled off the heist under everyone's noses.]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:Pendergast saves Margo by quietly transferring her to a hospital out of the city and fudging paperwork at the morgue to identify a random body as her. Diogenes thinks she succumbed to her injuries, and she is instantly safe from further attack.]]
* FunnySchizophrenia: Throckmorton's outburst is disturbing to Smithback, but it's comes off as quite funny to the reader.
* GoAmongMadPeople: When Smithback is named as a target, Pendergast hides him in an asylum for the wealthy who need "rest."
* GraveClouds: [[spoiler:Margo]] is buried in the dead of winter. [[spoiler:Nora]] notes that it's so cold she thinks the tears might freeze on her face.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Pendergast outwits Diogenes by doing the one thing Diogenes wouldn't have though of doing himself - he calls in the police, knowing he'll be caught.]]
* HostageForMacGuffin: Pendergast sets up a trade with Diogenes [[spoiler: Viola for the ''real'' Lucifer's Heart]].
* IllWaitForYou: [[spoiler: When Pendergast tells her he can never be with her as long as his brother is out there, Viola tells him she'll expect to see him on her island the day he is free.]]
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: [[spoiler:Pendergast tells Viola she'll never be safe with him as long as Diogenes is loose]].
* ItsPersonal: Diogenes is out to destroy his brother on every level he can think of. He sets out to murder anyone he cares about and pin it on him [[spoiler: and pull off the biggest crime of his life while Pendergast is completely distracted and unable to stop him]].
** In a more diminished sense, Agent Coffey is downright gleeful that Pendergast is now an outlaw and he can exact revenge for his embarrassment at his hands in ''Literature/TheRelic''. He even orders his agents to shoot him on sight.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Margo describes Smithback this way.
-->''"Funny, he tends to make a bad first impression, until you realize he's got a heart of gold... and the courage of a lion to match."''
* LastNameBasis: Pendergast doesn't like being called Aloysius. [[spoiler: Making it a particularly touching moment when D'Agosta addresses him by his first name when saying that he won't abandon him to save himself.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Turns out Smithback has published novels based off the adventures he took part in (''Literature/TheRelic'', ''Literature/{{Reliquary}}'', and ''Literature/{{Thunderhead}}''). When Margo and Nora meet for the first time he comments on his "main characters meeting for the first time" and Nora mentions that he's improved a lot as a writer since his first book.
* LethalChef: D'Agosta makes a holy mess of Laura's kitchen as he mentally laments that ''men'' are supposed to be the best chefs.
* LimitedWardrobe: Pendergast has three dozen identical suits made out of the same antique bolt of fabric. The only times he's not wearing one of them is when he's in disguise.
* MasterOfDisguise: Both Pendergast brothers. Diogenes takes it to diabolical lengths, creating half a dozen people and living as them, some for ''decades''.
* MoreHypnotizableThanHeThinks: Subverted. Glinn brings in the best hypnotist in the world to regress Pendergast and find out what happened to make Diogenes crazy and hate him. When the hypnotist pulls out all the stops, it seems as if Pendergast has finally submitted to the regression. He sits up, remarks that the whole thing is a waste of time and isn't working and walks out.
* MotiveRant: Diogenes likes gloating about his master plan as he enacts it's final stages.
* MythologyGag: D'Agosta notices a book in Pendergast's apartment titled ''Ice Limit [=III=]: Return to Cape Horn'', a joke on the authors' promise to deliver a sequel to ''Literature/TheIceLimit''.
* NotMyDriver: Pendergast abducts Smithback by posing as a cabbie.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Diogenes rescues Pendergast from Foscoe before the story starts. Not because he cared about his brother, but because destroying him was ''his'' job.
* RevengeByProxy: Diogenes targets Pendergast's friends and colleagues.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Despite all of Hayward's begging, D'Agosta throws away his career and possibly his freedom to help Pendergast.
* SelfDeprecation: When Smithback tries to convince the hospital director that he's sane so he can leave, one of the things he tries to drop as proof is the fact that he's a published author and that anyone can simply look at the back cover of one of his books for a picture. Said books all share titles with Preston and Child's other works. The Doctor doesn't even try to humor him, citing that such fiction is unavailable at the hospital library and condescendingly states that it appeals to the LowestCommonDenominator anyway.
* SplitPersonality: The workup on [[spoiler: Pendergast]] Hayward has done pins him as [[spoiler: a psychopath with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and leads her to believe that Diogenes is a figment of his imaginations and he himself is the killer]].
* StolenMacGuffinReveal: [[spoiler: Diogenes loses it when he realizes he stole a fake Lucifer's Heart. The real diamond was never on display, locked safely in the insurance company's vault.]]
* TalkativeLoon: Smithback thinks Throckmorton is just as sane as he is, until he suddenly veers from their completely normal conversation to shouting random quotes from Shakespeare and then insists that he has to leave to do the Lord's bidding.
* TheUnreveal: "The Event" that made Diogenes hate Pendergast so thoroughly and drove him to evil and insanity is built up through the whole novel. We don't get to find out what happened before the story is over.
* [[spoiler:VillainExitStageLeft]]: [[spoiler:Diogenes slips away in the tunnels]].
* WhenAJerkLovesATsundere: Nora recounts how she first met and fell in love with Smithback in ''Literature/{{Thunderhead}}'' and how she thought he was "the biggest jerk I'd ever met."
* YoureInsane: When Diogenes delivers his MotiveRant to her, Viola can only say "My God," conveying her realization that he is completely insane.
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