When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect - too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed.
At the behest of Arthur's wife, Judy, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance - despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation.
An information service company - the huge data miner Strategic Systems Datacorp - seems to have all the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled team begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and coverups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522".
When "522" learns the identities of the crime-fighting team, the hunters become the hunted. Full of Deaver's trademark plot twists, The Broken Window will put the partnership of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to the ultimate test.
©2008 Jeffrey Deaver; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Lincoln Rimes, a modern quadriplegic Sherlock Holmes and his NASCAR-driver Police Detective Girlfriend Amelia Sachs solve a series of violent murders cum identity theft. Deaver is good at dramatizing cyber-crime ("The Great Blue")combining a police procedural with geekfest and a little psychopathology ("Diogenes Syndrome"). Deaver is a plot-meister, and each of his books has at least three endings. This novel's plots are more complex than usual -- weaving together five or six subplots that all climax simultaneously except for one. The Watchmaker makes a cameo appearance and will likely show up again.
If you like Deaver, you will love this, but be prepared for a longish and complex book.
I am a fan in the Rhyme/Sachs series and was not disappointed with this one. This one was different in that it provided insight into Lincoln's past and revealed more about his extended family. Newcomers to this series may find these parts a bit boring, but it's something fans have been asking for. Therefore, this one might not be a bad one to start the series with. This was also different in that the villain was not a typical one seen in past episodes. This one uses information against victims, with identity theft being a primary weapon. But make no mistake, this villain also uses brutal force, when necessary, which makes for a double threat. The most interesting part of this book is the detail in which Deaver describes just how much information is "out there" on each of us, and after reading (or listening) to this book, you will think differently about how much information you put out for others to see and you will certainly be more guarded. But you will also be left with the hollowness that if someone wants to find out something about you, they can...and will. This was perhaps the scariest part of all.
I normally like this series, but this book disappointed me. First, because it is almost impossible to conceive that everyone at the police department is so computer illiterate. It's hard to believe that in this day and age a police detective wouldn't have even heard of Microsoft Excel. I can accept he might not know how to use it, but to not even know what it is? Less believable is that the police department's best computer gurus don't understand metatags. Or I guess for that matter, Google caches. I'd say more, but then I'd be giving out a spoiler.
My point is that almost anyone under 30 years of age (and some of us who are much older) will find the police department's computer illiteracy completely unbelievable. Consequently, it's hard to be impressed by the bad guy, who is cast as a genius but who could be any 14 year old kid in Southern California.
Also, about halfway through the narrative the story gets a bit sadistic. I realize this is the era of torture-porn movies, but personally, I don't enjoy reading about anyone, much less a named character with a sympathetic background, tortured to death. Up to that point, the story was unbelievable but mildly entertaining. As soon as the torturing and screaming started, I gave up on it. There's enough horror in the world already. I don't care to hear fictionalized versions of it on a business trip.
I enjoyed listening to this book very much, almost as much as The Blue Nowhere, which attracted me to downloading The Broken Window in the first place. The story was excellent, well thought out, and entertaining. The author puts a lot of thought into the book and requires the reader to do so as well.
My only dislike in the book was the narrator reading sometimes very long lists that were in the book. For example, he read a list of evidence what seemed like every other chapter, which, granted, was as written by the author, but very repetitive and sometimes annoying. There is another instance in the book where an index is read verbatim (I know, I should expect it from the unabridged version) but this index seemed like it was 200 lines long and easily could have been removed from the narration. I ended up so annoyed with the monotonous index reading that I fast forwarded to a point where the narrator once again had some type of feeling and inflection in his voice.
Don't let this stop you from downloading this book, just be prepared to listen to the lists and indexes periodically.
Overall the story is 5 stars, the annoying lists drop it to 4 stars and the narration was at best 4 stars... thus my rating of 4 stars.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
I have enjoyed listening to several of Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes novels, including The Cold Moon, The Vanished Man and The Twelfth Card. They were all great listens. Unfortunately The Broken Window doesn't measure up. The technologies portrayed were real, but I think the possibilities were exaggerated beyond what is believable, even for a novel where we might willingly suspend our disbeliefs. Maybe Deaver gave us way more information than was needed as a metaphorical way of telling this story. But I wish he hadn't. When he went on for what seemed like days describing information in Amelia's dossier, I thought I would scream. We got the message, Jeffrey. Don't read us the alphabet 200 times to illustrate a large bowl of alphabet soup. This might be due to lack of concentration on my part during a critical juncture (usually doesn't happen to me with Deaver's works) but I still don't know how the title of the book ties into the story. I'm sure it does. I just missed it. I would have also liked more plot twists and surprises. I'll probably catch up on earlier works in the Rhyme series before I jump on the next new release. The Broken Window was OK, but I expected more.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator was good, but not excellent. The story was very good, but for some people the "techno-babble" might be a bit hard to follow and to stay interested in. Having studied computer science and having a decent background in data mining, I was surprised about the ease with which Deaver presents the topic. Readers should be warned that some aspects are presented on a very basic level and some things are simply exaggerated - just as it needs to be in a fictional novel. 4/5 as there are some story arcs that are simply too long and the narrator is not as good as in other Deaver novels.
Good mystery, very interesting plot, narration was good and I very much enjoyed this book. The plot had some very good twists & turns - learned a lot about our credit system. Not sure if all true in the book. We are in trouble if it is!
I highly recommend!
This sure sounded like a good mystery, but it took almost 4 hours to get to the meat of the story.....
The narration is absolutely HORRID!! Monotone, too fast and the worst female voices ever, especially the British detective!
Conversations between the characters is almost impossible to determine who is speaking & it's very easy to loose track of what is happening.
Save your sanity & pass this one by - it's NOT worth it!
This is the worst I have tried to stay with. The narrator is terrible, I will judge buying future books by his name, when I see it I won't buy the book. Too many repititions of lists of evidence, and too much confusion as to who is talking. Female narration? Awful. The book finished in the middle at the end of part two??? So I give up. The idea for the story is good, but so long and drawn out - I wanted to know how it ended, but couldn't get there.
I love the book but there are parts, that if cut out, would make this book ALOT shorter and easier to listen to. More then a couple of times I was thinking.. and why am I listening to this? But all in all the characters are great and it had a good plot. I'm thinking I should have gone for the abridged version though!
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