New York Times best-selling author Jeffery Deaver returns with his next blockbuster thriller featuring forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme.
Amelia Sachs is hot on the trail of a killer. She's chasing him through a department store in Brooklyn when an escalator malfunctions. The stairs give way, with one man horribly mangled by the gears. Sachs is forced to let her quarry escape as she jumps in to try to help save the victim. She and famed forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme soon learn, however, that the incident may not be an accident at all but the first in a series of intentional attacks. They find themselves up against one of their most formidable opponents ever: a brilliant killer who turns common products into murder weapons. As the body count threatens to grow, Sachs and Rhyme must race against the clock to unmask his identity - and discover his mission - before more people die.
©2016 Jeffery Deaver (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"Narrator Edoardo Ballerini is perfectly in tune with the Rhyme character, emphasizing the detective's great intellect and questionable people skills with his pointed delivery, while not suppressing the wit in the writing. His voicing of the other characters is full of subtleties that contribute to a thrilling listen, particularly his depiction of the killer, who presents a convincing picture of a sad loner with a terrifying mission." (AudioFile)
I unenjoyed The Skin Collector for its outlandish and improbable convolutions, but this book puts Deaver back in my top 10 crime authors list.
Maybe I missed a few books, but some time has passed for Sachs and Rhyme, and their relationship is rocky. Rhyme has retired from police consulting. And Nick, Sachs' ex, is out of prison, swearing he's innocent and looking to clear his name and win Amelia back.
There are several cases going on here--a bone-cracking, smashing killer, a hacker using smart appliances to kill, Lon Solito getting into heavy pain killers on the street, some references to a case Rhyme misread and which caused him to retire, and Nick researching his case to find something to point to the real perp in the hijacking case that put him away.
As in most of Deaver's books, he finds a new idea, researches it and makes it part of the crime. In a few of these, the technique, or the criminal's flaw was just so bizarre and obscure as to be incredible, but here, he has toned this down just a bit so that things are more reasonable. However, he may be making a social comment on our dependence on the smart capabilities of all our Things to the extent that we are leaving ourselves open to attack by hackers. We are now used to phones being used to set off bombs, old hat that; now your modern fridge can send out internet spam; you might be attacked by a runaway car, a computerized stove, your baby monitor, a power tool with measurement or shape memory capabilities, etc. --anything that has a computer in it. Frankenstein's monster kills his maker. With a side diatribe against bullying.
And also, as is Deaver's style, we travel with the sick-o killer, seeing into his mind and past, his reasoning, his planning of crimes. In this case, it is all believable and interesting. The plot may be formulaic, but it remains engaging, with surprises to the end.
The supporting cast is here, and they seem like old friends-- Solito and Pulaski (the Rookie) mainly, Sach's mother Rose, the caretaker Tom, and a new personality that is delightful and developed.
Here is where Edoardo Ballerini's talent comes in. He makes all these people distinct and enjoyable, makes their humor shine, beautifully contrasts Rhyme's irascibility with Tom's lemony, no-nonsense backtalk, ironically juxtaposing Solito's seeming jock street jive with his own well-read vocabulary and collegiate learning. Ballerini is a pleasure to listen to.
After getting tired of Deaver's plot tropes, here is a book to put him back in your good graces. A great listen!
The narrator was a bit irritating in the beginning. I'm not sure if he got better or if I just grew accustomed to his style. He tends to indicate anger and fear by changing the pacing, not the intonation. Which makes the words difficult to understand at times.
After I got over that hurdle, I liked the book. It's a little slower-paced than previous novels, but there're 3-4 good story lines going on.
The recurring characters don't advance much in their lives. (A major gripe I have about most serial novels--so take that for what it's worth.) This is more a slice-of-life, another day at the office, kind of novel.
Well worth reading, if you're a fan. Not a place to start if you don't know the series.
It was an enjoyable story and performance. I like thrillers and this was a good one. Good pacing, interesting characters and good twists. Nicely done!My dissatisfaction with this story was being hit with the product placement that tunneled its way in. It wasn't overused but it was noticeable, like enjoying a leisurely stroll and being rudely jostled by someone hurrying by. Character 1: may I have a drink? Character 2: There's a Brand Name on the table. Ouch! I read and listen to books get away from marketing. I know brand names have always been a part of stories but these placements felt less like a part of the story and more like marketing. Again, it was mild, just a few occurrences. Most people won't be bothered by it at all but as a note to aspiring writers, please don't do that.
Deaver never disappoints, he starts out right off with a leg grab and you are under water.
His killers make you just a little sympathetic. Then they do some truly ugly thing, and your off.
Typical Deaver, you think your going left and then WHAT, now right and twisted around. Lincoln is not a easy person to like, but his arras able personality is consistent from book to book. Keeps your attention as you try to figure out where he is going to drag you next.
Jeffrey Deaver is a master of the plot twist. Eduardo Ballerini does his usual great job of bringing the characters to life. Don't break up this team!
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