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.
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.
I know I can't say much without giving away the plot. This book was sooooo good. I loved the plots , yes multiple New characters , scary people and the people we've grown to love. The narrator was excellent. As usual with these books you also learn something. I have a new word. Or is that a real word. You'll know the word when you read this book. It's a must read/ listen
No.I wanted to but there wasn't anything special about The Steel Kiss. I'm guessing the author heard about the techifying of high end consumer goods and wanted build a story around that trendy subject.I heard about The Steel Kiss on NPR's All Tech Considered.http://www.npr.org/2016/12/05/504467141/tech-plays-role-as-the-weapon-of-choice-in-crime-fiction
There was a glaring error in the beginning of the first chapter that tainted everything to come for me. It had to do with the murder weapon. It bothered me that the author and editor made such a blunder describing something that has been around since Medieval times. It made me question the author's knowledge of modern technology. To be fair, what I saw as an error was easily blown off by the three people I talked to about it.
No, not really. Mostly because of the comment above.
The narrator was very good. Nice range of voices of the characters. It was easy to distinguish who was who.
This was my first Lincoln Rhyme novel. He seems like a dick. The author needs to work a little warmth into the character, otherwise the only mystery is why do people tolerate his unpleasant behavior.
Amelia Sachs, the former model turned cop with grease under fingernails seems a little like a character from the Lifetime Network to me.
Seems to follow two story lines of which I am not sure how the former love is related to the first one.
I have read most of the books in the series and, for the most part enjoy them. This one is no different, it's repetitive, and enjoys spinning it's wheels on multiple unrelated side stories that go on and on, only to be wrapped up in overly simplistic, anti climatic ways. The Nic side story does not propel the narrative in any way, and seems to have bored the author into ending it in a way that feels unearned. The villain is interesting, but anyone familiar with Deavers other works will no doubt see the 'twist' coming a mile off. Better than the Skin Collector.
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