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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Bone Collector and Devil's Teardrop comes this spine-chilling new thriller that pits renowned criminalist Lincoln Rhyme against the ultimate opponent - Amelia Sachs, his own brilliant protege.

A quadriplegic since a beam crushed his spinal cord years ago, Rhyme is desperate to improve his condition and goes to the University of North Carolina Medical Center for high-risk experimental surgery. In a twenty-four hour period, the sleepy Southern outpost of Tanner's Corner has seen a local teen murdered and two young women abducted. And Ryhme and Sachs are the best chance to find the girls alive.

The prime suspect is a teenaged truant known as the Insect Boy, so nicknamed for his disturbing obsession with bugs. Rhyme agrees to find the boy while awaiting his operation. Rhyme's unsurpassed analytical skills and stellar forensic experience, combined with Sachs's exceptional detective legwork, soon snare the perp.

But Sachs disagrees with Rhyme's crime analysis and so ensues a battle of wits and forensics between Rhyme and Sachs, his best friend and soul mate.

©2000 Jeffery Deaver (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Masterful.... [Lincoln Rhyme] is the most brilliant and most vulnerable of crime fiction's heroes." ( New York Post)
"A twisted thriller... [of] scientific smarts and psychological cunning." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Empty Chair

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Rhyme is a complicated & fascinating man.

I only read my first book by Deaver last week, and I have now followed it with books two and three. There are certainly mystery writers who offer more shocks and scares (Sanford and Cornwell spring to mind). There are mystery writers who write with more technical proficiency (Larsson) and who write more twisted characters and plots (Flynn). But there is something that Deaver has done better than anyone else. He has taken a character and placed him in a situation unlike that of any other character I have read.

Lincoln Rhyme is an arrogant, egotistical and often unlikable man who happens to be a quadriplegic. He is also brilliant and complex. He looks outside himself when it comes to his partner -- and they have each allowed themselves to fall in love with one another. I look forward to seeing how that works. I admire that Deaver has taken a man in such a complicated situation and allowed him to be so relatable. This character will certainly bring me back for a fourth ... and maybe more ... book!

Mr Perry read the book very well. He gave Lincoln some vulnerability for this book and I liked that aspect of his narration well as it seemed appropriate for this story.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Jeffrey Deaver is Chubby Checkers of mystery...

Okay, to be honest I ignored reviews and went with Deaver out of laziness. One of my favorite pastimes lately is to read your reviews. But alas, it does take time.

Deaver may not be the best in his genre, but just about every work of his is extremely informative because it is so well researched. Insects are the subject matter here, which may be why I found it just worth the time. After all, God created the indoors for a reason.

Another characteristic of his work is twists. Twisting the night around. And many of you rightfully find more than one spin around the floor takes away from the craft. Nevertheless if you are bored and desperate for an intriguing tale, Deaver is a great dance partner.

Now recently I was introduced to the brilliant BBC television series "Sherlock." It's a modern day version of Sir Arthur's great works. Over and over while watching each show I couldn't help referring to Deaver's forensic knowledge. In this case, I suspect the writers of the series used Doyle to inspire the characters but referred to Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme for forensics.

The narration is okay, but being a North Carolinian I was a bit disappointed with the accents. There is plenty of redneck, twang, bumpkin and so forth, especially in the Eastern and Western extremes of the state, but there is also subtle elegance...which is missing in the reader's work here.

9 people found this helpful

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Same Characters new narrator

I liked the story and I am sure the narrator is fine on his own. My problem with this book is I have followed Lincoln Rhymes through many sagas with the same narrator. Changing narrators at this point in a series makes the characters seem new. My images formed from past novels did not match this one. I found it difficult to feel the connections I previously had with the characters because of the new narrator.

8 people found this helpful

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An alright story with stereotyped characters

I don't know if the southern characters are written as dumb as they come across, or if it's the reader's various southern accents that make them seem so, but it makes the book tedious and the characters seem at time stupidly embarrassing.

1 person found this helpful

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Jam Packed with Twists and Turns

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

First let me say Jeffery Deaver is an amazing author. He can turn any novel upside down at the last second and give you a twist that will have your jaw dropping to the floor. And this one had more than just one twist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book minus a few new characters introduced. It did take me longer than usual to finish this novel as the beginning had me wishing it could go a little faster, but once the story got going it had me sitting in my car even after coming home from my commute just to listen to it for a few more minutes.I would highly recommend this book if you are a Deaver fan, Lincoln Rhyme fan, or just want a good mystery novel to read.

Have you listened to any of Richard Turner Perry’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He did an excellent job of creating a voice for the characters. Although I wasn't so keen on his hill-billy southern accent, but overall it was enjoyable and worth the listen.

1 person found this helpful

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The absolute best Rhyme novel!

What did you love best about The Empty Chair?

The ending was always illusive and the characters more real than ever. This is an outstanding novel which captures you in the very beginning.

1 person found this helpful

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different from first 2 books

after listening to the narrator's voice for the first two books in the series it was hard to adjust to hearing this narrator... he wasn't exactly bad but different

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Empty chair

I am so hooked on this series I order the next book right after I finish one. Susan

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A bit of a letdown

This is the 5th Lincoln Rhyme book I've listened to/read and so far it's the most disappointing. The story is very thin and the plot seems like it was cobbled together on the fly. It's almost like the author had an idea for a story and started it without a plan and had to add some extra plotlines to fill it out. Some of the characters motivations and actions were really far fetched. I was particularly disappointed the way the used Amelia Sachs. She's always been portrayed as intelligent and competent if a little damaged, but in this book she makes some really bizarre decisions and mistakes. This is one I'd recommend skipping.

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Slow

Did not like the narrator. Story took a LONG time to move . I didn’t feel a particular connection with any of the characters. Except maybe Tom. I always enjoy his sass.