Twelfth Card, by Jeffery Deaver
#6 Lincoln Rhymes series
“You like that actor broke his neck?” She slurped her coffee, added more sugar. Slurped again.
“An’ you can’t move nothin’?”
“Keesh,” Geneva whispered. “Chill, girl.”
“Just, you know, damn.”
Paraplegic Lincoln Rhymes is back in his Upper West side townhouse with his usual cast of of friends. This time he is called to investigate an attempted attack in Harlem on 16 year old Geneva Settle. Geneva was researching her ancestor, Charles Singleton who had been a freed slave 140 years ago, when she had eluded an attack using her street smarts. The attacker goes on to kill a bystander and a police officer at the scene, so it is all hands on deck to protect the girl and to find out what had made her a target.
Lincoln is also dealing with some personal insecurities. After months of machines working his paralyzed body it is finally time to find out if it has made any difference and he is willing to use any excuse to put this off. Sellitto has a close encounter with the killer and has become a bit gun-shy, a bad thing when you are chasing dangerous men and women everyday and a good way to get yourself killed. Kara, the musician from the last book makes a small appearance.
This was my least favorite of the series so far for a few reasons, but what it all comes back to is that is felt more like a politically correct history lesson than a thrilling mystery. The slang used by Geneva and her best friend seemed stereotypical and tired. The old mystery involving the freed slave also working with the black activists of the time was not interesting enough to keep the story moving. I’m no lawyer, but the end seemed very outlandish to me.
Deaver’s books are always well written, fast-paced, and full of many twists and turns. This one was too, it just wasn’t quite up to the level of his others. And it did seem very appropriate to be reading this while I was in New York!