Twelfth Card, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished 6-9-09, rating 3/5, mystery/ thriller, pub.2005

#6 Lincoln Rhymes series

“You like that actor broke his neck?” She slurped her coffee, added more sugar.  Slurped again.

“That’s right”

“An’ you can’t move nothin’?”

“Not much.”


“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!

6 thoughts on “Twelfth Card, by Jeffery Deaver

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I haven’t tried Deaver’s work yet, but it sounds right up my alley. I’ll try to remember that this isn’t his best. Oh, and I do think you’ve been supportive of my blogging efforts right from the start and I really do appreciate it.

  2. Literary Feline says:

    Like Kathy, I haven’t read Deaver yet, but I have a few of his books sitting in my TBR room waiting their turn. I found a bunch of them at a yard sale and scooped them up. That’s too bad this one didn’t quite live up to the previous books.

  3. Wrighty says:

    I love this series. I found a copy of this one at my library’s used book sale for 50c but haven’t read it yet. I’ve heard the same opinion from other people. Maybe that’s why I haven’t found the time to read it yet. Thanks for your review!

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