The Broken Window, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished 8-31-09, rating 4.5/5, mystery, pub. 2008

“But tell me if those benefits are worth somebody knowing every detail about your life.  Maybe you don’t care, provided you save a few bucks.  But do you really want ConsumerChoice lasers scanning your eyes in a movie theater and recording your reactions to those commercials they run before the movie?  Do you want the RFID tag in your car key to be available to the police to know that you hit a hundred miles an hour last week?”

Chapter 23

This is the 8th book in the Lincoln Rhyme series

Quadriplegic forensic specialist Lincoln Rhyme is back with his most personal case to date.  His cousin, Arthur, has been arrested for murder and his wife comes to Lincoln even though the two men haven’t been friends since high school.  Lincoln feels the familial bond and takes a look at the case and discovers that they may be dealing with a serial killer.  As Lincoln and his girlfriend, Amelia Sachs, try to prove the innocence of more than one person in prison, they become immersed in the new world of Big Brother. 

SSD, Strategic Systems Datacorp, is a data mining company that specializes in knowing everything about you.  No really, everything.  And they do know it all.  And it would not be difficult for an employee to commit awful crimes and pin them on someone else or even to steal a person’s life and destroy it piece by piece.

I loved this book.  We learn more about Lincoln’s personal life than in any book since the first one and I enjoyed learning more about his childhood and family.  And Amelia had her own things to deal with involving Pam, the teen from two earlier books who is now in foster care.

This book knocked it out of the park as far as scaring me to the point of paranoia.  I think most people recognize  that many of our individual freedoms are being stripped from us little by little, and some of us are okay with it and some of us aren’t.  But this book takes it to the next level.  Our whole lives are fodder for commercial gain and government dossiers.  It is frightening and although this is a novel, it hits home because it is happening right now. 

This book is a timely novel that will please Lincoln Rhyme fans and fans of fast paced thrillers.  I loved it.

The Cold Moon, by Jeffery Deaver

The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7) by Deaver Deaver: CD Audiobook CoverFinished audio on 6-30-09, rating 4/5, mystery, pub. 2006

This is book 7 in the Lincoln Rhyme series.  Find list here.

“How long did it take them to die?”

first line of book

Lincoln Rhyme, the civilian paraplegic forensic specialist who works closely with the New York City Police Department, is called in to find the Watchmaker.  This killer and his accomplice are killing victims in the most horrific ways…letting them dangle from a ledge, struggling for respite, having the Watchmaker cut off their arms , is just one example.

Amelia Sachs, on her first case as lead detective on a homicide, is trying to prove a suicide is not what it seems.  And as she get s closer to the truth and old personal truth comes out of nowhere to shock her into questioning her life as a policewoman.

Lincoln is not happy that Amelia is running two investigations, feeling that his is getting the short end of her attention.  He relies more on Officer Pulaski and Detective Sellitto and a visiting expert.  This is the introduction of Kathryn Dance, a kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation.  She can do with body language what Lincoln Rhyme does with trace evidence and the two form an unlikely alliance.  Kathryn Dance is first found in this book, but now has two books in her own series.  I’ve already bought the first one.

The Watchmaker and the suicude case finally come together in a surprising way, but nothing is what it seems.

This series is consistently good.  The twists and turns, the shocking reveals, and the perfectly villainous villains are all executed perfectly.  Deaver is a master at these thrillers.  Perfect for murder mystery fans, police procedural fans, and gritty mystery loves who love to try an outsmart the bad guys.  Good luck!

I listened to this on my car ride to DC and was entertained the whole way.  There were a few times I had to go back because I missed something important, so I might recommend reading the book.  But the audio was read by the wonderful actor Joe Mantegna and he does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life.

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.”

“Damn”

“Keesh,” Geneva whispered. “Chill, girl.”

“Just, you know, damn.”

Chapter4

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!

The Vanished Man, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished 6-3-09, rating 4.5/5, mystery/thriller, pub. 2003

This is the 5th book in the Lincoln Rhymes series

Kara asked, “You know what illusion is?”

“David Copperfield,” Sachs replied, shrugging, “Houdini.”

“Copperfield, yes.  Houdini, no – he was an escapist.  Well, illusion’s different from sleight of hand or close-in magic, we call it.  Like…” Kara held up a quarter in her fingers, change from the coffee.  She closed her palm and when she opened it again the coin was gone.

Sachs laughed.  Where the hell had it gone?

“That was sleight of hand.  Illusion is tricks involving large objects or people or animals.  What you just described, that that killer did, is a classic illusionist trick.  It’s called the Vanished Man.”

Chapter 7

Paraplegic forensic specialist, Lincoln Rhymes is back with his girlfriend and partner in crime Amelia Sachs.  This time the NYPD has them working on a case involving a man who proves to be so illusive that he can vanish from a room and be standing right in front of you and you wouldn’t know it.  Based on some evidence they found at the scene, they decided that he was a magician and brought in Kara, an aspiring magician, to help them figure out this killer’s next move. 

This is an over-the-top mystery that has more twits and turns than probably necessary, but every one was exciting.  I never quite got a handle on what the killer was up to and I was surprised right up to the end.  Note that I did mention is was over-the-top.  Many of the twist stretched the limits of believability, but that’s what made this fun for me.

I loved the insights into the world of illusion.  The killer also uses mentalism.  So, if you like the television show The Mentalist you will appreciate this guide to his tricks! 

I also really liked the growing, yet understated relationship between Lincoln and Amelia.  And Amelia’s quest to become a Sergeant really made me root for her in a way that I haven’t in earlier books.

If you like CSI (any of them) this is the series for you!  As always, start at the beginning, The Bone Collector.

Teaser Tuesdays

teasertuesdays2TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

 

“In China, doctors are detectives of the soul.”  Then Sung leaned forward and said, “Hold your arm out.”

from The Stone Monkey by Jeffery Deaver, Chapter 19
 

Go ahead.  Tease me.

Free Books for February ’09

blog-books2

Leave a comment, tell me which book you want and I’ll get the book to you for FREE either by mail or personally if I’ll see you soon.  The first one to request each book wins.  These paperbacks have all been read a time or two.

Once you’ve ‘won’ the book I can get your shipping address if I need it.  Also, you can come back and get a free book every month if you want. 

1. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.  My review is here.  for John

2. Hot Shot by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  One of my fave romance authors.  for Keira

3. Until You by Judith McNaught.  My other favorite romance author.  for Keira

4. Deception Point by Dan Brown.  Before the DaVinci Code, he took on NASA.  for Katie

5. The Husband by Dean Koontz.  Koontz is always great.  for Gayle

Thanks for helping me clear some room on my shelves.  Happy reading 🙂

Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished audio 1-14-09, rating 3.5, fiction, pub. 2004

In this historical novel Paul Shumann is a hit man for the mob who gets caught red-handed and is offered the choice of the electric chair or traveling to Germany to kill one of Hitler’s power men, Reinhard Ernst.  The choice was an easy one and Paul travels to Germany with the Olympic team where cameos by real Olympians, including the hero of the games, Jesse Owens, add interest.  Once Paul reaches Germany he is almost immediately embroiled in a murder that has the Crypto searching Berlin and beyond for the hit man.

The many storylines are compelling.  You get to meet Hitler and other real characters like Himmler and Goring.  The Cryptos search for Paul is a cat and mouse game that forces Paul into the shadows.  There are a few there to help Paul complete his heady task of killing Ernst.  And the men pulling the strings back in New York are not exactly what they seem.  There is also love and national loyalty at play.

This novel has plenty going on and there were many things I really liked about it.  I thought the first two-thirds of the book was a great set-up full of wonderful characters and storylines.  It was interesting to see that some of the police were not Hitler supporters and it added real depth to the real story being enacted Hitler.  Paul’s sense of duty to his job and his interest in righting injustice made him a compelling main character.

As much as I enjoyed the first part of the book I equally did not find the end satisfying.  The wrap up had plenty of twist and turns, which was good, but at the end there still seemed to be a few things left incomplete. 

If this time period intrigues you or you are a Jeffery Deaver fan you should give this book a try.

The Coffin Dancer, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished 8-23-08, rating 4.5/5, fiction, pub. 1998

I am surprised after I loved the first in this series, The Bone Collector, so much that I like the sequel even better.  Quadriplegic forensic specialist, Lincoln Rhymes, is back with his protege crime scene specialist, Amelia Sachs, in an all new and more personal race against the clock to catch a killer.  There is no down time.  From the opening pages where a federal witness is blown to bits while landing his plane to the shocking conclusion I was riveted.

The Coffin Dancer is a hired assassin that has fooled Lincoln before.  A few years earlier the Coffin Dancer, named that because of a tatoo on his arm, had killed two of Lincoln’s techs and Lincoln was still incensed that he had gotten away.  One of the two witnesses that Lincoln must protect is Percey, a woman pilot who has a lot in common with Lincoln.  This closeness sparks Amelia’s jealousy and there is tension between Lincoln and Amelia as they race to catch a killer.

Lincoln is such a great character because he shows his strength through his intellect and not physical power.  In this second book Lincoln has more electrical gadgets and is able to do more with what he has than he did in the first book.  This is a top rate page turner that does not disappoint.  The twists and turns are many and the writing is taut.  I think this is a don’t miss for thriller fans.  My only recommendation…don’t read this on a plane 🙂