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.

The Stone Monkey, by Jeffery Deaver

Cover ImageFinished 2-5-09, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 2002

Lincoln Rhyme series #4

“We’re staying in Mahattan.”

Leaning closer so that Mah could not hear, Chang whispered, “Don’t be a fool. The Ghost will find you.”

Wu laughed.  Don’t worry about him.”

“Don’t worry?  He just killed a dozen of our friends.”  Gambling with Wu’s own life was one thing but to risk his wife and children was unthinkable.

Quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme is back in New York awaiting the risky surgery that may grant him limited movement.  His partner in crime and in love, Amelia Sachs, is against the surgery, but is trying to come to terms with it because it is what Lincoln wants.  They are both thrust into an INS investigation trying to locate a snakehead (smuggler of desperate Chinese people into the US unlawfully) in the middle of the ocean.  The Ghost is the most feared of all snakeheads because of his ruthlessness with the human cargo on his ships and because of his high connections which enable him to escape prosecution.

The Coast Guard locate the ship, but before they can board the Ghost blows it up.  He survives and kills anyone else who has lived, but two families escape him.  They escape into New York City where the Ghost hunts them down.  A Chinese detective proves very helpful to Rhyme with insight and friendship and the race is on to find the illegal immigrants before the Ghost does.

This Lincoln Rhyme installment was a different kind of book than the first three.  There was so much information about the Chines and Chinese American cultures that the story moved slower, at least the first half.  It was still really good, but I was able to put it down, which did not happen with the first three.  Also, there was less emphasis on Lincoln, which is okay, but I happen to love watching him outsmart everyone. 

I did like his close  friendship with the Chinese detective.  And Lincoln and Amelia’s relationship keeps moving forward, which I love.  Although you don’t have to read the series in order I think it is rewarding to see this relationship develop from the beginning.

This book has all the twists and turns and surprises that I’ve come to expect from Deaver.  He keeps you guessing-even when you didn’t know there was guessing to be done! 

I recommend this thriller especially if you are interested in the Chinese American culture.