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The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Novels)by Jeffery Deaver
Synopses & Reviews
On a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering in the black sky over New York City, two people are brutally murdered — the death scenes marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks investigators fear ticked away the victims' last moments on earth. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the chilling realization that the killer — who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker — has more murders planned in the hours to come.
Rhyme, a quadriplegic long confined to his wheelchair, immediately taps his trusted partner and longtime love, Amelia Sachs, to walk the grid and be his eyes and ears on the street. But Sachs has other commitments now — namely, her first assignment as lead detective on a homicide of her own. As she struggles to balance her pursuit of the infuriatingly elusive Watchmaker with her own case, Sachs unearths shocking revelations about the police force that threaten to undermine her career, her sense of self, and her relationship with Rhyme. As the Rhyme-Sachs team shows evidence of fissures, the Watchmaker is methodically stalking his victims and planning a diabolical criminal masterwork. Indeed, the Watchmaker may be the most cunning and mesmerizing villain Rhyme and Sachs have ever encountered...
"Bestseller Deaver's twisty seventh Lincoln Rhyme novel (after 2005's The Twelfth Card) pits Rhyme, the quadriplegic NYPD detective, against a brilliant criminal mastermind called the Watchmaker. Assisted by his longtime partner, Det. Amelia Sachs, an expert at forensic analysis, Rhyme probes two bizarre murders linked by the killer's calling card — a clock left at the scene. The Watchmaker, as an ominous poem also left at the scene suggests, is bent on executing eight more people in a variety of ways intended to prolong their suffering. Deaver cleverly alternates between the Rhyme/Sachs team and the Watchmaker and his assistant, heightening tension by introducing the next targets and humanizing them. Sachs loses some focus when she also has to probe a suicide that she suspects is connected with some corrupt brother officers. Deaver fans won't be surprised that the investigations overlap, or that the several apparent climaxes are building to something more, but even they will be hard-pressed to peel back all the layers of the cunning plot at work beneath the surface. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jeffery Deaver's perplexing new Lincoln Rhyme thriller opens with this question: 'How long did it take them to die?' We are in the company of two loathsome characters: Vincent, who is a big, stupid serial rapist, and Duncan, also known as the Watchmaker, who is a slender, smart psychopath. They are driving around Manhattan, and Vincent is eager to hear the details of the slow, cruel deaths that Duncan... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) inflicted on two men earlier that evening. He also savors the prospect of an equally nasty death the next day for Joanne, who works in a florist shop, because after Duncan kills her, Vincent can have her. While we await that development, we are treated to Duncan's musings on time ('A single life is nothing. It's the generations that count') and violence ('Slash their eyes') and to Vincent's walking-down-the-street rape fantasies ('Here, another blonde, in a suit, carrying a briefcase. He wondered if she'd scream or cry. He bet she was a screamer.') All this is creepy in the extreme, and if I'd been reading for pleasure, I'd have tossed the book after Vincent's second or third fantasy, but duty required that I push on. We meet Lincoln Rhyme, 'the brilliant quadriplegic forensic detective ... the handsome, sardonic and impatient criminalist,' whose creator regards him with the same awe that Patricia Cornwell lavishes on her Kay Scarpetta. Rhyme investigates the murders for the NYPD, assisted by his lover, Detective Amelia Sachs, and by an equally comely FBI agent, Kathryn Dance. If you know anything about thrillers, you know that these two women are destined to be targeted by the psychopath and his necrophiliac sidekick. Then something strange happens. One after another, women whom Duncan sets out to kill and turn over to Vincent are miraculously saved, either by Rhyme's forensic genius, Duncan's unaccountable blunders or the women's amazing luck. In one case, Vincent leads a woman down an alley and is about to strike when 'the bark of a siren cut through the air.' As one narrow escape follows another, 'The Cold Moon' seems to have become the Big Tease. If you're waiting anxiously for Vincent's most vile imaginings to come true, the author has clearly let you down. The reason for these escapes becomes clear, well into the novel, when Deaver uncorks a big surprise. Rather as Dennis Lehane did in 'Shutter Island,' he abruptly alters the reality of his story. We learn that the events we have watched unfold were not what they seemed. Duncan is indeed a criminal mastermind, but his game is not killing and raping a few strangers. Instead, he has set in motion a fiendishly elaborate crime, and the question is whether the quadriplegic genius Lincoln Rhyme can stop him. We have advanced from sex fantasies to criminal-genius fantasies. The antagonists Rhyme and Duncan are a latter-day Holmes and Moriarty, except that the scheme that Deaver has concocted for Duncan is far too complex for any criminal to execute, whatever his genius. Some readers will find these plot twists ingenious and others will think them preposterous. I tend toward the latter, although it must be said that the final third of the novel is artfully designed and keeps you guessing. By the end you feel as if you've read two novels. The first features a series of sadistic crimes that aren't what they appear to be. They seem intended to lure a certain type of reader into the novel, even at the risk of driving away readers with weaker stomachs. It's not that I object to violence; how could anyone who admires Thomas Harris' novels object to violence? But Hannibal Lecter's crimes are presented with a good deal of style and sophistication, while those attributed to Duncan and Vincent are simply ugly. Eventually, 'The Cold Moon' becomes interesting, but I'm not sure how many readers will fight their way through its crude beginning to arrive at its clever ending. I wouldn't have, but they pay me to do this." Reviewed by Patrick Anderson, whose e-mail address is mondaythrillers(at symbol)aol.com, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"[T]his time the complications...go way over the top for the last 100 pages, and the case peters out in diminishing returns. The most mannered of all Rhyme's adventures, with more red herrings than a fish market and a climax that's both a bang and a whimper." Kirkus Reviews
"As always, Deaver's dialogue is exceptionally realistic, and his plotting is devilishly intricate. Recommended for fans of the Rhyme novels (naturally) and readers who like their thrillers laced with wit and sharp characterizations." Booklist
"The pyrotechnics of the murder plot are dazzling on their own terms....Deaver argues that stopping time in its tracks is a madman's ruse for stopping life itself." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
On a frigid December night, an eerie pattern emerges from two equally brutal murder scenes, where a killer's calling card is a moon-faced clock that seemingly ticked away the victims' last moments. From his wheelchair, criminologist Lincoln Rhyme tracks the Watchmaker, a time-obsessed genius. With every passing second, the Watchmaker is moving with razor-sharp precision to his next act of perfectly orchestrated violence — and Rhyme can't afford to have his trusted partner, Amelia Sachs, distracted by a daunting homicide case of her own. Up against a brilliant madman, Rhyme and Sachs are locked in a blood-chilling race with their deadliest enemy: time itself....
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs have only hours to stop the brilliant, icy-cold serial killer known as the Watchmaker, whose obsession with time drives him to plan his carnage with the precision of a fine timepiece. Available in a Premium Edition and includes an excerpt from Deavers newest hardcover, "The Sleeping Doll."
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two suspense novels, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
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