Synopses & Reviews
Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller. To save the life of a young girl who's being stalked by a ruthless hit man, Lincoln and his protégé, Amelia Sachs, are called upon to do the impossible: solve a truly "cold case" one that's 140 years old.
The Twelfth Card is a two-day cat-and-mouse chase through the streets of uptown Manhattan as quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs try to outguess Thompson Boyd by all appearances a nondescript, innocuous man, but one whose past has turned him into a killing machine as unfeeling and cunning as a wolf. Boyd is after Geneva Settle, a high school girl from Harlem, and it's up to Lincoln and Amelia to figure out why.
The motive may have to do with a term paper that Geneva is writing about her ancestor, Charles Singleton, a former slave. A teacher and farmer in New York State, Charles was active in the early civil rights movement but was arrested for theft and disgraced. Assisted by their team, Fred Dellray, Mel Cooper and Lon Sellitto (suffering badly from a case of nerves due to a near miss by the killer), Lincoln and Amelia work frantically to figure out where the hired gun will strike next and stop him, all the while trying to determine what actually happened on that hot July night in 1868 when Charles was arrested. What went on at the mysterious meetings he attended in Gallows Heights, a neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that was a tense mix of wealthy financiers, political crooks like Boss Tweed and working-class laborers and thugs? And, most important for Geneva Settle's fate, what was the "secret" that tormented Charles's every waking hour?
Deaver's inimitable plotting keeps all these stories the past and the present racing at a lightning-fast clip as we learn stunning revelations that strike at the very heart of the U.S. Constitution and that could have disastrous consequences for today's human and civil rights in America. With breathtaking twists and multiple surprises that will keep readers on tenterhooks until the last page, this is Deaver's most compelling Lincoln Rhyme book to date.
"Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver's popular paraplegic detective, returns (after The Vanished Man) in a robust thriller that demonstrates Deaver's unflagging ability to entertain. But even great entertainers have high and lows, and this novel, while steadily absorbing, doesn't match the author's best. Geneva Settle, who's 16 and black, is attacked in a Manhattan library while researching an ancestor, a former slave who harbored a serious secret (not revealed until book's end). Amelia Sachs, Rhyme's lover/assistant, and then Rhyme are pulled into the case, which quickly turns bloody. After Geneva are a lethally cool white hit man and a black ex-con but even when they're identified, their motive remains unclear: why does someone want this feisty, hardworking Harlem schoolgirl dead? To find out, Rhyme primarily relies, as usual, on his and Sachs's strength, forensic analysis; the book's tour de force opening sequence consists mostly of a lengthy depiction of their painstaking dissection of evidence left during the initial attack on Geneva, and every few chapters there's an extensive recap of all evidence collected in the case. Deaver offers more plot twists than seem possible, each fully justified, but this and the emphasis on forensics give the novel more brain than heart. Geneva, a wonderful character, adds feeling to the story, and there are minor personal crises faced by other characters, but as the novel's focus veers from police procedure to odd byways of American history, execution techniques and one more plot twist, the narrative loses grace and form. Even so, this is one of the more lively thrillers of the year and will be a significant bestseller. Agent, Deborah Schneider. 300,000 first printing; 14-city author tour. (June 7)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Deaver is as tricky as ever, strewing secrets broadcast among good guys as well as bad....There's no question...about Deaver's unexcelled ability to pull the wool over your eyes." Kirkus Reviews
"Deaver, who must have been born with a special plot-twist gene, somehow manages, in every book, to pull two or three big surprises out of his hat....[A] typically well-written, suspenseful story." Booklist
"The personal lives of brilliant, irascible...Lincoln Rhyme and his assistant/girlfriend...Amelia Sachs are as compelling as ever, but the sluggish plot of The Twelfth Card doesn't offer them the usual dazzling twists and complications to showcase their talents." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The grand master of plot twists, Jeffery Deaver deals out almost more than it seems would be possible to cram into a story just 395 pages long. And rest assured, not one of those pages is a bust." BookReporter.com
Killing machine Thompson Boyd is after high school student Geneva Settle, and it's up to detective Lincoln Rhyme and his protégé to figure out why. Deaver's stunning twists strike at the very heart of the U.S. Constitution.
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one suspense novels, and the originator of the acclaimed detective hero Lincoln Rhyme, featured in the bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Stone Monkey, The Empty Chair, The Coffin Dancer, and The Bone Collector. His new Lincoln Rhyme thriller, The Cold Moon, is forthcoming in hardcover from Simon & Schuster. His short story collection Twisted is currently available from Pocket Books. A former attorney, Deaver has been hailed as "the best psychological thriller writer around" (The Times, London).