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To those who are not familiar with Jefferey Deaver, he is a best selling author of countless 'crime thrillers and mysteries' genre novels.
This particular book happens to be the 7th book in the series featuring ex-head of NYPD forensics, quadriplegic Detective Lincoln Rhyme, and his sidekick Detective Emelia Sachs.
This series originally kicked off with the reknowned book, (and later the movie) "The Bone Collector". A book, and movie, which i'm sure most people are familiar with.
I though, jumped straight in with The Cold Moon, because it just happened to be on offer at a local book store.
~My Thoughts on the Novel~
The book begins with the serial killer dubbed the "Watchmaker" (because of his apparant love of timepieces, and his bizarre 'calling card' of leaving a moon faced grandfather clock, at the crime scene) and his accomplice, leaving a crime scene, and discussing and plotting meticolously how they are going to despatch another victim. All of which seemed to involve some kind of macabre infliction of suffering, and a sexually driven motivation from his partner.
At this point, I was thinking here we go, its SAW all over again. The deatil of the murder scenes, and the manner of despatch did very much remind me of that movie.
Thankfully though, from a few more pages in, the book jumped straight into the investigation and although the murderers did feature throughout (obviously), the main drive and focus of interest was the complex relationships between the two Detectives, and the varying characters, and subplots which brew away quietly.
Whether any of these subplots are going to later turn out to be linked, or clever twists are not obviously clear, and add to building up the suspense.
I was particularly impressed with the introduction of the character from the Californian Bureau of Investigation, Kathryn Dance who is a specialist in the field of kinesics (body language), and obviously invaluable when interviewing witnesses, or for that matter the suspects.
In particular this addition just added to the HUGE amount of detail, and understanding shown by the author of crime scene investigation, the techniques, and the level of detail, was astounding.
Being quite a fan of the TV series CSI, I was suddenly finding myself being in a position where it was quite hard to put the book down. It is really a compliment to the author, as im normally quite slow at reading.
My only very minor critique (which I will later withdraw) is that I found the book running out of steam just after mid point, I was losing track of the extra characters being added, and was finding it hard to establish how any of the plots were ever going to evolve into a conclusion that wasn't quite so obvious as the one being clearly laid before me.
Jefferey Deaver though, is clearly a master of suspense, and this lull must have been intended, to really fire interest in the intense last quarter of the book. There are more twists and turns than driving along an Alpine pass, just as you think its becoming clear again, the book takes another twist. For a book, it is quite emotionally involving.
Without ruining the experience for anyone who hasn't read this, I won't reveal any plot further than saying all is not quite what it seems. Do trust the author though, the plots do all blend nicely together, or do they.
Well if like me you read this book, after about a dozen or so, twists and turns of seemingly unthinkable outcomes, all will become clear.
This is my first read of this series, featuring Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, but I will certainly be looking out, to read a few more.
Have you ever seen The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie? Well, Jeffery Deaver is the Author of the book and the characters Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are in The Cold Moon, another crime thriller from the Lincoln Rhyme (there are a fair few now and I'd recommend them all). The way Deaver writes these books you could pick this one up without having read any of the other Rhyme novels, however i would recommend starting at the beginning which is The Bone Collector.
I find Jeffery Deaver books very easy to read and pick up. He does tend to have many many twists, but I like that in a book. Keeps me guessing. The Cold Moon does not disappoint and also introduces us to a new character Kathryn Dance who features as the main person in The Sleeping Doll.
Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme are 2 opposites, Rhyme is all about forensics and hard evidence and Dance works in Kinesics (body language). I like Dance and I think the character worked well with Rhyme.
The Cold Moon by Jeffrey Deaver has been out for a couple of years now so you can pick it up quite cheaply. Jeffrey Deaver is famous for his quadriplegic detective character Lincoln Rhyme and he stars in this sequel to books including 'The Bone Collector' and 'The Twelfth Card'. Lincoln Rhyme is able to utilise his skills and knowledge by working alongside able bodied colleague Amelia Sachs in most of escapades including in Cold Moon.
Amelia Sachs ventures off to persue another career in this book though she's still on hand infrequently throughout. Kathryn Dance is introduced to take her place a little bit but she's nowhere near the interesting character that Amelia Sachs is which is a shame. I always enjoy reading books by Jeffrey Deaver and that's largely because of all the great characters he introduces here, there and everywhere. But I do think he lets things down a bit in this book by not really giving Kathryn Dance much substance. It's a shame because really he's dismissed Kathryn as a shadow part when really she could have been so much more involved with her special talents.
I find the pace of this book very similar to his more recent novels in this series including 'The Twelfth Card'. It's a very fast-paced read with lots going on in every chapter. I have to admit that I really didn't see the ending coming in this book and I do like a good dose of suspense in my crime novels. I don't suppose there's much point reading a crime thriller that gives it all away is there! I like reading before bed mostly and the only drawback to the suspense in this is that it's hard to put down. When I was reading this book, the Mrs grumbled most nights that I should really either turn the light off and go to sleep or clear off downstairs.
I also like how Jeffrey Deaver spends the very last chapter explaining what's just gone on. I hate thrillers that suddenly wham the ending on you then disappear and leave you thinking "huh?" This book explains to you, briefly, what it is that's just happened so you can put the book down feeling satisfied that though clever and suspenseful, yes you did read it right. Without a proper conclusion, crime thrillers just don't work for me but this really does.
I think this is one of the better novels in the Lincoln Rhyme series and would recommend it to anyone who's enjoyed other Lincoln Rhyme novels, or those who like crime thriller novels in general.
I first came across Jeffery Deaver whilst browsing my local library and looking for something to pique my interest. I picked up 'The Vanished Man' by this Deaver bloke, someone I'd never read before, and, having relocated to my front room with a hot drink and something to snack away on, proceeded to lose myself in a tale of murder and misdirection. It really drew me in and put the authors name on my short list of those to 'keep an eye on'.
'The Cold Moon' is Jeffery Deavers seventh thriller featuring the quadriplegic forensics expert Lincolm Rhyme and focuses on the 'Watchmaker' - a serial killer stalking the good folk of New York and depositing clocks beside his recently tortured victims. His first victim had been left dangling from a pier with his wrists slashed and the other left lying in an alley with a metal bar crushing his throat. This devious criminal is aided and abetted in his dasterdly deeds by the schizophrenic Vincent Reynolds who shall we say 'likes to have his way' with the females as he undergoes a 'heart to heart' with them.
As well as this crazed duo Amelia Sachs, Lincoln's partner in life and in the study of crime, finds herself up to the neck in a case that has its roots deep within the local constabulary and in the course of her investigation finds out information that causes her to view her deceased father in a new light.
I've tried to be extremely vague with the details of the story because as with all of the Lincoln Rhyme novels the main object is to tease you in with its list of clues and then take a sharp turn and focus your attentions in another direction.
Jeffery Deaver is a very prolific writer who has written over 20 novels including the excellent 'A Maidens Grave', which tells the tale of a bus load of deaf poeple who are held hostage in a barn, and 'Garden of Beasts', a story set in pre-war Berlin in 1936 as a hit-man is given the task of 'offing' the man behind Hitler's armaments program. He has worked as a journalist and even been an attorney in a Wall Street firm - both seem to be melting-pots for todays writers it would seem.
His first Lincoln Rhyme novel 'The Bone Collector' was made into a film starring Denzil Washington as Rhyme and Angelina Jolie as Amelia Sachs. The film was okay but I always felt Washington was just too nice to play the forensics expert who is notoriously bad-tempered and short of patience with everyone. Even the man who is paid to feed and clean the disabled detective is constantly under fire for some misdameaner or other.
Deaver writes some great books with twists and turns aplenty that constantly keep the reader guessing and the pages turning. And, unlike so many detective series', you don't really need to read the books in a specific order - the back stories are only in the background and never really take centre stage.
There are, however, some slight problems.
In all Lincoln Rhyme thrillers the lead character has his team note down all clues and information on a whiteboard in his room/office. This list of info is regularly written out for the reader to peruse. When I first picked up 'The Vanished Man' I was hoping that this table of clues would enable me to uncover the possible motives/locations etc. of the killers acts. No way! Either I'm extremely thick (stop nodding your heads!) or the list of clues are a complete misdirection. I did hope that I would be able to dig through this list of forensic detail and extract some clue but how on earth would I know that the fish particles found at one crime scene, which can also be found in plant fertilizer, would mean the 'Watchmaker' was targeting a florists?
Also his characters are not the easiest to relate to. You are either a cunning villian, a secondary character who feeds of the leads Rhyme and Sachs uncover or some kind of uber-man/woman who can look at a series of clues and extract some obscure detail. The novel introduces Kathryn Dance who is a specialist in Kinesics and can read peoples actions better than their words. A great skill but she has no real depth as a character. She is just this brilliant criminalist who never puts a foot wrong. She appears in her own novel 'The Sleeping Doll' which I have not read and maybe in there her character is developed.
The other down side I found in the book is that occasionally a character will act completely out of....well, character. At one crime scene Lincoln finds out that the area they were looking in was not the only area involved. He immediately contacts the local police force responsible for that part of town and has some cops investigate. There is NO WAY he would do that. He doesn't trust anyone! He would have sent Sachs and no-one else. Never some street cop. I know the story has to keep its pace but it is these inconsistencies that disable you from relating.
Maybe I am just a bit too critical because all of Deavers novels are great reading. If you just let yourself go and get carried along in the whole shebang you will find yourself being entertained by a master story teller. The twists and turns will keep you guessing til the very end (or nearly) and probably keep you up well into the night thinking 'just one more chapter.' I know they do me.
This review is also posted on Ciao.
Just when you thought you had perhaps read all that Lincoln Rhyme had to offer, along comes Deaver with another novel about the paralysed forensic scientist that seemingly breathes a breath of fresh air into what was rapidly in danger of becoming a rather stale concept.
For those not-in-the-know, Rhyme is an emminent forensic scientist, the best in his field, who was irreparably paralysed in an accident and now continues to lend his expertise to crime scenes using his dear friend and colleague, Amelia Sachs as his eyes and ears in the field. This time around, Lincoln is in danger of losing Sachs as his right-hand when she begins to pursue a possible alternate career path by leading her own first investigation into the suicide (or not) of an emminent buisness man that has alerted suspicion. Meanwhile a new adversary turns up in the city taunting the Police and leaving mysterious lunar clocks at his crime scenes. Calling himself "The Watch-maker", this new adversary with his puzzles and intrigue is precisely up Rhyme's street and before long, Lincoln finds himself up against one of his most challenging foes yet.
The book in many ways is vintage Deaver with its typical against-the-clock storyline that is fast becoming Deaver's trademark style in his novels though the way the plot twists and turns continuously makes this latest offering stand heads and tails above the rest of his back catalogue. Right up until the end, the reader is kept guessing as every thing you thought you knew about what was going on is turned on its head again and again as Deaver pulls out all the stops to keep his readers on their toes. Certainly even for those like myself who have come to know what to expect from Deaver as an author but still enjoy him nonetheless, the book provides a welcome return to the kind of standard that made us fans in the first place but has been sadly lacking in some of his latest novels. Deaver is certainly not someone (like Jonathon Kellerman) that you could read a lot of back-to-back as, like Kellerman's novels, very many of them feature similar themes and are often in danger of becoming a bit samey but this is without a doubt one of his strongest works and one of the better books he has written on an even par with "a maiden's grave" or "the devil's teardrop".
The introduction of Kathryn Dance as a side-character is also a very clever move and it seems that Deaver's next novel also features her in a starring role which is good news as, at times here, she is in danger of very welcomingly stealing the show from Rhyme. Dance is a specialist in body language and behaviour and her talents, though Rhyme is extremely sceptical at first, are soon proved to be uncanningly effective!! Deaver delights in introducing us to scientific techniques normally not featured in crime novels ( "the devil's teardrop" featured a handwriting specialist as its main character and we have also been given an insight into hostage negoiaters in previous novels as well ) and this is another reason why this novel is such a good read- it gives the reader a new angle, a gimmick as it were, to make this stand out from it's other competitors of which there are a veritable slew at the moment. With the sheer mass of novels out there currently featuring forensic scientists, pathologists and their ilk ( some good, some equally as bad) , anything that features a different skill in detective fiction is going to make for very compelling reading from me!
Do you kinda get the feeling I liked this?
Trust me. if you've given up on Deaver in the past,try this before you give him up for good- you might be pleasantly surprised...
Jeffery Deaver is one of Americas most prolific crime writers, and his novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His book The Bone Collector was made into a film starring Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme. Deavers latest offering is the seventh instalment in the Lincoln Rhyme series.
Rhyme was the former head of forensics at the NYPD but is now a paraplegic. His protégée Amelia Sachs, a young cop with model looks, acts as his eyes and ears on the field. The two characters have a very close relationship and are romantically involved. In The Cold Moon they work together to catch a serial killer who goes by the name of The Watchmaker. The killer is obsessed with torture and murders his victims in a way that will ensure their maximum suffering. He appears to be as smart as Rhyme, and with eight more victims planned, the clock is ticking.
Sachs is given her own Homicide case as lead Detective for the first time, and this causes conflict with the Watchmaker case as she struggles to divide her time between the two. She is helped out by eager rookie cop Pulaski, whom she takes under her wing. As Sachs digs deeper into what seemed to be a straightforward suicide case, she unearths family secrets and corruption within the force. These revelations put her life in danger and lead her to question her future in the police force.
Deaver has used The Cold Moon to introduce his latest protagonist, Special Agent Kathryn Dance. Dance is an expert in body language and a brilliant interrogator. She assists Sachs and Rhyme in their investigations, and although Rhyme is initially very sceptical of her specialist skills, she eventually earns his respect. Dance is a pretty interesting character, and I enjoyed the scenes where she conducts her interviews. Her ability to read body language makes her seem like a mind reader, but Deaver has described her technique in a convincing manner.
On the whole, I found The Cold Moon to be a real page turner. About half way through the book, the case appeared to be solved, and I was quite disappointed, but there were still plenty of twists and turns left to keep a thriller lover like myself interested. However, there were so many red herrings and curveballs that the plot began to seem slightly absurd, and I dont say that lightly. Naturally, Rhyme has figured everything out in the end, which is convenient for Deaver of course, but he doesnt explain Rhymes thought processes or reasoning in a way that I would have liked. I just couldnt see how Rhyme could possibly have second guessed the Watchmaker in the way that he did.
I dont believe in the ongoing romance between Sachs and Rhyme, and I dont feel that it adds anything to the story. There is just no chemistry between the two characters, and their relationship seems more like a professional one. However, this is the first Deaver book that I have read, so perhaps if I dipped into some of the other Lincoln Rhyme books the relationship between the two might appear more meaningful.
Deavers latest novel, The Sleeping Doll features Kathryn Dance as the main character, and it looks like it might be worth a read. As for The Cold Moon, die hard Lincoln Rhyme fans wont be disappointed. Personally, I dont think hes a patch on protagonists such as Jack Reacher or Myron Bolitar. However, I liked the book enough to plan on reading other novels in this series
The Cold Moon is available in Tesco or Asda for less than £4 at the moment.
It's the night of the full Cold Moon the month of December according to the lunar calendar. A young man is found dead in lower Manhattan, the first in a series of victims of a man calling himself the Watchmaker. This killer's obsession with time drives him to plan the murders with the precision of fine timepieces, and the victims die prolonged deaths while an eerie clock ticks away their last minutes on earth. Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs and the rest of the crew are tapped to handle the case and stop the Watchmaker and his partner, Vincent Reynolds, a repulsive character with a special interest in the female victims of the killer.