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The best quadriplegic crime fighter in the biz
Cold Moon - Jeffery Deaver
Member Name: david_1967
Cold Moon - Jeffery Deaver
Date: 30/03/08, updated on 30/03/08 (71 review reads)
Advantages: A great story with twists and turns aplenty
Disadvantages: Characters not human at times and more superhuman
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.
Summary: More brain olympics from Jeffery Deaver with more twists than a