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Jeffery Deaver is renowned for his crime thriller novels where clever criminals (usually serial killers) are being hunted down by equally clever cops and/or FBI agents using pain-staking and ingenious forensic, interviewing, detective and 'piecing it all together' skills. I've enjoyed many of his books, and particularly like the unpredictability of his plot and character twists and the inspired yet realistic insights made by the main characters to solve the crimes. You may have heard of one of his books, 'The Bone Collector', as it was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie (although the book is better).
The Twelfth Card is part of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series in which we follow the ex-FBI agent of this name. Lincoln is a forensic expert who broke his neck at a crime scene and now can only move his head and one baby finger, leaving him rather caustic and grumpy (understandably) into the bargain. Even so capacitated, however, his mind is super-sharp, his memory long and full of exceptionally detailed information, and he's helped out by his girlfriend, Amelia Sachs, another FBI agent who acts rather as his 'legs', processing crime scenes for him and bringing the evidence back to his house where his personal laboratory is set up ready. Both characters are well thought-out and their motivations and individualities are well portrayed so that we really feel we get to know them as the storyline progresses.
In The Twelfth Card, Lincoln, Amelia and their colleagues are trying to work out who attempted to rape and kill a 16-year-old girl from Harlem called Geneva Settle. Geneva is a clever and feisty girl who I really admired as the book went on as she stuck up for herself and refused to bow to peer pressure or the fear of the killer trying to get her, yet managed to remain believable as a teenager. I ended up rooting for her and her guardians as evil continually tried to get through to finish her off.
As usual with Deaver, the book's plot takes many turns as evidence surfaces and events come to light, so I can't say much more without giving some of it away. Suffice to say I worked out some of the twists and didn't even get near guessing the rest. I found the plot kept my interest and was easy to follow, and I wanted to read quickly to find out who the killer was and why they were after Geneva. Compared to some of Deaver's books, which can often contain really gruesome murder descriptions that are tough to read, this one was *relatively* gore-free so slightly more pleasant reading! It still managed to be gripping, however, and readers expecting his usual style will not be disappointed.
All in all I thought this was a good, solid crime thriller and a great read; Deaver hit all the buttons once again.
Author Jeffery Deaver's best known work is probably The Bone Collector which was made into a film starring Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie and Queen Latifah in 1999. Other than that, I had never heard of him or read any of his books. However, that has now changed as I have just finished reading The Twelfth Card and can thoroughly recommend it.
The main character is a criminologist named Lincoln Rhyme, who is a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair. His protégée is Amelia Sachs, who also happens to be his girlfriend. The two of them are asked to investigate the attempted rape of Geneva Settle, a 16 year old black girl from Harlem. Geneva is investigating her long dead ancestor, Charles Singleton at the African-American Museum of Culture when the perpetrator strikes. However, Geneva is one sharp young lady and is suspicious of the man when he enters the room where she is reading. She manages to outwit the perpetrator and runs literally for her life.
Several more attempts are made on Geneva's life even whilst under police protection and Rhyme questions whether it has anything to do with the fact that Singleton, who died a 140 years earlier, took a secret to the grave with him.
I found this a very easy read with lots of twisting and weaving of the plot. The author gives enough description of the characters to allow you to mentally picture each one. He is not one of those writers who seem to pad out the pages with superfluous detail just for the sake of it. I am all for detail if it helps the story along but often this is not the case. I would say Deaver has the level of detail just about right.
As this a fast paced read, I found that all too soon the author was tying up the loose ends and bringing the story to what I thought was a neat conclusion. However, I was concerned that I still had a few chapters till the end of the book so what had the author still to tell us? It was at this point that the story took a completely different turn and the plot continued to somewhere even I had not imagined.
I enjoyed the ending but did feel it was a bit of a damp squib after the pace of the rest of the book. Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I read other books in the Lincoln Rhyme series? You bet.
For those of you interested in reading other books in the Lincoln Rhyme series they are -
The Bone Collector
The Coffin Dancer
The Empty Chair
The Stone Monkey
The Vanished Man
The Twelfth Card
The Cold Moon
The Broken Window
I can't believe I'm the first person to review this great book! It was released in 2005 from Jeffrey Deaver, an author who's already really well known by a lot of crime thriller fans. The Twelfth Card is part of his 'Lincoln Rhyme Series' which has previously included hits like The Bone Collector which was later made into a film starring Angelina Jolie.
I got this book from Tesco as part of a BOGOF deal so it only cost me £3.50. The RRP is £6.99 on the back of the book though and Amazon have it for £5.99 at the moment (they say the RRP is £7.99 so it might have gone up since I bought it).
Basically this book is about Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic detective and his eyes and ears on the ground Amelia Sachs. They're on the case trying to help protect a young high school girl called Geneva who's been researching her family history for a school assignment. Someone doesn't want her digging into the past though, and that's where Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs get called in to help.
What I particularly liked about this story was that a lot of different little sub-stories went on alongside the main plot. Lincoln Rhyme is battling to regain a bit of movement through intensive physiotherapy, and Amelia is leading us all around the houses while she investigates a variety of strange goings-on that may, or may not, be related to the case at hand.
There was a downside to this book though, and that was the ending sadly. It left me feeling a bit deflated after all that hard work I'd done keeping up! The ending was mostly a surprise by the time I got there, and the twist in the tale had been well concealed throughout the rest of the book. But I thought that the author went a bit too far with trying to be realistic and could have maybe thrown us a bit more of a satisfying result to conclude the book with.
I think this is a three and a half star book but I've rounded it up to four stars out of five. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read throughout, especially for fans of Jeffrey Deaver and Lincoln Rhyme, it's just a shame the ending wasn't as good as it could have been.