Author: Jeffery Deaver

Book Review – The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery Deaver

December 13, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 2 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery DeaverThe Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
Series: Lincoln Rhyme #11
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on May 13th 2014
Pages: 448
Genres: Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: A Textbook Case, The Kill Room, The October List

two-half-stars

A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York – one more devious and disturbing than ever before.

They call this butcher The Skin Collector: a tattooist with a chamber of torture hidden deep underground. But instead of using ink to create each masterpiece, the artist uses a lethal poison which will render targets dead before they can even entertain the prospect of escape . . .

Drafted in to investigate, NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs have little to go on but a series of cryptic messages left etched into the skin of the deceased. As the pair struggle to discover the meaning behind the designs, they are led down a treacherous and twisting path where nothing is as it seems. And with the clock rapidly ticking before the killer strikes again, they must untangle the twisted web of clues before more victims – or they themselves – are next.

A woman is discovered dead in an underground passage after being tattooed by poison with only a partial message “The Second”. Is this the second victim or is it only a partial message meaning that more deaths are in the works? The killer, known as Billy Haven, is seemingly killing at random and is constantly two steps ahead of the brilliant NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme. It’s discovered that the killer has not only been researching Rhyme and Saches and their past cases together but one case, in particular, receives the most attention; the one where it all began: The Bone Collector. The two killers modus operandi seem entirely different and the detective is left grasping at straws in an attempt to collect clues for one of his most difficult cases to date.

I do so hate to criticize a lifelong favorite of mine but we all have our off days, right? I’ve been reading the tales of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs for well over a decade but this mystery was completely lacking in more ways than one. I found the killer tattooing people with poison to be definitely crazy and creepy and it kept me guessing for sure but there was a second storyline that was actually ongoing from a previous installment in the series where the man that Rhyme caught had just recently died in prison. It was completely unnecessary and forced setups that we all could have done without. The tattoo killer mystery keeps you completely in the dark for the majority of the story only to give you an ‘ending’, but oh wait! Just kidding. Forgot that pesky second storyline… okay, let’s just combine the two stories even though neither seems to have a single bit to do with one another. And then we’ll have the requisite bad guy at the end tell all to make it all seem super legit. I had a similar reaction to another longtime favorite of mine I read last year and it makes me wonder if I’ve simply read too many of these authors works and at this point, I’ve become bored with their tried and true formulas or if they’ve just lost their spunk.

Are there more installments to come? No doubt after that ending. Will I be picking it up? I’m a sucker for continuing a series after this damn long. I’d love to see Deaver get back to his roots where the bad guys were sick and twisted and the mysteries weren’t so bizarre and outlandish that they ended up falling apart at the end. The Coffin Dancer, The Empty Chair, and The Stone Monkey are the best of this series and I’d love to see more installments along those lines.

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Book Review – The October List by Jeffery Deaver

December 19, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The October List by Jeffery DeaverThe October List by Jeffery Deaver
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on October 1st 2013
Pages: 289
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: A Textbook Case, The Kill Room, The Skin Collector

two-half-stars

Gabriela McKenzie's daughter has been kidnapped. In exchange for her safe return, her abductors demand two things: $400,000 in cash and a document known as the "October List." Gabriela has thirty hours to deliver both. Coming up with such a huge sum of money is difficult enough. But Gabriela has no idea what the October List is, much less where it is or how to get it. With the help of Daniel Reardon a charismatic but mysterious man with an agenda of his own Gabriela rushes headlong into a desperate search to solve the puzzle of the October List. And if she fails, she and her daughter will pay a fatal price.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Gabriela awaits news of her daughter who was abducted two days prior. The kidnapper has demanded $400,000 and a document known as ‘The October List’ of which she has been scrambling to identify in order to save her daughter. The door to the apartment opens but it’s not the FBI and it’s not the negotiators; it’s the kidnapper and he’s holding a gun. That’s the thrilling introduction that seemingly gives everything away right off the bat but nothing is as it seems.

The October List is told in reverse chronology, where a tale is told from ending to beginning. Thinking you’re given the answers right off the bat slowly becomes an impossibility as the story progresses and you have to continue altering your opinion as more facts are introduced.  It’s an impressive tale of misdirection.

It worked well in theory but I had a lot of trouble keeping track of who was who because of the lack of distinction between the characters in the apparent attempt to retain the mystery surrounding everything. The story is written at a breakneck speed and you can often find yourself left in its dust as you struggle to catch up, but it does slowly come together and begin to make sense around the halfway point (the book is only 289 pages though so it doesn’t take long). It worked but it didn’t and by the time everything is disclosed I was impressed at the false assumptions the introduction produced.

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Early Review – The Kill Room (Lincoln Rhyme #10) by Jeffery Deaver

May 31, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Kill Room (Lincoln Rhyme #10) by Jeffery DeaverThe Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
Series: Lincoln Rhyme #10
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on June 4th 2013
Pages: 477
Genres: Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: A Textbook Case, The October List, The Skin Collector

three-half-stars

It was a "million-dollar bullet," a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: he was a United States citizen, targeted by the United States government, and assassinated in the Bahamas.

The nation's most renowned investigator and forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme, is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim's steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems.

When a deadly, knife-wielding assassin begins systematically eliminating all evidence--including the witnesses--Lincoln's investigation turns into a chilling battle of wits against a cold-blooded killer.

Once again, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs have been asked to help investigate a crime, yet this is one of their hardest to date. The victim is a United States citizen that had been recently targeted by the U.S. Government and is found to be assassinated in the Bahamas. The biggest problem they face is the complete lack of evidence and the fact that someone appears to be two steps ahead of them and is going back and covering up their tracks by destroying evidence and eliminating witnesses.

‘He didn’t believe he’d ever had a case like this, where the evidence was so fragmentary and sparse. Bits, scraps, observations, 180-degree changes in direction. Nothing else…’

As is common with Jeffery Deaver novels, the mystery is intricate and detailed and unfurls slowly building in intensity with each turned page. These details may seem superfluous but are simply small pieces of a very large puzzle. I really loved the complexity of this mystery though and how despite the lack of major evidence even the smallest pieces inevitably helped solve the mystery regardless. The Kill Room focuses mainly on political reasoning and while I wasn’t completely sold on the premise, it still was an impressively detailed mystery.

‘I have a bad feeling about this one, Rhyme…’

While I thoroughly enjoy having the story told from the point-of-view of Lincoln Rhyme as his ability to solve crimes based on seemingly inconsequential evidence is uncanny, the switch-up in points-of-view between him and the man they’re hunting for was the perfect touch. It definitely added an unsettling touch as this ‘bad guy’ is incredibly disturbing.

Yet another palpable mystery from an incredibly talented crime writer, The Kill Room proves that this series is far from losing steam.

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Early Review – A Textbook Case (A Lincoln Rhyme Short Story) by Jeffery Deaver

March 29, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, Short Stories 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – A Textbook Case (A Lincoln Rhyme Short Story) by Jeffery DeaverA Textbook Case by Jeffery Deaver
Series: Lincoln Rhyme #11
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on April 2nd 2013
Pages: 65
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Kill Room, The October List, The Skin Collector

three-half-stars

From Jeffery Deaver--the New York Times bestselling author of the upcoming Lincoln Rhyme novel THE KILL ROOM (on sale June 4, 2013)--comes an original short story featuring Rhyme.

When a young woman is found brutally murdered in a parking garage, with a veritable mountain of potential evidence to sift through, it may be the most challenging case former NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme has ever taken on.

‘It was clear that the classic textbook procedure for running a case forensically wasn’t going to work’

Lincoln Rhyme is renowned for his forensic knowledge but even he is tested when a recent murder is buried, literally, in evidence. The perpetrator has attempted to cover any evidence they personally left in the smartest way possible; by flooding the scene full of incidental evidence. Extremely smart, except he detailed that exact scenario in his highly prominent forensic textbook. The more digging his team does in uncovering the relevant pieces of evidence, the greater Rhyme’s suspicion that someone may be using his textbook against him to get away with murder.

I’ve read eight of Jeffery Deaver’s ‘Lincoln Rhyme’ novels but this is my first short story of his. His books always contain a mystery so skilfully constructed it’s almost as if you’re watching a puzzle slowly disassemble itself as you turn each page. All of his novels are quite large and the disassembling takes time so I was interested in seeing how well he’s able to build a mystery with so few pages. Admittedly it doesn’t have the same flair that his full-length novels have but it was still an enjoyable and quick read. Any of the Lincoln Rhyme novels work fairly well as a stand-alone, but if you’re a newbie to Deaver’s works I’d recommend A Textbook Case to give you a glimpse at what he’s capable of.

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