Every even year Jeffrey Deaver writes a "Lincoln Rhyme Novel." In every odd numbered year he writes a "Kathryn Dance Novel". This being an even year he has just released THE BURNING WIRE which features Rhyme as the lead character although Dance does make an appearance in the story. The release of this novel, and in fact for any Deaver novel, is cause for celebration as Deaver is one of the most entertaining and intricate writers around today.
Everything about a Deaver novel is close to perfect in its execution. In THE BURNING WIRE he continues the story of Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic as well as a top notch forensic criminologist. Rhyme's chief investigator and long time lover is Amanda Sachs. These two are a winning team and are the people that New York turns to when there is a horrific crime occurring or pending.
In this story Rhyme is working with California detective Kathryn Dance to chase down "the Watchmaker," an evil criminal who is his nemesis form a previous book. The Watchmaker has been traced to Mexico where Kathryn is working with the local police. Rhyme is keeping in contact with her and the Mexican police from his office in New York.
Rhyme has also been called in on a case involving a madman who is threatening to electrocute people in New York by diverting energy as to cause an arc of juice that will destroy anyone in its way. It is a unique tactic and one that has Rhyme stumped as to how to prevent it. So you can see that Rhyme and company have a full plate.
As the two cases play out over the course of the book, the reader gains knowledge of further aspects of Rhyme's personality as well as those of the people around him. This is what gives the story cohesiveness and depth, enabling the reader to become absorbed by the plot.
Deaver is absolutely brilliant in the structuring of his plots and uses details and forensic knowledge to give them credibility. The reader may not understand exactly what is proven by the details, but Deaver has built up such trust that anything and everything mentioned as fact is accepted.
Looming over the basic plot is Rhyme's deteriorating health. He has made some progress over the course of the books in being more mobile but he still has problems that seem to be intensifying. How he handles them, along with the assistance of his caregiver Thom, adds further pressure to the developments of the story.
You get it all in a Jeffery Deaver book, the human, the psychological and the investigatory drama. It all comes together in a perfect fit to make this book and any other Deaver story the most informative and entertaining reading you can possibly find.
Supposedly Deaver is on board to write the next James Bond novel. If so it is bound to be one of the best Bond books ever. Deaver's skills as a writer should transfer easily to the world of 007.
In the meantime make sure you mark down THE BURNING WIRE as a not to be missed reading adventure for the summer.
THE BURNING WIRE is published by Simon and Schuster. It contains 414 pages and sells for $26.99.
Jackie K. Cooper