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Notwithstanding his access collfctor mobility aids, Rhyme spends most of his time in bed shunning the company of friends. It is as though Rhyme has been removed from the heterosexual community and taken on the role the media traditionally give to gay men – best friends with beautiful women sick of being objectified. Surprising plot twists.


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Rhyme is made wealthy by a payout but the money seems to have been wasted on him – he spends it on trinkets pillows fit for Kings but could do with far less. This reflects the common view that insurance payouts to victims of accidents are over the top, examples of the absurdity of a legal system that supposedly favours disabled people and leaves the rest of the community with inflated insurance.

Now, apart from the fact that the vast majority of sci people live below the poverty line, often struggling to get meaningful employment and barely surviving on pensions that are totally inadequate, even those with substantial payouts are not living extravagantly.

Most have had to repay massive medical expenses, and have ongoing costs that a payout will have to satisfy over the course of a lifetime. Deaver has the sight of a quadriplegic as being shocking.

Rhyme is labelled “a creature” and even the smell of the room in which he lives has a “visceral aroma”. Almost every character who comes to visit Rhyme in his bedroom responds to his quadriplegia with shock and a certain horror – as though such reaction is normal and acceptable.

How odd. No doubt, in the early stages of injury in ICU, a quadriplegic hooked up to wires and tubes and monitors looks confronting. Even ventilated quadriplegics get dressed up and look pretty “normal” – whatever we mean by that term. The dehumanisation of Rhyme extends to the assumption that as a quadriplegic he is used to being prodded and poked and showered so that all sense of privacy has been set aside.

Now, it is true that sci people learn to appreciate the body for what it is – a body! But that does not mean that the really “manly crip” to cite to Deaver has no sense of personal dignity. In an attempt to indicate that he has some inside knowledge of the SCI community, Deaver has Rhyme describe himself as a “crip.

Such relabelling is our right. But it is not a right that Deaver has earned, especially with his prejudiced portrayal of Lincoln Rhyme. Finally, the dehumanisation of Rhyme is made complete with his a-sexuality. In later novels we discover that it is precisely this that attracts her to him. It is as though Rhyme has been removed from the heterosexual community and taken on the role the media traditionally give to gay men – best friends with beautiful women sick of being objectified.

And so rhyme is portrayed as a eunuch, as only half a man – as utterly excluded from sexuality. In fact, however, female and male sci people remain as fully sexual beings, capable of admiring and even lusting after beauty. Again, it is only able-bodied people who imagine that paralysis destroys sexuality. This review is not the place to set out to describe the sexual life of paraplegics and quadriplegics but it is enough to note that the emasculated Rhyme is an invention – a projection from an able-bodied person as to what life, without sex, must be like for a disabled person.

What becomes apparent is that Jeffrey Deaver knows nothing about sci people. But does this matter? He is, after all, writing a novel, and its purpose is entertainment not social commentary. Of course, it might not matter to able-bodied people just looking for a good read.

But it does matter to me. A novel that purports to elevate a quadriplegic as a “hero” should tell the story of a realistic disabled person. Lincoln Rhyme should not have to be pushed by able-bodied people to get out of bed. He should not have to be saved by a beautiful able-bodied woman. At the least, he should not be a cardboard cutout of the able-bodied imagination, a mass of stereotypes and only half a man. The SCI community deserve better. It’s a good escape. I enjoyed watching smart, talented people.

I liked the relationship development. He is an expert with collecting and analyzing evidence. He can tell where someone has been by the dirt on their clothes. He was in charge of forensic investigations until he was injured by a falling roof beam, hitting his neck. Now a quadriplegic, he can only move his neck, head, and one finger.

He has not worked for a few years. A serial killer, obsessed with bones, kidnaps two people, buries one of them near a railroad track with a hand sticking out of the dirt, and then calls in the location to the cops. Amelia is a nearby patrol cop assigned to search the area. She climbs down a dirt hill rather than use the installed ladder. She stops a coming train. She stops traffic. All this to preserve the crime scene. Lon is a detective who used to work with Lincoln.

Although Lincoln is retired, Lon asks for Lincoln’s help. Lincoln is reluctant until he sees the report showing clues left by the killer: a pile of asbestos, an iron bolt, and two pieces of paper with and printed on them.

From these Lincoln realizes where the next victim may be. He calls Lon and agrees to work on the case, but he wants Amelia working with him. He wants her in charge of collecting evidence at the crime scenes. He likes her instincts about preserving the crime scene. The killer continues to grab victims, set them up for death, and leave clues. I enjoyed and was impressed with Lincoln’s amazing evidence analysis, deduction, and intuition. I enjoyed the developing relationship with Amelia.

I liked her abilities, smarts, and her story as well. The ending is a feel good ending. For a while I had some disbelief about a serial killer purposely leaving clues for the police. Each set of clues was about how and when he would kill the next victim. This seemed a bit contrived. It felt like a scavenger hunt. But by the end of the book, it made sense. So try not to question the believability, just go with. I doubt this kind of thing would happen in real life, but it’s an entertaining story.

No stupidity. There are some gruesome scenes which might bother some, for example, rats eating someone alive who is tied up and cut open. This was made into a movie. I think I saw it, but I forget how I felt about it. DATA: Story length: pages.

Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual content: none. Copyright: Genre: crime suspense thriller. Ending: feel good and smiling. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. He is seriously wondering whether his life is now worth living. A killer stalks the streets of New York City. He is kidnapping his victims and planning horrific deaths for them. He compounds his intentions by leaving the police clues at each scene of his next intended murder.

It is a constant race against time and the police appear to be losing. The authorities turn to Rhyme but is he in a fit state to cope with demands of a serial killer investigation. In addition to the search for the killer there are several sub-plots continuing throughout the story. The on-going United Nations conference that New York is currently hosting. Deaver writes well in my view and in addition to his description of the physical limitations a quadriplegic such as Rhyme experiences he also shows a good insight into the emotional and mental health aspects of such a condition.

Deaver does not spare his readers the realities of such an existence. Well worth a look. A good procedural crime thriller with the emphasis on procedural – too many references to somewhat arcane SCO work without enough explanation dilute the tension being built up in the serial killer parts – but it is the first in a series so things may improve The film is a help, though Rhymes is far more likeable through being played by Denzel A good start – I hope!

Even though I’d seen the film which seems to have followed the book very closely, I enjoyed this more than I expected, and, though I thought I’d remembered the ending, I hadn’t! In parts there is a little too much forensic detail and technical information but I coped by glancing over it to get back to the story. It’s a different take on the usual detective novel and I enjoyed getting to know the characters, who were well drawn. The fact that Rhyme is crippled and can only move his head and one finger, and needs everything doing for him, down to the most basic bodily functions, is dealt with in a matter-of-fact, non-pitying way, and does not become ‘ the story’, a quadriplegic is what he is, not who he is and it is simply part of the tapestry of the story.

Great read. Good intro to the series. Starts off with some quite technical terms to get you into the lingo and, to be honest, it just went staight over my head , but once the story beds in it becomes a good read.

The characters are competant, clever and well thought out. The plot is easy to follow but also interesting. The subplots weave well into the main plot. The pacing is strong. I give it 4 stars because i’ve already read book 2 in the series and that is even better! Strangely this is the last of the Lincloln Rhyme books that I decided to read, strange in that it is infact the first book of the Lincoln Rhyme series. The reason I had not read it is that it didnt seem as grabbing as the other titles and whilst its good it certainly doesnt rank amongst the Rhyme-Deaver best.

The book is identical in plot to the usual Rhyme novel stop the badguy before they kill again, using a team of NYPD cops a disabled genius and a supermodel policewoman sounds ridiculous right. It is infact a brilliant blend that makes for a great book every time. Rhyme in his first book is contemplating suicide whilst trying to stop a copycat killer obsessed with human bones, the killer leaves clues at the crime scene in order to give the police a chance to save the next victim and on goes the story.

Typical Deaver puts in a twist or two at the end and though this one was a little obvious im not sure if its generally obvious or just because ive read every RHyme-Deaver novel it was still good to get to. Definitely a book worth adding to your shelf but not quite as good as The Coffin Dancer or a few of his other brilliant novels. One person found this helpful.

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And planning suicide.


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