The abduction of a business executive on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by a man calling himself the Composer kicks off Thriller Award–winner Deaver’s intriguing, if overly complicated, 13th novel featuring forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme (after 2016’s The Steel Kiss). A witness finds a small hangman’s noose at the scene, as well as a torn currency exchange receipt, which suggests to Rhyme that the man was intending to leave the country. When the Composer later kidnaps a traveler at a remote bus stop near Naples, Italy, he leaves a little noose hanging from the bus stop bench. Rhyme and his lover, Det. Amelia Sachs, fly to Naples, where they join forces with the Italian investigating team led by hard-nosed prosecutor Dante Spiro, who’s initially dismissive of Rhyme. Meanwhile, Charlotte McKenzie, a legal liaison with the U.S. State Department, needs Rhyme’s help with the case of an American college student in Naples who’s been arrested for sexual assault. Too many twists and unlikely connections may puzzle some readers. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. (Apr.)
PRAISE FOR THE STEEL KISS:
"Deaver is a genius when it comes to manipulation and deception. Stellar plot twists are in full abundance in THE STEEL KISS, and the story line veers in several unpredictable directions."Associated Press
"Deaver doesn't disappoint. With an unmatched ability to create the perfect characters...Deaver takes fans to the edge in this one and dangles them over the cliff...One of the best books of 2016."Suspense Magazine
"Darkly witty...unsettling."New York Times Book Review
"Fiendishly inventive...all the usual thrills, which are worth every breathless minute."Kirkus Reviews
"Clever...entertaining...Convincing characters and an unexpected closing twist will remind readers why Deaver is one of today's top thriller writers."Publishers Weekly
"[THE STEEL KISS is] like a master class in how to perfectly balance plot and character....A terrific novel."Connecticut News
In the first back-to-back Lincoln Rhyme title since 2006 (Deaver has many irons in his fire), our hero investigates the kidnapping of a businessman on New York's Upper East Side. He's confounded when a similar kidnapping occurs in Italy. With a 100,000-copy first printing.
Quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme (The Steel Kiss, 2016, etc.) celebrates his nuptials by matching wits with perhaps the most dull-witted of his many opponents: a serial kidnapper whose crimes seem as toothless as they are motiveless.The first victim, Robert Ellis, is a San Jose media buyer snatched from the streets of New York under the eyes of an unusually perceptive 9-year-old, who not only sees the abduction, but recovers an important piece of evidence—a tiny hangman's noose—in time to set Rhyme and his allies on the trail to rescue Ellis before he can be properly hanged. A similar noose found at the site where a second victim, Libyan refugee Ali Maziq, was kidnapped outside Naples causes Rhyme to move the honeymoon celebrating his upcoming marriage to his longtime colleague NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs to Italy, where he arrives just in time to watch the first of many tangles between imperious prosecutor Dante Spiro and Ercole Benelli, the enterprising but inexperienced Forestry Corps officer who's been seconded to the Naples Questura at the request of Detective Inspector Massimo Rossi, who finds the young man keener and quicker than the Carabinieri officer charged with the investigation. From that point on it's all forensics, all the time, in Rhyme's quest to catch a culprit calling himself The Composer before he succeeds in killing one of the people he snatches apparently for no better reason than to record the sounds they make. Although hard-core fans of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs will be duly impressed by Rhyme's death-on-rats analysis of trace evidence, other readers will miss more sharply distinguished characters, a more memorable villain, and a more coherent plot—particularly once the case takes on aspects of international terrorism and Deaver veers more sharply than convincingly into Homeland territory. As even Lord Peter Wimsey demonstrated, a detective's entitled to a break during his honeymoon. Expect Rhyme and Company to be back to fighting strength by next year.