Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I've had the feeling that for the last
couple of years there has been a tendency, at least in some
circles, to take Jeffery Deaver for granted. Part of this tendency
(and let's assume for the sake of argument that it exists) is no
doubt the result of the fact that Deaver makes doing what he does
look so easy. And that he does the same thing each time so well
should make no difference. If I showed up at your doorstep each
morning and turned tin into gold, you wouldn't complain, would you?
Or would you be one of those folks who, after a couple of days,
wonder out loud if I could make some silver just to break the
Well, Deaver has been doing the literary equivalent for years now,
practicing sleights-of-hand in his Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs
thrillers --- from THE BONE COLLECTOR to THE TWELFTH CARD and in
stand-alone novels such as THE DEVIL'S TEARDROP. None of these
works, however, will prepare you for THE COLD MOON, Deaver's latest
offering in the mythos of Rhyme and Sachs.
I always have a problem summarizing Deaver's novels, simply because
a summary should never mislead or reveal too much. With Deaver, it
becomes extremely difficult to avoid doing either. This is
especially true of THE COLD MOON, which has a number of "Oh shoot!"
moments as well as a plethora of twists, turns and red herrings. If
assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups, be prepared to screw
up plenty while reading this book, which focuses on the pursuit of
The Watchmaker, the most brilliant, calculating and cold-blooded
villain Rhyme and Sachs have faced to date. With The Watchmaker,
nothing is as it seems, and he leaves a trail of horror and mayhem
across New York for purposes that ultimately hold the key for
literally everything that occurs in THE COLD MOON.
Sachs, meanwhile, is investigating a case of her own, one that
leads her into her own past and causes a personal crisis that
brings her to the crossroads of her own career and of her
relationship with Rhyme. At one point the cases dovetail in a
surprising way, and then separate again in a strange and wonderful
manner. And the conclusion? It comes as a total shock.
As always, Deaver educates as well as entertains, and within the
novel's pages he drops small but fascinating nuggets regarding time
and clocks. If you don't know why we say "speed up" or "slow down,"
you will after reading THE COLD MOON. You will also have the
pleasure of reading what is not only Deaver's best work to date but
also one of the best books of the year thus far.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 7, 2011