"The Burial Hour" (Grand Central Publishing), by Jeffery Deaver
The latest in Jeffery Deaver's series featuring forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme and his partner, Amelia Sachs, throws them both literally into foreign territory.
A 9-year-old girl witnesses a man abducted on the streets of New York, and the kidnapper leaves a miniature hangman's noose at the scene. Rhyme and Sachs are called in to investigate and they soon learn of a video recording of the victim slowly being hanged by a man in the shadows while eerie music plays. He calls himself "The Composer," and with some quick thinking and deduction, they're able to find and rescue the victim before he dies. Unfortunately, The Composer escapes.
When an abduction occurs in Italy under similar circumstances, Rhyme and Sachs fly to Europe to assist in the capture of this elusive villain. Working with local authorities, they try to not only stop The Composer, but also uncover a motive. Will they be able to figure it out in time to save The Composer's latest conquest?
Deaver is a master of plot twists, and they are abundant in this story that keeps the reader guessing about who can be trusted and what's behind the motivations of the abductor. Putting Rhyme and Sachs in unknown territory showcases a different side of their characters. Making them jump through hoops to keep international peace gives the story an extra edge.
The usual aspect of terror and the ticking-clock plot device that Deaver is known for seems not to be as prominent in "The Burial Hour" as in previous novels, but that doesn't mean the story line isn't suspenseful. Perhaps it's the focus on so many new characters when the reader primarily wants to read about Rhyme and Sachs. Even with that in mind, this is still essential for fans of the franchise.
Jeff Ayers, The Associated Press