Book Review: Cold Moon By Jeffrey Deaver

In the vast array of modern day crime fiction writers, Jeffrey Deaver stands heads and shoulders over the rest. His engrossing narrative and familiarity of the territory of crime scene investigation puts his books in a higher caliber than those of the Baldaccis and the Pattersons. (Only Patricia Cornwell’s books come close to Deaver's works when it comes to details in crime scene investigation.)

Like many of the classic detective writers before him, he sticks to the age-old trend of giving his sleuth an unusual name. The protagonist in this book, as in many of his other works, is Lincoln Rhymes. Rhymes is a paraplegic ex-cop who is confined to his residence because of his condition. He is ably assisted with every high tech gizmo that one in his situation would need to solve crime. Amelia Sachs, Lincoln's regular sidekick, usually serves as Lincoln’s eyes and ears in crime scenes or in investigating witnesses. This time, she is occupied with problems of her own, problems that can ruin her career.

Lincoln must make do with a rookie, who hero-worships him. The rookie is trying hard to please Rhymes, which is no easy feat as the latter is a demanding boss who has little patience for sloppiness.

This time Lincoln must chase a devious mind who goes by the nickname ‘Watchmaker’. The Watchmaker is a psychopathic cold blooded killer who lacks anything close to human emotion. He too, has a sidekick who hero-worships him, a young man who has an irresistible urge to rape his victims and looks to the Watchmaker as a role model.

To catch the Watchmaker, Rhymes must follow a trail of clues left by the Watchmaker. At each of his crime scenes, the Watchmaker leaves behind a clock, challenging the law to come after him. Will Amelia deal with her own crisis to help Lincoln catch one of his most devious preys or will Rhymes have to make-do with a tyro assistant?

Another of Deaver's well known sleuths, Kathlyn Dance also makes an appearance in this book, to help Rhymes in his investigation. While Rhymes' expertise is in forensics, Dance specializes in kinethetics,which is the study of the body language of witnesses and make judgements on their credibility. Deaver seems well versed in writing on this subject as he is with forensics and high tech crime solving.

The last parts of the book is a series of twists and turns in the plot, which left me a little overwhelmed. Nevertheless,Cold moon is impossible to put down.

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