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Manhattan Is My Beat [Mass Market Paperback]

Jeffery Deaver
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 6 2000 Rune Trilogy
Five feet two inches of slick repartee, near-purple hair, and poetic imagination, twenty-year-old Rune hasn't been in Manhattan for very long. But she's crafty enough to have found a squatter's paradise in an empty TriBeCa loft, and a video store job that feeds her passion for old movies. It's a passion she shares with her favorite customer, Mr. Kelly, a lonely old man who rents the same video over and over. The flick is a noir classic based on a real-life unsolved bank heist and a million missing dollars. It's called Manhattan Is My Beat.

That's the tape Rune is picking up from Mr. Kelly's shabby apartment when she finds him shot to death. The police suspect a robbery gone wrong, but Rune is certain the key to solving the murder is hidden somewhere in the hazy, black-and-white frames of Mr. Kelly's beloved movie. But as Rune hits the mean streets of New York to find answers, she gets caught up in a dangerous adventure more chilling than anything Hollywood could dream up. As her story draws to its terrifying conclusion, Rune's final close-up may include the killer of a co-star.

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From Amazon

Jeffrey Deaver knows how to hook readers and keep them guessing with suspenseful, twisty plots. This early Deaver effort, originally published in 1988, will not disappoint fans dazzled by his subsequent, high-profile Lincoln Rhyme series (The Bone Collector, The Coffin Dancer, The Empty Chair.)

Manhattan Is My Beat takes its name from the (invented) 1947 film noir watched obsessively by murder victim Robert Kelly. Our heroine, Rune, (a punk with a heart of gold) works for Washington Square Video. On a routine pickup to retrieve Manhattan Is My Beat, she discovers Kelly just shot dead, the target of a professional hit. Rune and a woman jogger glimpse the presumed killer as he speeds off in a green car. While cops drag their heels in solving the mystery, Rune takes matters into her own hands, convinced that the motive for the murder is a missing suitcase stuffed with one million dollars--the subject, not coincidentally, of the film that Kelly and Rune both admired. An avid fan of fantasy novels and prone to see life through the prism of magic and quests, Rune takes up the challenge of finding the lost money and catching Kelly's killers. But the formidable hit team is intent upon destroying both possible witnesses to the murder, and their nimble crosses and double-crosses--some of which the reader sees, some of which are revealed at the end--make for fun reading.

Plotting moves briskly in this novel, except for a slowdown in the story--Rune's ambiguous romance with downtown poseur Richard has little to do with catching killers. The conclusion, while neatly wrapped, is marred by the sudden appearance of a crucial detail that Deaver produces like a fancy dish under the waiter's silver dome. But the gimmick to offset the conclusion's predictability feels like a cheat rather than a revelation. All in all, however, the novel is excellent mind candy, a thrilling romp lead by an agile, street-smart heroine. --Kathi Inman Berens


"Highly original  and very entertaining."
--Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

"Deaver writes with clarity, compassion, and intelligence, and with a decidedly human and contemporary slant."
--Publishers Weekly

"Deaver is a master of ticking-bomb suspense!"

Don't miss Jeffery Deaver's other gripping novels featuring his unforgettable heroine Rune:

"[Rune] is a breath of fresh air!"

Death of a Blue Movie Star

"Truly an original."
--The Drood Review of Mystery

Hard News

"Peerless entertainment."
--Kirkus Reviews

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars First effot by a stand out author Dec 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Deavers wrote this book under the name of William Jefferies. He also wrote another series under this name featuring a film scout. This character is a young punkish girl named Rune who is trying to get through her 20's and survive NYC. She is currently working at a video store and when a regular dies under suspicious
circumstances she becomes interested in the movie he rented numerous times. She becomes obsessed with plot of the movie as it is based loosely on a true crime. She thinks she can solve the case find the money and live happily ever after. This plot is hard to follow at times and sometimes I don't think the author is aware of what he wants the characters to do. I have read his later books and know he can write a good thriller. Too bad this book falls flat, I believe his publisher re-released to capitalize on his famous status. I will read more of the scout series and might try the next one in this series just because Rune is such a likable character.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad,the book had a nice atmosphere. May 19 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This plot is rather simple, but kept my interest.Deaver has produced better works.The greatest thing (to me) in the story line was the beautiful city setting,which sets the scence for crime and mystery.
I found the main character (Rune) to be most annoying and unsuitable as a mystery solver. I thought Rune was a bit unrealistic as a character.Apart from that,it is not a bad read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not at all bad Jan. 15 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this being an early Deaver, it is natural to suspect taht it wouldnt be as good as some of his later ones. In general, its right. THis is not as good as some later books, but its still pretty good.
The plot is nicely simple. Not too much complicated stuff to get your head round. The characters are good, and he leaves space for them to be further dweveloped. Presumably, this will come in the next two books (as it would in any good series).
Rune is a nice lead character, nicely contemporary. Some people've said she's annoying, but personally, i didn't think so. On the surface she comes across as naive, but gradually you see that she isnt as so as you first thought. she might have got her head in the clouds, but her feet are still firmly on the ground...
as always with a deaver novel, there are twists a-plenty. and ill admit, here they werent quite as complex as some of his later novels twists, but they are just as viable. and still i didnt guess them. (I gave up trying long ago!)
The writing is good, the plot is good, the characters are good. What more could you want?
As, presumably, this was his first novel, it's a very worthy effort. I look forward to the next Rune novels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Even Early Deaver is Wonderful! I Love NY!! Nov. 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was fortunate to find a reprint of the 1988 "Manhattan is My Beat" by Jeffery Deaver. I looked at the print page closely to make sure they weren't tricking me by reprinting and retitling, as some authors do (James Patterson, shame on you). This is just a terrific little book which is well constructed and contains a myriad of emotions. I felt I knew the characters quite well and could even visualize most of them; Deaver is so good at this. Our heroine is very waif-like, very quirky, much like the Holly Golightly she admired in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." She has a wonderful imagination which leads her to fantasize about the lives of everyone she meets in her current job in a video rental store. Her open and friendly nature leads her into a mystery which turns deadly . It is sad when she briefly puts aside her ability to see all things in a beautiful, magical way. I can't imagine anyone not liking this fine tale.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable tale Aug. 28 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The main character in this book was a breath of fresh air. Rune's youth and optimism, in spite of the roadblocks that are placed in front of her, keep her moving towards the solution to her mystery. If you like the Jeffery Deaver type of stories that require the digging up of facts and clues, then you will enjoy this tale. You will also want to read Death of a Blue Movie Star, as you watch Rune develop her investigative skills.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the "Quick Read" genre July 7 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While this book may lack a thing or two in style and literary creativity, it still creates an admirable montage of events, centered around Rune, it's central character. Good to lose yourself in....Bad to look to for literary merit. Jeffery Deaver is not Ralph Ellison, quite obviously, but the storyline is great, with lots of surprises. Maybe I've been submerged in "Invisible Man" and "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Bell Jar" for too long, but, as my English teacher would say, this book qualifies as a "smut" book........but, a good smut book nonetheless.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful April 24 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book purely on the strength of its being written by Jeffrey Deaver. However, less than 3 pages into this terrible novel it becomes very hard to believe that it was written by the same man who brought us The Bone Collector and the Coffin Dancer. The fact that it was written in 1988, before Deaver was established, may explain some of its mediocrity but there is no excuse for the fact that this is simply a terrible book.
The basic plot is that Rune, a supremely annoying "punk" discovers a favourite customer of hers shot to death when she goes to his apartment to collect a video he has rented 18 times in one month. The film is a "true" story about a Manhatten bank robbery in which a police officer steals a million dollars which he hides away and which has never been found. In the biggest jump to a conclusion I have ever come across, Rune decides that the the depiction of what was done with the money in the film is real and that Mr Kelly found it, and makes up her mind to find it herself.
The plot of the book probably could have been fairly good, but Deaver ruins the entire story with Rune, the most unrealistic and annoying "herione" I have ever read. She lives in a fantasy world that a 5 year old child would be too mature for, and has no concept of the real world whatsoever. Everything about her, from her appearance to her manner of speaking to her ridiculous inability to lie makes the reader want to punch the book as it's the nearest thing possible to punching her in the face.
Another major problem with this novel is its glaring predictability. There are no twists and turns in it and if Deaver thought anything in it was going to shock the reader, then he must have been as naive as Rune herself.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An odd & enjoyable novel
The great thing about this book, an early entry from twistmaster Deaver, is its heroine. Rune is not the usual highly educated, all knowing experts that Deaver has made his name... Read more
Published on April 23 2001 by Cody Menzies
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the non-Rhyme books
I quite enjoyed this book. Although it wasn't as good as his Lincoln Rhyme series, it was still a little page-turner. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2001 by "the_halberdier"
This is one of the author's earlier works, and while it is not one of his best efforts, it is still a cut above what is currently proferred by other writers of this genre. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2000 by Lawyeraau
4.0 out of 5 stars Dharma Meets Lincoln Rhyme
Manhattan is My Beat is an early work by Bone Collector author Jeffery Deaver. Rune the heroine is a quirky Dharma like character from Ohio who wanders New York seeking adventures... Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2000 by booknblueslady
2.0 out of 5 stars Early Deaver Lacks Depth
This early work of Jeffery Deaver certainly lacks the depth of his current works. (Shallow Graves) Manhattan is My Beat references an old movie that has as it's theme the theft of... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2000 by Harold
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
This very fast paced plot is easy to read and introduces a very attractive and quirky character, Rune, a very pleasant twenty year old girl full of dreams, instinct, passion and... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2000 by Manuel Gwiazda
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