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The Vanished Man: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel [Hardcover]

Jeffery Deaver
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 11 2003 Deaver, Jeffery

The New York Times bestselling author of The Stone Monkey is back with a brilliant thriller that pits forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme and his partner, Amelia Sachs, against an unstoppable killer with one final, horrific trick up his sleeve.

The Los Angeles Times calls his novels "thrill rides between covers." The New York Times hails them as "dazzling," and The Times of London crowns him "the best psychological thriller writer around." Now Jeffery Deaver, America's "master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People) delivers his most electrifying novel yet.

It begins at a prestigious music school in New York City. A killer flees the scene of a homicide and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. When a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot, they break down the door. The room is empty.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protégée to ferret out a master illusionist they've dubbed "the conjurer," who baits them with gruesome murders that become more diabolical with each fresh crime. As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, Rhyme and Sachs must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.

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From Amazon

Presto! With a conjuror's flourish, the reliable Jeffery Deaver has pulled another winner out of his hat. The Vanished Man brings back Lincoln Rhyme, forensic investigator, and his sidekick Amelia Sachs, ex-model and beat cop, a team featured in four previous books. Their case begins with a murder in which the culprit, cornered in a locked room, seemingly vanishes into thin air. Rhyme soon realizes he's up against a master illusionist--and then acquires a conjuror of his own, a spunky apprentice magician, to advise him. The book is chock-a-block with magic lore and with details of the craft of illusion, which provide a fine complement to the engrossing forensic-science puzzles.

The characters, as usual with Deaver, are little more than cardboard cutouts. Even Rhyme himself, a brilliant quadriplegic and former head of NYPD forensics, seems more a collection of characteristics than a man. But Deaver's cutouts are sturdy and well-constructed, and the book's plotting and pacing--featuring twist upon twist and reversal upon reversal--are nothing short of dazzling, reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her best. Deaver proves himself an accomplished illusionist, misdirecting your attention with one hand while slipping a firecracker down your pants with the other. --Nicholas H. Allison

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Deaver know that he works storytelling magic in his thrillers, not just the Lincoln Rhyme tales (The Stone Monkey, etc.) but also the stand-alones (The Blue Nowhere, etc.). It's fitting, then, that in his new, giddily entertaining story about quadriplegic crime fighter Rhyme, he casts as his villain a professional illusionist-and an apprentice magician as assistant to Rhyme and Rhyme's cop sidekick-lover, Amelia Sachs. The novel opens with the murder of a young female student at a music school on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Caught in the act, the killer vanishes from a sealed room. Forensic and eyewitness clues point to a culprit with magic training; looking for expert help, Sachs encounters an aspiring illusionist, who goes by the stage name of Kara, who agrees to help her and Rhyme. The villain-revealed in passages from his POV as "Malerick," soon identified as a world-class magician with a serious ax to grind-commits further mayhem (including an attack on Rhyme), which looks like steps toward an act of consummate revenge. A subplot about a white power demagogue's attempt to assassinate the Manhattan D.A. who's prosecuting him grows to involve Malerick, giving the storyline twists-and twists and twists, through Deaver's masterful sleight of hand. Further subplots concerning Sachs's attempt to attain a sergeant's ranking, and Kara's relationship with her stroke-addled mother, as well as the customary difficulties of Rhyme's condition, add ballast to the gyrating main story line, rich in magic lore and lingo. This is prime Deaver.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow Oct. 10 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There were so many twists and turns I sometimes
Wanted to get in there and help. Very good read
And very difficult to put it down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good read June 28 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of my favorite authors and characters..good story and mystery...this one quite involved...unusual
"super hero"...would recommend to my friends anytime.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic July 13 2008
By G Man
A fun read that keeps you guessing. The book casts the villain as a professional illusionist. To help the police an apprentice magician is brought in and then the tricks begin. The bad guy has more ticks than Houdini and just when you think you've got him... poof.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book shouldn't disappear from the shelves! July 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my 2nd Deaver novel. I forgot the first one I started, but that should be no surprise. I didn't finish that one either!
This plot is so far-fetched, so convoluted, so full of cardboard characters that I gave up on it after 175 pages. Too bad. It started out promising, a nice twist on tracking down a killer(s): He/she always had magic incorporated into the scheme. But this story just went on far too long (keep in mind, I didn't even finish it) and got so unconvincing and outrageous that I had to move on. So many books, so little time. I think my Deaver days are over. Give me Crais or Coben or David Ellis anyday.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! July 14 2004
I read almost all of his books and this is the best one to date! I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down. Now, that's what I call suspense!
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Vanished Plot July 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm so disappointed in this book -- Deaver can do much better (read Stone Monkey or some earlier works). This book is TERRIBLE. The plot involves an insane magician whose wife is killed by a risky illusion -- or does it really? Just when you "think" you know who did it, the plot twists and turns in the most unbelievable ways possible. Illusions abound -- new consultants are brought in to help, but apparently only as a plot device to give the story more twists and turns than is necessary or tolerable. Once again, the villain breaks into Rhyme's apartment to put the criminalist in danger -- or does he? Again, another unnecessary plot twist and it stretches the bounds of disbelief -- how many times have we read about some villian slipping into Rhyme's bedroom to do him harm? This is the most at-risk homebound quadriplegic in all the world, certainly in all the literary world.
Amelia is back, too -- still griping about her arthritic knees, still fending off advances from every heterosexual male in the entire state of New York, and still driving her "yellow Corvette with a RACING HARNESS" through the streets of New York City at 90 miles an hour. And that's an exact quote from the book.
Overall the plot is too confusing, too long, too implausible. Deaver needs to go back to what made these stories interesting, the relationship between Sachs and Rhyme, but even that is becoming cliched. I think it might be time to either give Rhyme back his legs and have him "walking the grid" with Sachs or retire them both.
If you're interested in good fiction, check out Robert Crais.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Boring Man May 17 2004
This one seems to be getting high praise, but I think those reviews must be from established fans of Deaver or the genre itself. I found this novel to be extremely boring. Yes, there's much research into forensics and the magic business, but the author tends to talk down to the reader, which I find annoying. One example would be the over explaining of the classic illusion "Sawing A Woman In Half." Is there really anyone out there who doesn't know the basic theme of this well-known magic effect?
In what is otherwise very stiff text, Deaver attempts to make the characters sound more natural by throwing in way too many contractions ("or is" becoming "or's") from every character. Contrived and distracting.
Ridiculous turns of events and cardboard characters who all sound alike seem to be par for the course these days, but beyond that I just couldn't find anything of interest here.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Audio book best left unheard May 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
Some books don't abridge well, some do. I don't know if this one would, but this version is, simply put, awful.
This is a terrific reading of an awful abridging of a book. I had to borrow (not wanting to throw good money after bad) the novel to find out how poorly this version was cut. Important plot details and character development seem to have been randomly eliminated, and the work as a whole suffers for it. Seemingly unrelated events pop up unexpectedly in what seems an amateurish manner. Deaver's writing deserves far better.
I thought the reader, though, was great. He gave a good performance of what was in effect a horrible script. If the unabridged version is ever released on audio, try it, but don't waste money on this version. An editor somewhere at Simon & Schuster needs a new career. The person who OK'd the abridging needs to work in a different industry.
Don't get this one.
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