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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
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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4.0 out of 5 stars The Vanished Man - Patti Feb. 16 2004
"Lincoln Rhyme, the world¡s greatest forensic criminologist.
His partner and lover, Amelia Sachs.
And an unstoppable killer with one final, horrific trick up his sleeve¡K"
Is that enough to get you hooked to the book yet? The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver is a book full of mystery and illusions and puzzles that are deceiving and confusing. It starts off with the description of a killer fleeing the scene of a homicide at a prestigious music school and locks himself in a classroom. But, when the police break down the door to the room with no escape, the room was empty.
Do the names of the characters sound familiar? Yes, this book is in fact a spellbinding story of a wicked wizard of illusion trying to outwit the brilliant NYPD criminologist Lincoln Rhyme from the movie, The Bone Collector. This is just another book in the Lincoln Rhyme Series.
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs (His partner and lover) are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation of a master illusionist. But the conjurer baits them with gruesome murders that become more diabolical with each fresh crime. Malerick, the illusionist who can handle protean (quick change) magic, escapism, animal illusions, ventriloquism, picking locks and many others, is out to get revenge on everyone who has wronged him. In this book, Rhyme is apparently described as Malerick¡s only opponent that could stop him from killing.

This book is a true page-turner as Jeffery Deaver¡s trick is to keep you guessing throughout the whole book. The plot is a really great one and showed a lot of research on the different magic tricks and routines, and of course, greatly written mystery.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Keystone Kops meet Houdini? Oct. 14 2003
Deaver's books are like movies waiting to happen in that his characters aren't all that well developed, but his plots are ingenious. Live actors give the characters dimensions the novelist hasn't provided, and the picture is more satisfying than the book.
This books rocks along pretty well for awhile, but finally the incompetence of the police and the improbable good luck of the villain become a bit much. Deaver's basic cast of characters is its usual self, though, with Amelia Sachs still suffering arthritic knees and racing about Manhattan in her Camaro and Lincoln Rhyme still snapping at everyone. The author has assembled a good deal of research into sleight of hand and illusions, and some of it is interesting enough. The premise of the book is that by misdirecting your pursuers' attention and wearing makeup, one can escape from any situation. I mean, this villain goes around killing people while wearing two layers of clothing (e.g., a suit under a bellhop's uniform) and carrying all sorts of makeup, with which he manages to transform himself on the run in ways that defy detection by supposedly sharp-eyed cops who are actually trying to apprehend him. And when they do nab him, they're totally out of their depth. To wit: Our heavy is put in cuffs and taken to the Tombs, where he retrieves a lock pick from under a band-aid on his thigh and opens the cuffs. All this while being transported by police. He then grabs a revolver from a cop (do the cops carry guns in the cells?) and fires it, simultaneously triggering an explosive squib, which he has previously concealed under his hair. This propels a baggie full of bone and stuff onto a nearby wall so that it appears he's blown out his own brains, an illusion heightened by fake blood he manages to apply to the other side of his head.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow
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.
Published 11 months ago by Darlene Fleury
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good read
One of my favorite authors and characters..good story and mystery...this one quite involved...unusual
"super hero"...would recommend to my friends anytime.
Published 15 months ago by Marie Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic
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. Read more
Published on July 13 2008 by G Man
1.0 out of 5 stars This book shouldn't disappear from the shelves!
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! Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Steven Reads
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
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!
Published on July 14 2004 by Victoria
1.0 out of 5 stars The Boring Man
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. Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by bookworm
1.0 out of 5 stars Audio book best left unheard
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. Read more
Published on May 8 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Suspense
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. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by A. Vegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mystery Ever Written
Jeffery Deaver has really outdone himself this time. Having read all the books in the Lincoln Rhyme series, I was already immediately tuned into both Sachs and Rhyme, and the... Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by Bobbi Duncan
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad-But Not the Best Either
In the Vanished Man, Lincoln Rhyme is once again trying to capture a killer that keeps getting away every time they are close to capturing him. Read more
Published on March 8 2004 by J. Kirkman
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