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4.4 out of 5 stars256
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(1 star).Show all reviews
on June 22, 2000
Perhaps I expect too much out of novels, but I usually hope to find some realism and believability in the way a story plays out. This book had neither.
The time frame in which it takes place is totally ridiculous... between Friday night at 10:30 and Saturday night / early Sunday morning, if my tabulations are correct, our villain has kidnapped 5 people, one at a time, murdered them or left them to die, and planted elaborate clues at each scene for the detectives to find. The detectives(a fashion model-turned-Kojak named Amelia and the crippled genius, the annoying Lincoln Rhyme, who knows virtually every fact about the city of New York, down to the types of dirt found in each block of one of the world's largest cities) manage to find each victim, locate the planted clues, analyze them, and use the obscure and miniscule details to lead them to the next kidnappee... 5 of such crimes solved in the course of 16 hours. (Though the mayhem begins at 10:30 pm on Friday, the first victim isn't discovered until about 9:30 am on Saturday.)
Added to this rapid-fire, breakneck-paced chain of events are several hokie plot twists... the bed-ridden quadrapelegic ex-detective Rhyme goes from attempting to hire a Jack Kevorkian style 'doctor' to put an end to his miserable existence, to finding new meaning in life as he trains his newfound protege, Amelia; the latter makes 2 or 3 major career-changing decisions, from wanting to leave her beat for a desk job, to unwittingly helping our paralyzed hero, to reporting him to her superiors for violating departmental procedures, to deciding to stick by his side through thick or thin. The investigation is first run from Rhyme's bedroom, then yanked away by the cruel and invasive FBI, then stolen back by Rhyme's ragtag group of cohorts (complete with a pair of investigators referred to as 'the Hardy Boys', who annoyingly finish each others every sentence), then partially wrenched away by the feds, then put back in the charge of Rhyme by a U.S. attorney. All of these twists and turns occur in 16 hours? SIXTEEN HOURS? (I'm sure the book continues on past the 16-hour mark... maybe the characters even catch a catnap at some point. I'll never know because I gave up on it.)
Like I said, I like plots to be believable. If this story had taken place over the course of two or three weeks, instead of less than one day, then it may have held my attention better. As it was, I made it to page 288 (out of 423 total), and I gave up, exasperated. The characters in the book didn't take one break, not to eat, sleep, take care of anything else other than this ridiculous case... I, on the other hand, had to take a break from the book. A long break.
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on December 23, 1999
I'd give this book less than a star if I could. I don't know about anyone else, but this book did not scare me or hold me in suspense. It was full of holes and inaccuracies that were simply inexcusable. For example, the psychological diagnosis of the murderer as having multiple personality disorder (MPD). He did NOT have MPD. He was delusional, maybe, but for the shrink in the book to label him MPD was riduculous. Also, if I wanted a book on the technical aspects of forensic science, I would have gotten one. All the acronyms were annoying, and as a scientist I knew what most of them were. If Deavers wants to write books like that, then let him write text books. The two things that bothered me most, however, was how ridiculously unrealistic the characters were and how scripted the book was. Did anyone else notice that just about EVERYONE in the book was beautiful? I always thought good books reflected on what life is, not on what you want it to be. And the book seemed written to be a movie. I didn't want a movie script to read. I wanted a BOOK. But Deavers seemed to know that this would be a movie and wrote it thusly. (And the movie gets less than a star, too, because it had more holes and annoying points than the book did. Man, talk about cliches!) I wish I could get back the hours it took me to read the book. Honestly, I'd rather do the dishes than spend my time on this book.
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on November 16, 1999
I am just trying to "get into" this book, which I had heard was supposed to be great, but there such a gigantic plot mistake introduced in chapter 2 that I am ready to give up. Between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. Amelia finds the murder victim. Can anyone explain how, barely an hour and a half later, the police show up at Rhyme's door asking him to review the police report, which has already been typed up, and indicates that some evidence has been tested by the lab? This is absurd, and unless someone can explain it to me, I will not read any further.
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on May 12, 1999
From a forensic scientist's point of view, Deaver butchered reality. As the greatest criminalist ever, Lincoln Rhyme breaks all of the rules even the most dim-witted criminalist would observe. The interpretation of the evidence was impossible by today's standards or the future for that matter (individualizing soil samples, running dirt through a GC/MS in minutes???). Deaver needs to do his homework if he wants to include forensics, crime scene investigation, and criminal profiling in his books.
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on September 22, 1997
My problem with this book is that the author clearly wanted to capitalize on the interest in paraplegia arising from Christopher Reeve's accident.
Research was good, but the result is term-paper like, with shallow characters, violent scenes inserted for effect that rang false, and an ending that works as a sequel set-up, but not as a satisfying conclusion to this flawed book.
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on November 5, 1999
I made the mistake of believing the cover blurbs, and bought this book second hand. I went along with the mystery, but the ending is so ridiculous, and ghoulish, and sick, that I urge any reader with any sense not to bother reading this. Why someone decided that this needed a movie made of it, I can't guess. Another sick movie about sick people.
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on September 23, 1998
This book is simply pathetic. The characters are nonsensical, the action is unrealistic (can one really bite through the carotid into the spine?!?) and the plot is lame. What more is there to say? It's a shame some big-wig has taken a shine to this author. If you want to throw cash at someone without talent, send it my way.
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on June 9, 1999
I normally read the thriller type book but after reading half of this book, I just could not read another page and didn't want anyone else I knew to read it either so I threw it in the trash! The plot line was good, but the continual use of gruesome details was just too much.
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