The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme Series #8)

( 96 )


Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller.

Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose ingenious staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information....

When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case ...

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The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme Series #8)

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Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller.

Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose ingenious staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information....

When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect — too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed.

At the behest of Arthur's wife, Judy, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance — despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation.

An information service company — the huge data miner Strategic Systems Datacorp — seems to have all the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled team begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and coverups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522."

When "522" learns the identities of the crime-fighting team, the hunters become the hunted. Full of Deaver's trademark plot twists, The Broken Window will put the partnership of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to the ultimate test.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Dennis Boutsikaris's reading of Deaver's latest Lincoln Rhyme thriller is positively chilling. When the quadriplegic detective's cousin is arrested for murder, it seems to be an open-and-shut case, as plenty of forensic evidence links him to the crime. But Lincoln discovers that the real killer is framing others for his killings by manipulating intimate computer information. A deadly game of cat and mouse pits Lincoln; his partner, Amanda Sachs; and the rest of his NYPD crew against an adversary who is consistently one step ahead of them. Boutsikaris's reading is excellent, but he really ratchets the intensity when performing the passages told from the killer's point of view. His delivery fully embraces the cold, calculating mind of the murderer, imbuing his seemingly dispassionate thoughts with an underlying sense of barely controlled rage and menace. A Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Deaver's (The Sleeping Doll) latest novel, which pairs disabled criminologist Lincoln Rhyme and Detective Amelia Sachs for the eighth time, is sure to be one of his most popular books to date. When Lincoln suspects his cousin is being framed for murder, other similar cases of stolen identities and innocent people being set up lead him to a data mining company. However, Lincoln is able to track the real killer by exposing crime-scene evidence unintentionally left behind. As the killer feels the police closing in on him, he targets his pursuers by messing with their records, changing information to complicate their lives. Pertinent to today's society of credit cards and computer data, Deaver's thriller reminds us how vulnerable we really are and will be an essential purchase for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/15/08.]
—Amanda Scott

Kirkus Reviews
It's a must-solve case for quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme when his cousin is arrested for murder. The evidence seems incontrovertible. Arthur Rhyme came over to Alice Sanderson's apartment-leaving generous amounts of trace evidence from his home and DNA traces from his person-then attacked and killed her; stole a prized painting she'd just purchased; and left, obligingly depositing trace evidence from the crime scene back home. But since Rhyme can't believe that his cousin killed anyone, he's forced to conclude that there's been an elaborate frame-up by someone who may well have done the same thing before. Fans of the serial-killer specialist (The Cold Moon, 2006, etc.) won't be surprised when Rhyme, his partner Amelia Sachs and the rest of the NYPD crew he's hastily cobbled together turn up two well-nigh identical crimes that exonerate Arthur to their satisfaction, even though he continues to languish in a lockup that seems to get more dangerous by the hour. A rare slip by the elusive killer leaves Rhyme with a bag of material he'd been on his way to plant at the home of still another innocent suspect. The big catch here is a Post-It note that sends Rhyme and company to Strategic Systems Datacorp, which collects and resells data, mountains of data, on every American it can. Deciding that the perp knows so much about the patsies he sets up, from their shoe sizes to their favorite brands of underwear, that he must have some connection to SSD, Rhyme commences collecting data on the data collectors. The ensuing investigation, which bogs down amid factitious thrills and the faceless geeks at SSD, feels like the work of a ghostwriter who knows the formula and uses the right names butlacks Deaver's customary brio and fiendish ingenuity. On the plus side, the master criminal, instantly forgettable on his own terms, will tap into many paranoid readers' twin bogeymen: identity theft and government surveillance. Agent: Deborah Schneider/Gelfman Schneider
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594512080
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Series: Lincoln Rhyme Series, #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffery  Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is the international, #1 bestselling author of more than twenty-seven suspense novels, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. He lives in North Carolina.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Jefferies, Jeffery Wilds Deaver
    2. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 6, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Broken Window

  • Chapter One

Something nagged, yet she couldn’t quite figure out what.

Like a faint recurring ache somewhere in your body.

Or a man on the street behind you as you near your apartment . . . Was he the same one who’d been glancing at you on the subway?

Or a dark dot moving toward your bed but now vanished. A black widow spider?

But then her visitor, sitting on her living room couch, glanced at her and smiled and Alice Sanderson forgot the concern—if concern it was. Arthur had a good mind and a solid body, sure. But he had a great smile, which counted for a lot more.

“How ’bout some wine?” she asked, walking into her small kitchen.

“Sure. Whatever you’ve got.”

“So, this’s pretty fun—playing hooky on a weekday. Two grown adults. I like it.”

“Born to be wild,” he joked.

Outside the window, across the street, were rows of painted and natural brownstones. They could also see part of the Manhattan skyline, hazy on this pleasant spring weekday. Air—fresh enough for the city—wafted in, carrying the scents of garlic and oregano from an Italian restaurant up the street. It was their favorite type of cuisine—one of the many common interests they’d discovered since they’d met several weeks ago at a wine tasting in SoHo. In late April, Alice had found herself in the crowd of about forty, listening to a sommelier lecture about the wines of Europe, when she’d heard a man’s voice ask about a particular type of Spanish red wine.

She had barked a quiet laugh. She happened to own a case of that very wine (well, part of a case now). It was made by a little-known vineyard. Perhaps not the best Rioja ever produced but the wine offered another bouquet: that of fond memory. She and a French lover had consumed plenty of it during a week in Spain—a perfect liaison, just the thing for a woman in her late twenties who’d recently broken up with her boyfriend. The vacation fling was passionate, intense and, of course, doomed, which made it all the better.

Alice had leaned forward to see who’d mentioned the wine: a nondescript man in a business suit. After a few glasses of the featured selections she’d grown braver and, juggling a plate of finger food, had made her way across the room and asked him about his interest in the wine.

He’d explained about a trip he’d taken to Spain a few years ago with an ex-girlfriend. How he’d come to enjoy the wine. They’d sat at a table and talked for some time. Arthur, it seemed, liked the same food she did, the same sports. They both jogged and spent an hour each morning in overpriced health clubs. “But,” he said, “I wear the cheapest JCPenney shorts and T-shirts I can find. No designer garbage for me . . .” Then he’d blushed, realizing he’d possibly insulted her.

But she’d laughed. She took the same approach to workout clothes (in her case, bought at Target when visiting her family in Jersey). She’d quashed the urge to tell him this, though, worried about coming on too strong. They’d played that popular urban dating game: what we have in common. They’d rated restaurants, compared Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes and complained about their shrinks.

A date ensued, then another. Art was funny and courteous. A little stiff, shy at times, reclusive, which she put down to what he described as the breakup from hell—a long-term girlfriend in the fashion business. And his grueling work schedule—he was a Manhattan businessman. He had little free time.

Would anything come of it?

He wasn’t a boyfriend yet. But there were far worse people to spend time with. And when they’d kissed on their most recent date, she’d felt the low ping that meant, oh, yeah: chemistry. Tonight might or might not reveal exactly how much. She’d noticed that Arthur had furtively—he thought—been checking out the tight pink little number she’d bought at Bergdorf’s especially for their date. And Alice had made some preparations in the bedroom in case kissing turned into something else.

Then the faint uneasiness, the concern about the spider, returned.

What was bothering her?

Alice supposed it was nothing more than a residue of unpleasantness she’d experienced when a deliveryman had dropped off a package earlier. Shaved head and bushy eyebrows, smelling of cigarette smoke and speaking in a thick Eastern European accent. As she’d signed the papers, he’d looked her over—clearly flirting—and then asked for a glass of water. She brought it to him reluctantly and found him in the middle of her living room, staring at her sound system.

She’d told him she was expecting company and he’d left, frowning, as if angry over a snub. Alice had watched out the window and noted that nearly ten minutes had passed before he got into the double-parked van and left.

What had he been doing in the apartment building all that time? Checking out—

“Hey, Earth to Alice . . .”

“Sorry.” She laughed, continued to the couch, then sat next to Arthur, their knees brushing. Thoughts of the deliveryman vanished. They touched glasses, these two people who were compatible in all-important areas—politics (they contributed virtually the same amount to the Dems and gave money during NPR pledge drives), movies, food, traveling. They were both lapsed Protestants.

When their knees touched again, his rubbed seductively. Then Arthur smiled and asked, “Oh, that painting you bought, the Prescott? Did you get it?”

Her eyes shone as she nodded. “Yep. I now own a Harvey Prescott.”

Alice Sanderson was not a wealthy woman by Manhattan standards but she’d invested well and indulged her true passion. She’d followed the career of Prescott, a painter from Oregon who specialized in photorealistic works of families—not existing people but ones he himself made up. Some traditional, some not so—single parent, mixed race or gay. Virtually none of his paintings were on the market in her price range but she was on the mailing lists of the galleries that occasionally sold his work. Last month she’d learned from one out west that a small early canvas might be coming available for $150,000. Sure enough, the owner decided to sell and she’d dipped into her investment account to come up with the cash.

That was the delivery she’d received today. But the pleasure of owning the piece now diminished again with a flare-up of concern about the driver. She recalled his smell, his lascivious eyes. Alice rose, on the pretense of opening the curtains wider, and looked outside. No delivery trucks, no skinheads standing on the street corner and staring up at her apartment. She thought about closing and locking the window, but that seemed too paranoid and would require an explanation.

She returned to Arthur, glanced at her walls and told him she wasn’t sure where to hang the painting in her small apartment. A brief fantasy played out: Arthur’s staying over one Saturday night and on Sunday, after brunch, helping her find the perfect place for the canvas.

Her voice was filled with pleasure and pride as she said, “You want to see it?”

“You bet.”

They rose and she walked toward the bedroom, believing that she heard footsteps in the corridor outside. All the other tenants should have been at work, this time of day.

Could it be the deliveryman?

Well, at least she wasn’t alone.

They got to the bedroom door.

Which was when the black widow struck.

With a jolt Alice now understood what had been bothering her, and it had nothing to do with the deliveryman. No, it was about Arthur. When they’d spoken yesterday he’d asked when the Prescott would be arriving.

She’d told him she was getting a painting but had never mentioned the artist’s name. Slowing now, at the bedroom door. Her hands were sweating. If he’d learned of the painting without her telling him, then maybe he’d found other facts about her life. What if all of the many things they had in common were lies? What if he’d known about her love of the Spanish wine ahead of time? What if he’d been at the tasting just to get close to her? All the restaurants they knew, the travel, the TV shows . . .

My God, here she was leading a man she’d known for only a few weeks into her bedroom. All her defenses down . . .

Breathing hard now . . . Shivering.

“Oh, the painting,” he whispered, looking past her. “It’s beautiful.”

And, hearing his calm, pleasant voice, Alice laughed to herself. Are you crazy? She must have mentioned Prescott’s name to Arthur. She tucked the uneasiness away. Calm down. You’ve been living alone too long. Remember his smiles, his joking. He thinks the way you think.


A faint laugh. Alice stared at the two-by-two-foot canvas, the muted colors, a half dozen people at a dinner table looking out, some amused, some pensive, some troubled.

“Incredible,” he said.

“The composition is wonderful but it’s their expressions that he captures so perfectly. Don’t you think?” Alice turned to him.

Her smile vanished. “What’s that, Arthur? What are you doing?” He’d put on beige cloth gloves and was reaching into his pocket. And then she looked into his eyes, which had hardened into dark pinpricks beneath furrowed brows, in a face she hardly recognized at all.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 96 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 97 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Another spine chilling book by Jeffery Deaver. A book once you start you will not want to put down until the very last page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Good read!

    Was hard to put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    Loved It

    I'm a big Jeffery Deaver fan, so understand that going in. But I loved this book and the currency of the topic: How much of our lives, our purchase history, our accounts, our preferences, our daily comings-and-goings are out there in cyberspace. And who can do things with it to negatively (and in a deadly manner?) control our lives and break us. As usual, Lincoln and the cast of characters do what they do best. But it leaves you wondering. Deaver even gives you a bit of his perspective (and respect) around the topic of privacy, at the end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Turn off the TV reality shows...

    This is a great read!! As usual Mr. D was completed a ton of research before writing this story. Don't forget to read the "credits" in the back and look for the "TITLE"....some where in the pages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting to the end.

    I hadn't read any of Mr. Deaver's other books and picked this one up on a lark. It was so good. I've gone back to read some of his earlier books now. Great author. This book had great characters, a twisted plot, and alot of excitement. It had a great flow throughout the book. A new author to add to my favorites. My husband read the book too and now he's a fan also.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2014

    When you reach don and find the bowl of chips are gone and you h

    When you reach don and find the bowl of chips are gone and you have eaten them all
    well then you know its a good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Love books

    Im still reading this book but it keeps you on th edge of your seat at all times. Read this book and you will see what i am talking about

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fast Paced Excitement - Great Read!

    This is the first Jeffrey Deaver book I've read and I can't wait to pick up another one of his books. The story was fantastic, characters well developed, twists and turns thrown in, and an ending that brought closure to all the loose ends.

    If you're looking for a book that keeps you turning pages this one certainly fills that role and then some.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Highly tecommended

    Great book. Kept me reading all night. Good suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013


    This book made you realize how careful we really need to be about the personal information that we give out. This book was amazing and it kept you guessing until the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012


    So what do u wanna talk about

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    My review of the window!

    As for The Broken Window, the story line first attracted me, yet my interest didn't stay around long. The Broken Window's computer data mining story line was good, yet the building of characters and high level of suspense was lacking in this book in comparison to other Lincoln Rhyme novels.
    The story line can be looked at as futuristic, since we citizens give up a lot of privacy when using our plastic cards. We want to ask outselves how much privacy do we want to give up. Most people woudln't care, yet I do. But I must say, it is tempting to use a card versus keeping cash in my purse at all times. I would rather lose some privacy in the interest of safety as a thief gets less if takes my purse. Hummm...he may get shopping details and social habits through review of my cards, but I am sure cash is what the common thief really desires when snatching a purse!
    I do enjoy reading Jeffery Deaver books and will continue to read them. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the poorest, I would rate The Broken Window a 5. Although I give the book an overall medium rating, I remain a fan of Jeffery Deaver as overall he is author of a high calibur!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Deaver delivers a clever hit in THE BROKEN WINDOW

    Have you ever considered thought of what it would be like if you ran into a stranger who knew everything about you? Imagine that person knowing your whole lifestyle, everything from your passionate hobbies to what you typically buy at the grocery store. They would go about various tactics into getting your information; they would do so from collecting personal possessions from newspapers to the smallest items you would drop on the street. This deadly compulsion of theirs makes you ask the biggest question of all: how do you stop the one person who knows everything?

    That is the one question that the forensic tag team of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs have to ponder as they investigate yet another case in THE BROKEN WINDOW. In the eighth and latest installment of Jeffery Deaver's bestselling crime series, Lincoln, the heroic quadriplegic, has to solve a case like none other, one that involves his own family. The book begins with him receiving a call from Judy, the wife of his long lost cousin, Arthur Rhyme. She pleads Lincoln into investigate a murder where every piece of evidence perfectly points directly to Arthur. While he and his partner/lover, Amelia, begin to investigate, they later come to realize that a master manipulator in identity theft has done this "perfect" evidence. By digging deeper into the case do the duo later realize that this same thief might also be responsible for other killings, in addition to framing innocent people for these acts. Through the next three days, Lincoln and Amelia come to realize that they might've faced their match.

    THE BROKEN WINDOW can be considered as a toss-up read. Despite the fact of it may not being the greatest entry in the series, there are a variety of strong elements that Deaver contributes into the story. For starters, the author has yet again created a likeable villain that is fresh and innovative, in comparison to the fifth entry THE VANISHED MAN. Many readers will find the description of the killer's obsession into collecting to be rather bone chilling. He has also made deftly his readers sympathize with the villain regarding the losses and setbacks that the villain endured in his past. Of all of the many pros, the biggest one in this book involves the way the author ties the elements of the story to what we have read in today's headlines, those involving the world of identity theft.

    Despite of all of the numerous strengths, the book nonetheless has some critical flaws, ones that Deaver has made in some of his recent works. For starters, as he did so in the last two Rhyme novels with THE TWELFTH CARD and THE COLD MOON, readers will question the credibility of the events leading up to the mystery of the story. Such a mistake by the author will have readers struggling to finish the story. Another mistake that readers will find bothersome involves Amelia's acts into catching the killer. As he has previously done in some of the other recent Rhyme entries, he has made a few of the action scenes by Amelia appear to be cartoonish.

    This entry in the Lincoln Rhyme series can be considered a fun and enjoyable read. It will be well liked by those who enjoy action-adventure stories along with those that involve today's technological world. Nevertheless, the elements of the story might also cause some controversy by some of the readers who may not like the book.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lincoln Rhyme at his best

    This is another excellent mystery with forensic details. I enjoyed reading once again about Lincoln Rhyme's work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    Fast Moving

    An excellent Orwell reminder.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    A physically challenged detective is a nice change from all the alcohol besotted, morally corrupt lot that fill the shelves. The writing is taut. There is no simpering sympathy for the handicapped detective who is all but immobile yet manages to resurface from the most challenging situations like "24 hours" characters. He even has a girlfriend. Its a well constructed, keep you guessing, non-formulaic work. I do recommend it. In case you're wondering: it's my first Lincoln Rhyme series read.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    Criminologist, quadriplegic Lincoln Rhymes has been estranged from his cousin Arthur for years. When Arthur is arrested for the murder of a young woman, Arthur's wife implores Lincoln to help. The forensic evidence against Arthur strongly links him to the murder, but Lincoln's paramour Amelia Sachs is suspicious that everything is so clear-cut and suspects Arthur has been set up. She and Lincoln, with the aid of NYPD, learn Arthur isn't the first person who has been framed for a murder he didn't commit. Their investigation takes them into the world of data mining and identity theft and pits the duo against a psychopathic serial killer who manages to stay one step ahead.

    This thriller hits on a subject some may find a bit disturbing, the ability of computers to follow us on our daily journeys and pinpoint our location at any point in time. Deaver offers the reader a look into Lincoln's past family life, as well as his present relationship with Amelia. Forensics are exceptional and the plot filled with suspense and terror. Another great addition to this excellent series.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Could'nt put it down

    Jeffrey Deaver is a wonderful author who knows how to hook the reader! This book took off right from the start and I was guessing until the end. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Big Brother Watching Through The Broken Window -- Great Read!

    Once again, Criminalist Lincoln Rhyme and Detective Amelia Sachs work together to solve one of their most difficult cases to date - a serial killer known only as "522" who preys on victims through their own electronic footprints of day to day life by expertly framing them for his horrific murders. Everything we do and buy is recorded and scrutinized for insidious criminals to prey upon. "The Broken Window" is truly a scary look into what could happen in the electronic world as the story builds great suspense and intrigue with every page. For those of you who haven't read any Lincoln Rhyme novels, he's a well-known crime scene detective that suffered a serious injury that left him a quadriplegic. This story also lets the reader in on a more personal side of Rhyme by introducing his cousin and his family life growing up.

    Rhyme and Sachs are joined by solid, interesting characters along with a lengthily list of possible suspects. The story gets even more interesting the closer Rhyme gets to the "real" killer and then the tables turn on him and his crew. It's more of a cat and mouse "whodunit" thrill that will definitely keep you guessing until the end. If you think you know who the killer is - think again.

    The story starts out great, but then gets a bit slow with all the related background information until about halfway into the book. Keep reading -- you won't be disappointed. I have been a big fan of Lincoln Rhyme Novels since "The Bone Collector" and this story is now one of my favorites. I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys high thrills and "whodunit" mysteries.

    -Jennifer Chase, author of thriller "Compulsion"

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  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Deaver's done it again.

    One of Jeffrey Deaver's best Lincoln Rhyme novels yet. The consequences of identity theft are shown to be devastating and so very real. I'm glad to see the storyline had more of Tom's history and life with Lincoln. That poor guy has quit and been fired so many times by Rhyme that it's become part of their friendship. I'd like to see a little more tenderness between Amelia and Lincoln now that they have been together for so long. All in all, a great read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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