The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)
  • The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)
  • The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)

The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)

4.1 65
by Jeffery Deaver

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"On a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering in the black sky over New York City, two people are brutally murdered - the death scenes marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks investigators fear ticked away the victims' last moments on earth. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the… See more details below


"On a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering in the black sky over New York City, two people are brutally murdered - the death scenes marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks investigators fear ticked away the victims' last moments on earth. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the chilling realization that the killer - who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker - has more murders planned in the hours to come." Rhyme, a quadriplegic long confined to his wheelchair, immediately taps his trusted partner and longtime love, Amelia Sachs, to walk the grid and be his eyes and ears on the street. But Sachs has other commitments now - namely, her first assignment as lead detective on a homicide of her own. As she struggles to balance her pursuit of the infuriatingly elusive Watchmaker with her own case, Sachs unearths shocking revelations about the police force that threaten to undermine her career, her sense of self and her relationship with Rhyme. As the Rhyme-Sachs team shows evidence of fissures, the Watchmaker is methodically stalking his victims and planning a diabolical criminal masterwork.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
The pyrotechnics of the murder plot are dazzling on their own terms, but in "the great scheme of things," as the Watchmaker puts it, time itself is the subject of the story. In observing how a calamitous event like the destruction of the World Trade Center can establish new indexes of timekeeping (the "Before and After" syndrome), Deaver argues that stopping time in its tracks is a madman's ruse for stopping life itself.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Mantegna applies his considerable talent to this latest Lincoln Rhymes mystery. Deaver's quadriplegic detective, Rhymes and his partner, Det. Amelia Sachs, attempt to stop a sadistic serial killer known as the Watchmaker, so named because he leaves specially constructed clocks at the site of each of his murders. However, as so often happens in Deaver's stories, not everything is even close to what it seems. Mantegna gives a smooth, no frills performance. He keeps the vocal deviations for each character to a minimum, concentrating instead on making their dialogue natural and realistic. His low-key delivery works especially well when describing the point of view of the Watchmaker or when delving into the inner thoughts of the killer's sexually deviant accomplice. The scenes between the two villains as they calmly discuss the fates of their intended victims, both before and after death, are genuinely chilling in their execution. Deaver fans will be pleased to have Rhymes and Sachs back in a new intricate and compelling thriller, with Mantegna once again serving as an excellent narrator. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 3). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Listeners could find parts of this audio to be a bit too intense for comfort. Quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs head an investigative team of high-level detectives and police administrators aiming to keep the "Watchmaker" from succeeding at his next ritual-torture murder and leaving his calling card, a cased clock displaying the phase of the winter "killer" moon. Master detective vs. master criminal and forensic evidence vs. forensic psychology mixed into several diabolical, interesting plots keep the listener thinking and guessing up to the end. This book includes graphic descriptions of crime scenes, moments of intense suspense, and interesting speculations into criminal psychology. Joe Mantegna gives the novel a great reading, and Deaver's intricate plotting of a homicide investigation involving serial killings makes this essential. Very highly recommended for adult fiction collections. Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest serial killer to duke it out with quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme is a nefarious figure, the Watchmaker, whose bark, sadly, is a lot worse than his bite. The first two victims are linked by identical clocks left at the crime scenes and the killer's clear determination to prolong each death for as long as possible. But Lincoln Rhyme and his legman/investigator Amelia Sachs don't need to work very hard to find clues to a killer who signs his work with a snatch of dark doggerel. Evidently the perps, soon identified for readers as unflappable Gerald Duncan and his rapist sidekick Vincent Reynolds, are intent on leaving a trail of evidence that will lead directly to them. Will Rhyme, Sachs and the NYPD catch the pair before they can kill florist Joanne Harper, Sgt. Lucy Richter and the rest of the victims they seem to have lined up? Fans of Rhyme's first six cases (The Twelfth Card, 2005, etc.) will skip this question to focus on a more interesting one: Which of the leads, revelations, twists and confessions can be trusted, and which have been planted for purposes best known to the Watchmaker? Deaver, an old pro at pulling rugs out from under readers, adds a piquant complication this time: another case Sachs is working on her own (an impossible suicide she's sure is murder) whose connection to the Watchmaker is worth the price of admission. But this time the complications-a technical term that refers to the extra dials and functions built into a first-rate chronometer-go way over the top for the last 100 pages, and the case peters out in diminishing returns. The most mannered of all Rhyme's adventures, with more red herrings than a fish market and a climax that's both a bangand a whimper. First printing of 300,000; Book-of-the-Month Club/Literary Guild main selection; Mystery Guild main selection

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Lincoln Rhyme Series, #7
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Cold Moon

A Lincoln Rhyme Novel
By Jeffery Deaver

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2006 Jeffery Deaver
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743260937

Chapter One

"How long did it take them to die?"

The man this question was posed to didn't seem to hear it. He looked in the rearview mirror again and concentrated on his driving. The hour was just past midnight and the streets in lower Manhattan were icy. A cold front had swept the sky clear and turned an earlier snow to slick glaze on the asphalt and concrete. The two men were in the rattling Band-Aid-mobile, as Clever Vincent had dubbed the tan SUV. It was a few years old; the brakes needed servicing and the tires replacing. But taking a stolen vehicle in for work would not be a wise idea, especially since two of its recent passengers were now murder victims.

The driver -- a lean man in his fifties, with trim black hair -- made a careful turn down a side street and continued his journey, never speeding, making precise turns, perfectly centered in his lane. He'd drive the same whether the streets were slippery or dry, whether the vehicle had just been involved in murder or not.

Careful, meticulous.

How long did it take?

Big Vincent -- Vincent with long, sausage fingers, always damp, and a taut brown belt stretching the first hole -- shivered hard. He'd been waiting on the street corner after hisnight shift as a word-processing temp. It was bitterly cold but Vincent didn't like the lobby of his building. The light was greenish and the walls were covered with big mirrors in which he could see his oval body from all angles. So he'd stepped into the clear, cold December air and paced and ate a candy bar. Okay, two.

As Vincent was glancing up at the full moon, a shockingly white disk visible for a moment through a canyon of buildings, the Watchmaker reflected aloud, "How long did it take them to die? Interesting."

Vincent had known the Watchmaker -- whose real name was Gerald Duncan -- for only a short time but he'd learned that you asked the man questions at your own risk. Even a simple query could open the door to a monologue. Man, could he talk. And his answers were always organized, like a college professor's. Vincent knew that the silence for the last few minutes was because Duncan was considering his answer.

Vincent opened a can of Pepsi. He was cold but he needed something sweet. He chugged it and put the empty can in his pocket. He ate a packet of peanut butter crackers. Duncan looked over to make sure Vincent was wearing gloves. They always wore gloves in the Band-Aid-Mobile.


"I'd say there are several answers to that," Duncan said in his soft, detached voice. "For instance, the first one I killed was twenty-four, so you could say it took him twenty-four years to die."

Like, yeah...thought Clever Vincent with the sarcasm of a teenager, though he had to admit that this obvious answer hadn't occurred to him.

"The other was thirty-two, I think."

A police car drove by, the opposite way. The blood in Vincent's temples began pounding but Duncan didn't react. The cops showed no interest in the stolen Explorer.

"Another way to answer the question," Duncan said, "is to consider the elapsed time from the moment I started until their hearts stopped beating. That's probably what you meant. See, people want to put time into easy-to-digest frames of reference. That's valid, as long as it's helpful. Knowing the contractions come every twenty seconds is helpful. So is knowing that the athlete ran a mile in three minutes, fifty-eight seconds, so he wins the race. Specifically how long it took them tonight to die...well, that isn't important, as long as it wasn't fast." A glance at Vincent. "I'm not being critical of your question."

"No," Vincent said, not caring if he was critical. Vincent Reynolds didn't have many friends and could put up with a lot from Gerald Duncan. "I was just curious."

"I understand. I just didn't pay any attention. But the next one, I'll time it."

"The girl? Tomorrow?" Vincent's heart beat just a bit faster.

He nodded. "Later today, you mean."

It was after midnight. With Gerald Duncan you had to be precise, especially when it came to time.


Hungry Vincent had nosed out Clever Vincent now that he was thinking of Joanne, the girl who'd die next.

Later today...

The killer drove in a complicated pattern back to their temporary home in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, south of Midtown, near the river. The streets were deserted; the temperature was in the teens and the wind flowed steadily through the narrow streets.

Duncan parked at a curb and shut the engine off, set the parking brake. The men stepped out. They walked for a half block through the icy wind. Duncan glanced down at his shadow on the sidewalk, cast by the moon. "I've thought of another answer. About how long it took them to die."

Vincent shivered again -- mostly, but not only, from the cold.

"When you look at it from their point of view," the killer said, "you could say that it took forever."

Copyright 2006 by Jeffery Deaver


Excerpted from The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver Copyright © 2006 by Jeffery Deaver. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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