The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)

( 65 )


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 inves-tigators 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 ...

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The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme Series #7)

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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 inves-tigators 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 evi-dence of fissures, the Watchmaker is methodically stalking his victims and planning a diabolical criminal masterwork.... Indeed, the Watchmaker may be the most cunning and mesmerizing villain Rhyme and Sachs have ever encountered.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his assistant, Detective Amelia Sachs, are back to match wits with a criminal mastermind who works with deadly precision. This meticulous killer, dubbed the Watchmaker, leaves a clock at every crime scene. With each tick of these timepieces, urgency builds to stop a slew of threatened murders. High-grade suspense.
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

  • ISBN-13: 9780743576185
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Series: Lincoln Rhyme Series, #7
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.98 (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 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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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 65 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    very good book held my intrest all the way thru

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    AWESOME MYSTERY. Jeffrey Deaver at his best! Have read all of

    AWESOME MYSTERY. Jeffrey Deaver at his best! Have read all of his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme masterpieces, but this one tops them all. It is so full of twists and turns. Just when you think "now I know the real plot"....along comes another huge twist. Lost a lot of sleep over this book but it was so worth it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Great plot twists!

    Another excellent story in this Lincoln Rhyme series, maybe one of the best. The plot twists were fantastic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011


    Absolutely loved this book. It kept my attention all the way through. Very good!!!

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    My First and Not My Last of Mr. Deaver

    Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novel "The Cold Moon" is a real page turner with a multitude of plot twists I can't divulge without giving the game away.
    The story involves a serial killer named The Watchmaker who leaves a clock behind at the scene of his crimes as his signature. But is there more than meets the eye? Hmmm. Our equally meticulous heroes and NYPDs finest in Amelia Sachs and Lincoln Rhyme must decipher those multitudes of plot twists with the inherent red herrings. Deaver keeps the pacing humming while concurrently focusing on various characterizations and all things forensic science. A new entry to the world that is Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs is California Bureau of Investigation kinesics expert Kathryn Dance who specializes in reading body language, intepret tone and pitch of voice, etc. I liked the tension she presented to Rhyme before I guess she won him over though he's still a bit of a skeptic. I'd call it a grudging respect perhaps. However Rhyme sees her, I'm glad to see she has a series of her own and I hope to read about her in the Big Apple again, too.
    Maybe the book has a twist or two too much, but Deaver's rep as one of the most jaw dropping story plotters I've ever read is well deserved. When I thought the case was over, whoops! Guess again! Apparently from other reviewers, professional and customer, this is par for the course for him. I have to read you again, Jeffery Deaver. Impressive.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well Worth the sick Day

    I read this while home with pink eye. It was so good, I called in another day to finish it. This is Deaver doing what he really is good at, writing form someone else's point of view. Amelia Sachs and Lincoln Rhyme are completely believable. Deaver's portrayal of Rhyme in a wheelchair is also a great and authentic point of view.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Close, But No Cigar.

    You're the lead investigator of the largest police department there is. One of the most important cases of your career lies at your own fingertips. Imagine yourself trying to chase a villan who is obsessed with everyone's own natural enemy: time itself.

    Great characters. Stories with a assortment of twists and turns. Nefarious bad guys who intend to avenge themselves from their endurance of rather sentimental losses and setbacks. And not to mention stories that are told from a variety of perspectives. All of these mentioned above are the many strengths of bestselling mystery writer Jeffery Deaver. Nonetheless, these particular strengths he does not quite deliver in THE COLD MOON, making his 7th entry in the well-popular Lincoln Rhyme series.

    In similarity to his previous entry THE TWELFTH CARD, Deaver yet again makes another departure in the notorious crime series. Only this time do readers have to swallow down a variety of story lines all at once. In this entry, our heroic disabled criminalist, Lincoln Rhyme, along with his longtime partner and lover, Amelia Sachs, are on the trail of the Watchmaker, a meticulously cunning villan who leaves at each of his murders his own calling card; each of them a moon-faced clock ticking away the victims' last seconds. At the same time, however, Rhyme struggles in keeping Amelia motivated into further pursuing the Watchmaker case. Now promoted as a lead detective, Amelia pursues a homicide case of her own. But soon enough, the duo later discovers that both of their cases are related.

    While in pursuit of the Watchmaker, Rhyme meets Kathryn Dance, a kinesics (body language) expert with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Despite their opposing views with regard to their own pursuit of crime, the two form an awkward, but clever, alliance with each other. It's only a matter of either hours, minutes, or seconds before the Watchmaker strikes again. For 48 hours, Rhyme, Sachs, and Dance are on the hunt for one of the most cunning serial killers that they've ever come to face.

    THE COLD MOON has quite a few pros that Deaver fans will tend to find to be both delightful and clever. For starters, he does a better job on keeping his readers guessing regarding the various twists than THE VANISHED MAN, one of the earlier Rhyme books. In that one, the twist and turns came to a point in where they were getting to be a little predictable and tedious. The biggest advantage of this entry is they way Deaver creates a climax into the series. What makes it so clever is his creation of Kathryn Dance. With her debut and not to mention her opposing pursuit of crime, it cleverly changes the readers' perspective of how they view Lincoln Rhyme's way of thinking.

    Yet though the book contains some rather good literary elements, it does nonetheless contain the bad ones. Unlike THE VANISHED MAN, the novel's hook is not quite as strong. Readers thus will fing reading it to be a little bit of a chore in some of the scenes. A few of the twists that come forth later in the book will have readers questioning its credibility. In addition to that, they will also find them to be a little wierd. The main flaw that topredos THE COLD MOON is that Deaver bends the main principles with villans a little too far. Throughout the story, the Watchmaker works with an accomplice in order to commit the killings. Although it appears to work in few of the scenes, it does, however, contradict the main rule regarding how villans

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    Deaver never disappoints.

    As always-great story and loved katherine Dance added to the story. Great foil for Lincoln.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    Another job well done by Mr Deaver.

    In what seems to be the introduction of a Professor Moriarity to Deavers Lincoln rhyme, a fast paced puzzle unwinds before your very reading eyes. the plot was well written as I have come to expect from Deaver, and the twists are fast paced and keep you guessing. Just when you think you have it figured out, whammo! I definitely recommend this for those new and those familiar to deaver and or Lincoln Rhyme.

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    The best!!!!!

    This is Jeffrey Deavers at his best! This has more twists than a stick of licorice. Just when you think you have it figured out, it takes another road. It is the best mystery I have read in years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Nothing short of AMAZING!

    This book was spectacular! Kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The twist at the end made it all that much better. If you are looking for a book that will keep you reading, and constantly guessing this is it! The characters and the plot are well developed. I must say this is my first Lincolm Rhyme novel, and I plan to buy more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    What a book!

    This is a great book. Brilliant is not a strong enough word for this one. The beginning is a bit slow but it melds in so well with the plot, at least I thought. Deaver is a master there is simply nothing more to say. Of all the books this and Coffin Dancer are my favorite. Its hard to put down and it has a few nice twists in it, perfection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    The Watchmaker meets Linclon Rhyme's detectives

    This is a terrifically told story that intertwines several cases, some of which eventually combine. The reader can¿t get too savvy thinking they know the results of all this action. Jeffery Deaver¿s character, Lincoln Rhyme, and his group of expert detectives and forensic professionals give us a tale of intrigue involving the Watchmaker. This character is so good at fooling experts that even Rhyme¿s team is stumped. Amelia Sachs is Rhyme¿s ¿partner¿ for want of another descriptive word. She is an expert in police work but has interest in Rhyme also. For those of you that are not used to Lincoln Rhyme, he is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair with virtually no feeling in his extremities but his brain is so far superior to most others that the police have kept him on the job for years after his disability. The Watchmaker is cunning. He appears to be killing people while leaving a clock at the scene of the murder, but little else in the way of clues to anything. He picks and chooses his victims in a way no one can figure, even the partner he has met to assist him in these murders. The partner then gets to sodomize the body after its death, unless something goes wrong with the crime scene and escape must be immediate. Tie all of this in with a hint of police corruption, another murder that Sachs has taken upon herself to solve, and normal goings on in a huge city like New York, and you have REAL puzzles to work on. The cunningness of The Watchmaker will make you cringe as you read while he stalks his next victim and how he is going to kill them, yet appearing to make them stay alive as long as possible. His partner in crime is not a very smart helper, slipping up on things he would do to throw the evidence other than where The Watchmaker wanted it to go. No matter since The Watchmaker could arrange anything the way he wanted it no matter how many slip ups his partner made. This book is long but never once did it slow down and lose my attention. I have always enjoyed Jeffery Deaver¿s books and The Cold Moon is no exception. If anything is different from his other books it would be the way he has spun so many stories into this one and yet managed to connect most of them together. Thank you Jeffery Deaver.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2006

    Very Good

    This book was good from start to finish. I liked the evidence boards and the characters were well developed. One of the best mystery/crime books I've read in awhile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    Almost a Four but...

    The book was really slow until about the middle then it became a nail biter. The twists and turns were amazing and I can honestly say that I didn't see a darn one of them coming however...the twists kept coming and coming until I was just tired and wished the book would end. But still I didn't see anything coming and that's worth the price of the book alone. Amelia's side story was great too. And I loved Kathryn Dance as well as the Watchmaker. I could see him easily becoming Moriarity to Rhymes' Sherlock Homes. It's a bad guy that you don't want to get caught because he's just so cool but at the same time you just know you shouldn't be rooting for him. Good read. Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2006

    Lincoln & Amelia are back for more

    This is a very good book. The pace of this book is terrific. These two characters work well together. This books has twists and turns that are unexpected. I read it in 24 hours. This is one of the rare ones you can't put down. I wish I had read it sooner. Can't wait for more..........

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    Bring back the Watchmaker!

    Bring back the Watchmaker! Never has an author had a better match for his protagonist than this villain. The team of Lincoln Rhyme puts together is outstanding (especially the new character of Kathryn Dance), but the Watchmaker is a villain worth rooting for. Mr. Deaver does something that few other authors do... he gives his readers great characters along with a solid plot. This book is truly a book to read in one sitting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2006

    Jeffery has done it again ....

    I have read all Jeffery Deaver books on Lincoln Rhyme and with no exception this one is his best aside from the 12th Twelfth Card this book is the bomb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2006

    better then the last

    After reading the disappointing Twelfth Card, I was hoping for this to be a better book, and for the most part it was. After the strange direction of the plot of the Twelfth Card, it was good that this book returns to the old formula. In this book, Deaver has created a great villain in The Watchmaker. This character reminded me of thee Bone Collector and The Conjerur. Also, the book had over-all better suspense then the Twelfth Card. My only complaint is the ending which screams 'sequel'.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer


    NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs, while still assigned to police consultant Lincoln Rhyme, a brilliant criminologist, is given her first case to work solo. The official verdict concerning the death of Ben Creely is suicide but his wife is convinced that he was murdered. As Sachs investigates she learns he couldn¿t have hanged himself because he couldn¿t tie a knot as his thumb was in a cast. She finds burnt papers in his fireplace that lead her to a bar in New York City and the 118th precinct where rumors persist that certain cops are corrupt making illegal money using their badge.-------------------- She is also helping Rhyme try and track down the Watchmaker, a stone cold meticulous killer who is targeting certain people and leaves a signature clock behind. So far the bodies of two of his victims have been found and a third one has gone missing. When they track the clocks to where they were bought, the propitiator tells the police that he bought ten clocks which means he is going to kill again. As they race against time to stop him, Amelia discovers some horrible things about her father, which makes her thinks she will have to quit the police force, an action Rhyme is afraid will sever their professional and personal relationship.---------------- Jeffery Deaver is one of the best police procedural writers on the market today. The author keeps his series fresh by introducing new characters, one of whom deserves her own series. There is much introspection of the part of Sach as she ponders what to do about her future and Rhyme hopes she stays on the force not only for her sake but for his. THE COLD MOON is full of surprising twists and turns so that readers aren¿t certain what is truth is and what is misinformation. This is a compelling and exciting work that is heading for the bestsellers list.------------ Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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