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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Jeffery Deaver's consistently diverting series featuring quadriplegic forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme and his feisty and beautiful assistant, Amelia Sachs, has become a favorite of his fans. Like its predecessors (The Bone Collector, The Coffin Dancer, The Empty Chair), The Stone Monkey is a full-throttle, plausibility-be-damned thriller that mixes state-of-the-art forensic detail with a devious, twisting plot marked by reversals, sudden revelations, and narrative sleight of hand. The result, as usual, is a first-rate high-adrenaline entertainment.
The Stone Monkey begins with a mass murder at sea, as the Chinese freighter Fuzhou Dragon sails toward New York, carrying a clandestine cargo of illegal immigrants. When a Coast Guard vessel intercepts the ship just miles off the U.S. mainland, the leader of the immigrants -- a vicious, elusive "human smuggler" known as Ghost -- blows up the ship and escapes on a lifeboat, leaving his charges to die. Against all odds, several of the immigrants survive, make their way to shore, and go to ground in the self-contained society of New York's Chinatown.
Ghost -- who has never been photographed or fingerprinted, and who is determined to eliminate all potential witnesses -- begins the process of tracking the survivors down. At the same time, Lincoln Rhyme, acting on behalf of the FBI, the NYPD, and the INS, leads a desperate, round-the-clock effort to locate the survivors before Ghost does. The two hunters rely on radically different methods. Ghost makes use of Chinatown's violent criminal subculture and employs information gleaned from corrupt government officials. Rhyme, of course, utilizes his forensic expertise, teasing viable clues out of minute traces of physical evidence. The ensuing duel between two equally obsessed opponents dominates this compelling, beautifully detailed narrative.
All of Deaver's traditional virtues -- his endlessly resourceful plotting, his empathetic rendering of a quadriplegic's existence, his authoritative grasp of arcane forensic procedures -- are on full display here. This time out, however, Deaver adds something new to the mix: a convincing portrait of the uneasy relationship between two wildly divergent cultures. A shrewdly constructed blend of the exotic and the familiar, The Stone Monkey offers intelligence, excitement, and visceral thrills -- and reveals a gifted, increasingly ambitious storyteller working at the top of his game. (Bill Sheehan)