The Vanished Man (Lincoln Rhyme Series #5)

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"It begins at a prestigious music school in New York City. A killer flees the scene of a homicide and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. When a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot, they break down the door. The room is empty." Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protege to ferret out a master illusionist they've dubbed "the
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2004 Mass-market paperback First edition. FULL Number LIne first Edition New. No dust jacket as issued. NEW in Excellent condition A SMOKE FREE book Mass market (rack) ... paperback. Glued binding. 560 p. Lincoln Rhyme Novels (Paperback). Audience: General/trade. (Original cover art, NOT the one depicted) Read more Show Less

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2004 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. 528 p. Lincoln Rhyme Novels (Paperback).

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2004 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. 528 p. Lincoln Rhyme Novels The Vanished Man brings back Lincoln Rhyme, forensic investigator, and his sidekick Amelia ... Sachs, ex-model and beat cop, a team featured in four previous books. Their case begins with a murder in which the culprit, cornered in a locked room, seemingly vanishes into thin air. Rhyme soon realizes he's up against a master illusionist--and then acquires a conjuror of his own, a spunky apprentice magician, to advise him. Read more Show Less

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The Vanished Man (Lincoln Rhyme Series #5)

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Overview

"It begins at a prestigious music school in New York City. A killer flees the scene of a homicide and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. When a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot, they break down the door. The room is empty." Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protege to ferret out a master illusionist they've dubbed "the conjurer," who baits them with gruesome murders that become more diabolical with each fresh crime. As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, Rhyme and Sachs must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Lincoln Rhymes and Amelia Sachs may have met their match. A master illusionist is murdering people, and with each mocking sleight of hand, he is moving closer to the ultimate vanishing act. Wheelchair-bound quadriplegic Rhymes and his protégé know what game the killer they dub "the Conjurer" is playing, but they can't get beyond the smoke and mirrors without exposing themselves. With its likable characters and breakneck action, this is a dazzling follow-up to Deaver's The Stone Monkey.
Romantic Times
The Vanished Man is a bar-raising installment in a series that never disappoints.
Marilyn Stasio
Among the crimes rendered with Deaver's customary grace and wit are sadistic variations on Houdini's Water Torture Cell, P. T. Selbit's neat trick of sawing a woman in half and one of Howard Thurston's animal acts, in which he brought a dead bird back to life. There is, of course, a great master design to these elegantly executed illusions, and Deaver is clever enough to string it out to almost unbearable limits of suspense. But in the end, all this trickery really does come down to ''applied physics, chemistry and psychology.''
— The New York Times
From The Critics
A crackling thriller.
Publishers Weekly
Not since Bill Bixby's The Magician has illusion played such a vigorous role in the investigation of a homicide. A girl is murdered, the killer is caught red-handed, then trapped in a sealed room with a hostage. A shot is fired and when the room is entered, it is empty. Deaver (The Stone Monkey; The Devil's Teardrop; etc.) summons up a fifth tale in the Lincoln Rhyme series and loads it with his trademark twist and turns. Rhyme, a quadriplegic forensic criminologist, seems to have met his match in his new foe, dubbed "The Conjurer" by the police, a master of sleight of hand, illusion and misdirection, much like Deaver himself. Grupper does a fine job of keeping the thriller on the rails, and his depiction of Malerick, a villainous master of disguise straight out of a comic book (he regularly disappears in a flash of light and smoke), is riveting. Grupper's skill with gender and accents is marvelous. The structure of the book is nicely formatted for audio, as the killer narrates his own "performances" as if he were a ringmaster announcing the latest trick, using phrases like, "And now, revered audience...." Simultaneous release with the Simon & Schuster hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 20). (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Adam Grupper's animated narration heightens the tension in Deaver's latest psychological thriller-his fifth novel featuring quadriplegic forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme. Lincoln and his partner, New York policewoman Amelia Sachs, must track down a murderer who seems to have literally vanished from a locked room at the scene of the crime. Soon realizing the perpetrator is an escape artist/illusionist, Lincoln and Amelia enlist the help of Kara, a spunky aspiring illusionist, to find the serial killer they've dubbed "the Conjurer." As more bodies are discovered, Kara tells Lincoln that she believes the killer is making use of another illusionist's trick-misdirection-to throw the police off track. When the Conjurer is linked to a white supremacist group trying to assassinate a Manhattan district attorney, Lincoln and company struggle to separate the killer's real motivation from his diabolical misdirection. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this fifth case pitting quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme against a murderous magician, Deaver (The Stone Monkey, 2002, etc.) tries his best to outdo himself—and brother, does it show. Rhyme’s adventures, in which the armchair detective has depended on NYPD Officer Amelia Sachs for his legwork (and lately for emotional succor as well), have always traded on dexterous sleight-of-hand, so it’s only natural to literalize the metaphor in the Conjuror, the malevolent illusionist who first seems bent on dispatching a random collection of New Yorkers through diverse means at precise intervals of four hours. Of course, there’s a deeper method beneath this murderous madness; of course, the mechanics of each homicidal outrage—the Russian flautist strangled by a Houdini-designed rope tie called the Lazy Hangman, the gay makeup artist sawed in half, the equestrian lawyer chained and dunked by her ankles into a Central Park pond—are fiendishly inventive and the detective work equally so; and, of course, Deaver keeps the suspense taut by repeatedly bringing the cops face to face with the Conjuror at the crime scenes and repeatedly showing him slipping through their fingers. Even so, the staggering pile of red herrings Deaver tosses in to misdirect his fans and, more improbably, the cops—is the Conjuror avenging himself on the circus manager who let his wife die in a fire? is he scheming to break upstate militiaman Andrew Constable out of jail before his trial begins? is he planning to assassinate the ADA who’s trying Constable’s high-profile case?—eventually loses its sheen, and the manhunt ends in a sprawling, anticlimactic third act in which Deaver shamelessly pullsone rabbit after another from his hat, forgetting that the trick is to find one really good rabbit and pull hard. All the prodigious energy and ingenuity of a canny performer who just doesn’t know when to quit.
From the Publisher
ChicagoSun-Times A crackling thriller.

People Ingeniously devious....[The] plot is so crooked it could hide behind a spiral staircase.

Publishers Weekly This is prime Deaver.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743437813
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Series: Lincoln Rhyme Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 4.24 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffery  Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is the author of two collections of short stories and twenty-eight previous suspense novels. His most recent #1 international bestseller is Carte Blanche, the newest James Bond novel. Deaver is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme thrillers. Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award, and a Gumshoe Award. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. He lives in North Carolina.

Biography

Born just outside Chicago in 1950 to an advertising copywriter father and stay-at-home mom, Jeffery Deaver was a writer from the start, penning his first book (a brief tome just two chapters in length) at age 11. He went on to edit his high school literary magazine and serve on the staff of the school newspaper, chasing the dream of becoming a crack reporter.

Upon earning his B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Deaver realized that he lacked the necessary background to become a legal correspondent for the high-profile publications he aspired to, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, so he enrolled at Fordham Law School. Being a legal eagle soon grew on Deaver, and rather than continue on as a reporter, he took a job as a corporate lawyer at a top Wall Street firm. Deaver's detour from the writing life wasn't to last, however; ironically, it was his substantial commute to the law office that touched off his third -- and current -- career. He'd fill the long hours on the train scribbling his own renditions of the kind of fiction he enjoyed reading most: suspense.

Voodoo, a supernatural thriller, and Always a Thief, an art-theft caper, were Deaver's first published novels. Produced by the now-defunct Paperjacks paperback original house, the books are no longer in print, but they remain hot items on the collector circuit. His first major outing was the Rune series, which followed the adventures of an aspiring female filmmaker in the power trilogy Manhattan Is My Beat (1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), and Hard News (1991).

Deaver's next series, this one featuring the adventures of ace movie location scout John Pellam, featured the thrillers Shallow Graves (1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), and Hell's Kitchen (2001). Written under the pen name William Jefferies, the series stands out in Deaver's body of work, primarily because it touched off his talent for focusing more on his vivid characters than on their perilous situations.

In fact, it is his series featuring the intrepid and beloved team of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs that showcases Deaver at the top of his game. Confronting enormous odds (and always under somewhat gruesome circumstances), the embittered detective and his feisty partner and love interest made their debut in 1991's grisly caper The Bone Collector, and hooked fans for four more books: The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), and The Vanishing Man(2003). Of the series, Kirkus Reviews observed, "Deaver marries forensic work that would do Patricia Cornwell proud to turbocharged plots that put Benzedrine to shame."

On the creation of Rhyme, who happens to be a paraplegic, Deaver explained to Shots magazine, "I wanted to create a Sherlock Holmes-ian kind of character that uses his mind rather than his body. He solves crimes by thinking about the crimes, rather than someone who can shoot straight, run faster, or walk into the bar and trick people into giving away the clues."

As for his reputation for conjuring up some of the most unsavory scenes in pop crime fiction, Deaver admits on his web site, "In general, I think, less is more, and that if a reader stops reading because a book is too icky then I've failed in my obligation to the readers."

Good To Know

Deaver revises his manuscripts "at least 20 or 30 times" before his publishers get to even see a version.

Two of his books have been made into major feature films. The first was A Maiden's Grave (the film adaptation was called Dead Silence), which starred James Garner and Marlee Matlin. The Bone Collector came next, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Deaver has also been a folksinger, songwriter, music researcher, and professional poet.

Deaver's younger sister, Julie Reece Deaver, is a fellow author who writes novels for young adults.

In our interview with Deaver, he reveals, "My inspiration for writing is the reader. I want to give readers whatever will excite and please them. It's absolutely vital in this business for authors to know their audience and to write with them in mind."

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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

Chapter One

Greetings, Revered Audience. Welcome.

Welcome to our show.

We have a number of thrills in store for you over the next two days as our illusionists, our magicians, our sleight-of-hand artists weave their spells to delight and captivate you.

Our first routine is from the repertoire of a performer everyone's heard of: Harry Houdini, the greatest escape artist in America, if not the world, a man who performed before crowned heads of state and U.S. presidents. Some of his escapes are so difficult no one has dared attempt them, all these years after his untimely death.

Today we'll re-create an escape in which he risked suffocation in a routine known as the Lazy Hangman.

In this trick, our performer lies prone on the belly, hands bound behind the back with classic Darby handcuffs. The ankles are tied together and another length of rope is wound around the neck, like a noose, and tied to the ankles. The tendency of the legs to straighten pulls the noose taut and begins the terrible process of suffocation.

Why is it called the "Lazy" Hangman? Because the condemned executes himself.

In many of Mr. Houdini's more dangerous routines, assistants were present with knives and keys to release him in the event that he was unable to escape. Often a doctor was on hand.

Today, there'll be none of these precautions. If there's no escape within four minutes, the performer will die.

We begin in a moment...but first a word of advice:

Never forget that by entering our show you're abandoning reality.

What you're absolutely convinced you see might not exist at all. What you know has to be an illusion may turn out to be God's harsh truth.

Your companion at our show might turn out to be a total stranger. A man or woman in the audience you don't recognize may know you far too well.

What seems safe may be deadly. And the dangers you guard against may be nothing more than distractions to lure you to greater danger.

In our show what can you believe? Whom can you trust?

Well, Revered Audience, the answer is that you should believe nothing.

And you should trust no one. No one at all.

Now, the curtain rises, the lights dim, the music fades, leaving only the sublime sound of hearts beating in anticipation.

And our show begins....


The building looked as if it'd seen its share of ghosts.

Gothic, sooty, dark. Sandwiched between two high-rises on the Upper West Side, capped with a widow's walk and many shuttered windows. The building dated from the Victorian era and had been a boarding school at one point and later a sanatorium, where the criminally insane lived out their frazzled lives.

The Manhattan School of Music and Performing Arts could have been home to dozens of spirits.

But none so immediate as the one who might be hovering here now, above the warm body of the young woman lying, stomach down, in the dim lobby outside a small recital hall. Her eyes were still and wide but not yet glassy, the blood on her cheek was not yet brown.

Her face was dark as plum from the constriction of the taut rope connecting her neck to her ankles.

Scattered around her were a flute case, sheet music and a spilled grande cup from Starbucks, the coffee staining her jeans and green Izod shirt and leaving a comma of dark liquid on the marble floor.

Also present was the man who'd killed her, bending down and examining her carefully. He was taking his time and felt no urge to rush. Today was Saturday, the hour early. There were no classes in the school on the weekends, he'd learned. Students did use the practice rooms but they were in a different wing of the building. He leaned closer to the woman, squinting, wondering if he could see some essence, some spirit rising from her body. He didn't.

He straightened up, considering what else he might do to the still form in front of him.


"You're sure it was screaming?"

"Yeah....No," the security guard said. "Maybe not screaming, you know. Shouting. Upset. For just a second or two. Then it stopped."

Officer Diane Franciscovich, a portable working out of the Twentieth Precinct, continued, "Anybody else hear anything?"

The heavy guard, breathing hard, glanced at the tall, brunette policewoman, shook his head and flexed and opened his huge hands. He wiped his dark palms on his blue slacks.

"Call for backup?" asked Nancy Ausonio, another young patrol officer, shorter than her partner, blonde.

Franciscovich didn't think so, though she wasn't sure. Portables walking the beat in this part of the Upper West Side dealt mostly with traffic accidents, shoplifting and car theft (as well as holding the hands of distraught muggees). This was a first for them -- the two women officers, on their Saturday morning watch, had been spotted on the sidewalk and motioned urgently inside by the guard to help check out the screaming. Well, upset shouting.

"Let's hold off," the calm Franciscovich said. "See what's going on."

The guard said, "Sounded like it was comin' from 'round here somewhere. Dunno."

"Spooky place," Ausonio offered, oddly uneasy; she was the partner most likely to leap into the middle of a dispute, even if it involved combatants twice her size.

"The sounds, you know. Hard to tell. You know what I'm sayin'? Where they're coming from."

Franciscovich was focusing on what her partner had said. Damn spooky place, she added silently.

Seeming miles of dim corridors later, finding nothing out of the ordinary, the security guard paused.

Franciscovich nodded to a doorway in front of them. "What's through here?"

"Be no reason for students t'be there. It's only -- "

Franciscovich pushed the door open.

Inside was a small lobby that led to a door labeled Recital Hall A. And near that door was the body of a young woman, trussed up, rope around her neck, hands in cuffs. Eyes open in death. A brown-haired, bearded man in his early fifties crouched over her. He looked up, surprised at their entry.

"No!" Ausonio cried.

"Oh, Christ," the guard gasped.

The officers drew their weapons and Franciscovich sighted down on the man with what she thought was a surprisingly steady hand. "You, don't move! Stand up slow, move away from her and put your hands in the air." Her voice was much less firm than the fingers gripping the Glock pistol.

The man did as he was told.

"Lie face down on floor. Keep your hands in sight!"

Ausonio started forward to the girl.

It was then Franciscovich noticed that the man's right hand, over his head, was closed in a fist.

"Open your -- "

Pop...

She went blind as a flash of searing light filled the room. It seemed to come directly from the suspect's hand and hovered for a moment before going out. Ausonio froze and Franciscovich went into a crouch, scrabbling backward and squinting, swinging the gun back and forth. Panicked, she knew the killer had kept his eyes shut when the flash went off and would be aiming his own weapon at them or charging forward with a knife.

"Where, where, where?" she shouted.

Then she saw -- vaguely thanks to her frizzled vision and the dissipating smoke -- the killer running into the recital hall. He slammed the door shut. There was a thud inside as he moved a chair or table against the door.

Ausonio dropped to her knees in front of the girl. With a Swiss army knife she cut the rope off her neck, rolled her over and, using a disposable mouthpiece, started CPR.

"Any other exits?" Franciscovich shouted to the guard.

"Only one -- in the back, around the corner. To the right."

"Windows?"

"No."

"Hey," she called to Ausonio as she started sprinting. "Watch this door!"

"Got it," the blonde officer called and blew another breath into the victim's pale lips.

More thuds from inside as the killer beefed up his barricade; Franciscovich sprinted around the corner, toward the door the guard had told them about, calling for backup on her Motorola. As she looked ahead she saw someone standing at the end of the corridor. Franciscovich stopped fast, drew a target on the man's chest and shone the brilliant beam from her halogen flashlight on him.

"Lord," croaked the elderly janitor, dropping the broom he held.

Franciscovich thanked God she'd kept her finger outside the trigger guard of the Glock. "You see somebody come out of that door?"

"What's going on?"

"You see anybody?" Franciscovich shouted.

"No, ma'am."

"How long you been here?"

"I don't know. Ten minutes, I'd guess."

There was another thud of furniture from inside as the killer continued to blockade the door. Franciscovich sent the janitor into the main corridor with the security guard then eased up to the side door. Gun held high, eye level, she tested the knob gently. It was unlocked. She stepped to the side so she wouldn't be in the line of fire if the perp shot through the wood. A trick she remembered from NYPD Blue, though an instructor might've mentioned it at the Academy too.

Another thump from inside.

"Nancy, you there?" Franciscovich whispered into her handy-talkie.

Ausonio's voice, shaky, said, "She's dead, Diane. I tried. But she's dead."

"He didn't get out this way. He's still inside. I can hear him." Silence.

"I tried, Diane. I tried."

"Forget it. Come on. You on this? You on it?"

"Yeah, I'm cool. Really." The officer's voice hardened. "Let's go get him."

"No," Franciscovich said, "we'll keep him contained till ESU gets here. That's all we've got to do. Sit tight. Stay clear of the door. And sit tight."

Which is when she heard the man shout from inside, "I've got a hostage. I've got a girl in here. Try to get in and I'll kill her!"

Oh, Jesus...

"You, inside!" Franciscovich shouted. "Nobody's going to do anything. Don't worry. Just don't hurt anybody else." Was this procedure? she wondered. Neither prime-time television nor her Academy training was any help here. She heard Ausonio call Central and report that the situation was now a barricade and hostage-taking.

Franciscovich called to the killer, "Just take it easy! You can -- "

A huge gunshot from inside. Franciscovich jumped like a fish. "What happened? Was that you?" she shouted into her radio.

"No," her partner replied, "I thought it was you."

"No. It was him. You okay?"

"Yeah. He said he's got a hostage. You think he shot her?"

"I don't know. How do I know?" Franciscovich, thinking: Where the hell is the backup?

"Diane," Ausonio whispered after a moment. "We've gotta go in. Maybe she's hurt. Maybe she's wounded." Then, shouting: "You, inside!" No answer. "You!"

Nothing.

"Maybe he killed himself," Franciscovich offered.

Or maybe he fired the shot to make us think he'd killed himself and he's waiting inside, drawing a target gut high on the doorway.

Then that terrible image returned to her: the seedy door to the recital lobby opening, casting the pale light on the victim, her face blue and cold as winter dusk. Stopping people from doing things like this was why she'd become a cop in the first place.

"We have to go in, Diane," Ausonio whispered.

"That's what I'm thinking. Okay. We'll go in." Speaking a bit manically as she thought of both her family and how to curl her left hand over her right when firing an automatic pistol in a combat shooting situation. "Tell the guard we'll need lights inside the hall."

A moment later Ausonio said, "The switch is out here. He'll turn 'em on when I say so." A deep breath that Franciscovich heard through the microphone. Then Ausonio said, "Ready. On three. You count it."

"Okay. One...Wait. I'll be coming in from your two o'clock. Don't shoot me."

"Okay. Two o'clock. I'll be -- "

"You'll be on my left."

"Go ahead."

"One." Franciscovich gripped the knob with her left hand. "Two."

This time her finger slipped inside the guard of her weapon, gently caressing the second trigger -- the safety on Glock pistols.

"Three!" Franciscovich shouted so loud that she was sure her partner heard the call without the radio. She shoved through the doorway into the large rectangular room just as the glaring lights came on.

"Freeze!" she screamed -- to an empty room.

Crouching, skin humming with the tension, she swung her weapon from side to side as she scanned every inch of the space.

No sign of the killer, no sign of a hostage.

A glance to her left, the other doorway, where Nancy Ausonio stood, doing the same frantic scan of the room. "Where?" the woman whispered.

Franciscovich shook her head. She noticed about fifty wooden folding chairs arranged in neat rows. Four or five of them were lying on their backs or sides. But they didn't seem to be a barricade; they were randomly kicked over. To her right was a low stage. On it sat an amplifier and two speakers. A battered grand piano.

The young officers could see virtually everything in the room.

Except the perp.

"What happened, Nancy? Tell me what happened."

Ausonio didn't answer; like her partner she was looking around frantically, three-sixty, checking out every shadow, every piece of furniture, even though it was clear the man wasn't here.

Spooky...

The room was essentially a sealed cube. No windows. The air-conditioning and heating vents were only six inches across. A wooden ceiling, not acoustic tile. No trapdoors that she could see. No doors other than the main one Ausonio had used and the fire door that Franciscovich had entered through.

Where? Franciscovich mouthed.

Her partner mouthed something back. The policewoman couldn't decipher it but the message could be read in her face: I don't have a clue.

"Yo," a loud voice called from the doorway. They spun toward it, drawing targets on the empty lobby. "Ambulance and some other officers just got here." It was the security guard, hiding out of sight.

Heart slamming from the fright, Franciscovich called him inside.

He asked, "Is it, uhm...I mean, you get him?"

"He's not here," Ausonio said in a shaky voice.

"What?" The man peeked cautiously into the hall.

Franciscovich heard the voices of the officers and EMS techs arriving. The jangle of equipment. Still, the women couldn't bring themselves to join their fellow cops just yet. They stood transfixed in the middle of the recital space, both uneasy and bewildered, trying vainly to figure out how the killer had escaped from a room from which there was no escape.

Copyright © 2003 by Jeffery Deaver

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Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

Greetings, Revered Audience. Welcome.

Welcome to our show.

We have a number of thrills in store for you over the next two days as our illusionists, our magicians, our sleight-of-hand artists weave their spells to delight and captivate you.

Our first routine is from the repertoire of a performer everyone's heard of: Harry Houdini, the greatest escape artist in America, if not the world, a man who performed before crowned heads of state and U.S. presidents. Some of his escapes are so difficult no one has dared attempt them, all these years after his untimely death.

Today we'll re-create an escape in which he risked suffocation in a routine known as the Lazy Hangman.

In this trick, our performer lies prone on the belly, hands bound behind the back with classic Darby handcuffs. The ankles are tied together and another length of rope is wound around the neck, like a noose, and tied to the ankles. The tendency of the legs to straighten pulls the noose taut and begins the terrible process of suffocation.

Why is it called the "Lazy" Hangman? Because the condemned executes himself.

In many of Mr. Houdini's more dangerous routines, assistants were present with knives and keys to release him in the event that he was unable to escape. Often a doctor was on hand.

Today, there'll be none of these precautions. If there's no escape within four minutes, the performer will die.

We begin in a moment...but first a word of advice:

Never forget that by entering our show you're abandoning reality.

What you're absolutelyconvinced you see might not exist at all. What you know has to be an illusion may turn out to be God's harsh truth.

Your companion at our show might turn out to be a total stranger. A man or woman in the audience you don't recognize may know you far too well.

What seems safe may be deadly. And the dangers you guard against may be nothing more than distractions to lure you to greater danger.

In our show what can you believe? Whom can you trust?

Well, Revered Audience, the answer is that you should believe nothing.

And you should trust no one. No one at all.

Now, the curtain rises, the lights dim, the music fades, leaving only the sublime sound of hearts beating in anticipation.

And our show begins....


The building looked as if it'd seen its share of ghosts.

Gothic, sooty, dark. Sandwiched between two high-rises on the Upper West Side, capped with a widow's walk and many shuttered windows. The building dated from the Victorian era and had been a boarding school at one point and later a sanatorium, where the criminally insane lived out their frazzled lives.

The Manhattan School of Music and Performing Arts could have been home to dozens of spirits.

But none so immediate as the one who might be hovering here now, above the warm body of the young woman lying, stomach down, in the dim lobby outside a small recital hall. Her eyes were still and wide but not yet glassy, the blood on her cheek was not yet brown.

Her face was dark as plum from the constriction of the taut rope connecting her neck to her ankles.

Scattered around her were a flute case, sheet music and a spilled grande cup from Starbucks, the coffee staining her jeans and green Izod shirt and leaving a comma of dark liquid on the marble floor.

Also present was the man who'd killed her, bending down and examining her carefully. He was taking his time and felt no urge to rush. Today was Saturday, the hour early. There were no classes in the school on the weekends, he'd learned. Students did use the practice rooms but they were in a different wing of the building. He leaned closer to the woman, squinting, wondering if he could see some essence, some spirit rising from her body. He didn't.

He straightened up, considering what else he might do to the still form in front of him.

"You're sure it was screaming?"

"Yeah....No," the security guard said. "Maybe not screaming, you know. Shouting. Upset. For just a second or two. Then it stopped."

Officer Diane Franciscovich, a portable working out of the Twentieth Precinct, continued, "Anybody else hear anything?"

The heavy guard, breathing hard, glanced at the tall, brunette policewoman, shook his head and flexed and opened his huge hands. He wiped his dark palms on his blue slacks.

"Call for backup?" asked Nancy Ausonio, another young patrol officer, shorter than her partner, blonde.

Franciscovich didn't think so, though she wasn't sure. Portables walking the beat in this part of the Upper West Side dealt mostly with traffic accidents, shoplifting and car theft (as well as holding the hands of distraught muggees). This was a first for them -- the two women officers, on their Saturday morning watch, had been spotted on the sidewalk and motioned urgently inside by the guard to help check out the screaming. Well, upset shouting.

"Let's hold off," the calm Franciscovich said. "See what's going on."

The guard said, "Sounded like it was comin' from 'round here somewhere. Dunno."

"Spooky place," Ausonio offered, oddly uneasy; she was the partner most likely to leap into the middle of a dispute, even if it involved combatants twice her size.

"The sounds, you know. Hard to tell. You know what I'm sayin'? Where they're coming from."

Franciscovich was focusing on what her partner had said. Damn spooky place, she added silently.

Seeming miles of dim corridors later, finding nothing out of the ordinary, the security guard paused.

Franciscovich nodded to a doorway in front of them. "What's through here?"

"Be no reason for students t'be there. It's only -- "

Franciscovich pushed the door open.

Inside was a small lobby that led to a door labeled Recital Hall A. And near that door was the body of a young woman, trussed up, rope around her neck, hands in cuffs. Eyes open in death. A brown-haired, bearded man in his early fifties crouched over her. He looked up, surprised at their entry.

"No!" Ausonio cried.

"Oh, Christ," the guard gasped.

The officers drew their weapons and Franciscovich sighted down on the man with what she thought was a surprisingly steady hand. "You, don't move! Stand up slow, move away from her and put your hands in the air." Her voice was much less firm than the fingers gripping the Glock pistol.

The man did as he was told.

"Lie face down on floor. Keep your hands in sight!"

Ausonio started forward to the girl.

It was then Franciscovich noticed that the man's right hand, over his head, was closed in a fist.

"Open your -- "

Pop...

She went blind as a flash of searing light filled the room. It seemed to come directly from the suspect's hand and hovered for a moment before going out. Ausonio froze and Franciscovich went into a crouch, scrabbling backward and squinting, swinging the gun back and forth. Panicked, she knew the killer had kept his eyes shut when the flash went off and would be aiming his own weapon at them or charging forward with a knife.

"Where, where, where?" she shouted.

Then she saw -- vaguely thanks to her frizzled vision and the dissipating smoke -- the killer running into the recital hall. He slammed the door shut. There was a thud inside as he moved a chair or table against the door.

Ausonio dropped to her knees in front of the girl. With a Swiss army knife she cut the rope off her neck, rolled her over and, using a disposable mouthpiece, started CPR.

"Any other exits?" Franciscovich shouted to the guard.

"Only one -- in the back, around the corner. To the right."

"Windows?"

"No."

"Hey," she called to Ausonio as she started sprinting. "Watch this door!"

"Got it," the blonde officer called and blew another breath into the victim's pale lips.

More thuds from inside as the killer beefed up his barricade; Franciscovich sprinted around the corner, toward the door the guard had told them about, calling for backup on her Motorola. As she looked ahead she saw someone standing at the end of the corridor. Franciscovich stopped fast, drew a target on the man's chest and shone the brilliant beam from her halogen flashlight on him.

"Lord," croaked the elderly janitor, dropping the broom he held.

Franciscovich thanked God she'd kept her finger outside the trigger guard of the Glock. "You see somebody come out of that door?"

"What's going on?"

"You see anybody?" Franciscovich shouted.

"No, ma'am."

"How long you been here?"

"I don't know. Ten minutes, I'd guess."

There was another thud of furniture from inside as the killer continued to blockade the door. Franciscovich sent the janitor into the main corridor with the security guard then eased up to the side door. Gun held high, eye level, she tested the knob gently. It was unlocked. She stepped to the side so she wouldn't be in the line of fire if the perp shot through the wood. A trick she remembered from NYPD Blue, though an instructor might've mentioned it at the Academy too.

Another thump from inside.

"Nancy, you there?" Franciscovich whispered into her handy-talkie.

Ausonio's voice, shaky, said, "She's dead, Diane. I tried. But she's dead."

"He didn't get out this way. He's still inside. I can hear him." Silence.

"I tried, Diane. I tried."

"Forget it. Come on. You on this? You on it?"

"Yeah, I'm cool. Really." The officer's voice hardened. "Let's go get him."

"No," Franciscovich said, "we'll keep him contained till ESU gets here. That's all we've got to do. Sit tight. Stay clear of the door. And sit tight."

Which is when she heard the man shout from inside, "I've got a hostage. I've got a girl in here. Try to get in and I'll kill her!"

Oh, Jesus...

"You, inside!" Franciscovich shouted. "Nobody's going to do anything. Don't worry. Just don't hurt anybody else." Was this procedure? she wondered. Neither prime-time television nor her Academy training was any help here. She heard Ausonio call Central and report that the situation was now a barricade and hostage-taking.

Franciscovich called to the killer, "Just take it easy! You can -- "

A huge gunshot from inside. Franciscovich jumped like a fish. "What happened? Was that you?" she shouted into her radio.

"No," her partner replied, "I thought it was you."

"No. It was him. You okay?"

"Yeah. He said he's got a hostage. You think he shot her?"

"I don't know. How do I know?" Franciscovich, thinking: Where the hell is the backup?

"Diane," Ausonio whispered after a moment. "We've gotta go in. Maybe she's hurt. Maybe she's wounded." Then, shouting: "You, inside!" No answer. "You!"

Nothing.

"Maybe he killed himself," Franciscovich offered.

Or maybe he fired the shot to make us think he'd killed himself and he's waiting inside, drawing a target gut high on the doorway.

Then that terrible image returned to her: the seedy door to the recital lobby opening, casting the pale light on the victim, her face blue and cold as winter dusk. Stopping people from doing things like this was why she'd become a cop in the first place.

"We have to go in, Diane," Ausonio whispered.

"That's what I'm thinking. Okay. We'll go in." Speaking a bit manically as she thought of both her family and how to curl her left hand over her right when firing an automatic pistol in a combat shooting situation. "Tell the guard we'll need lights inside the hall."

A moment later Ausonio said, "The switch is out here. He'll turn 'em on when I say so." A deep breath that Franciscovich heard through the microphone. Then Ausonio said, "Ready. On three. You count it."

"Okay. One...Wait. I'll be coming in from your two o'clock. Don't shoot me."

"Okay. Two o'clock. I'll be -- "

"You'll be on my left."

"Go ahead."

"One." Franciscovich gripped the knob with her left hand. "Two."

This time her finger slipped inside the guard of her weapon, gently caressing the second trigger -- the safety on Glock pistols.

"Three!" Franciscovich shouted so loud that she was sure her partner heard the call without the radio. She shoved through the doorway into the large rectangular room just as the glaring lights came on.

"Freeze!" she screamed -- to an empty room.

Crouching, skin humming with the tension, she swung her weapon from side to side as she scanned every inch of the space.

No sign of the killer, no sign of a hostage.

A glance to her left, the other doorway, where Nancy Ausonio stood, doing the same frantic scan of the room. "Where?" the woman whispered.

Franciscovich shook her head. She noticed about fifty wooden folding chairs arranged in neat rows. Four or five of them were lying on their backs or sides. But they didn't seem to be a barricade; they were randomly kicked over. To her right was a low stage. On it sat an amplifier and two speakers. A battered grand piano.

The young officers could see virtually everything in the room.

Except the perp.

"What happened, Nancy? Tell me what happened."

Ausonio didn't answer; like her partner she was looking around frantically, three-sixty, checking out every shadow, every piece of furniture, even though it was clear the man wasn't here.

Spooky...

The room was essentially a sealed cube. No windows. The air-conditioning and heating vents were only six inches across. A wooden ceiling, not acoustic tile. No trapdoors that she could see. No doors other than the main one Ausonio had used and the fire door that Franciscovich had entered through.

Where? Franciscovich mouthed.

Her partner mouthed something back. The policewoman couldn't decipher it but the message could be read in her face: I don't have a clue.

"Yo," a loud voice called from the doorway. They spun toward it, drawing targets on the empty lobby. "Ambulance and some other officers just got here." It was the security guard, hiding out of sight.

Heart slamming from the fright, Franciscovich called him inside.

He asked, "Is it, uhm...I mean, you get him?"

"He's not here," Ausonio said in a shaky voice.

"What?" The man peeked cautiously into the hall.

Franciscovich heard the voices of the officers and EMS techs arriving. The jangle of equipment. Still, the women couldn't bring themselves to join their fellow cops just yet. They stood transfixed in the middle of the recital space, both uneasy and bewildered, trying vainly to figure out how the killer had escaped from a room from which there was no escape.

Copyright © 2003 by Jeffery Deaver
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

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(30)

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(21)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Pretty Good but Not Deaver's Best

    Like all of the Deaver books the plot is complex and there are many surprises. Alas, the plot kinks don't seem to have adequate foundation making them and the dialog a bit forced. Somehow this book misses the immediacy and drama of some of his other works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    ONE OF HIS BEST !!

    If you are a Jeff Deaver fan, don't let this one get away. I read this years ago, then when I bought an ebook reader, this was the first book I downloaded.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS, WELCOME TO THE SHOW!!!!

    "They were everywhere. <BR/><BR/>Serveral squadcars had surrounded the house. The carnvial of headlights had illuminated the area. Officers at the scene were doing their usual hostage routine, dispaching their account of the crime, following thier continuing skulk toward the house with their pistols. <BR/><BR/>It was a very important day for Detective Vince Rapp. After hunting the long-time serial murder Mick Raines for nine months,having to go with one vague clue after another, he thought to himself that enough was enough. Today, he was going to nail the no good bastard. <BR/><BR/>Just to ensure that he was utilizing his resources, he made a dispatch to Jack Barnes, his cheif lieutenant. After a few beeps on his Motorola handset, a voice picked up.'Lieutenant Barnes'. <BR/><BR/>'Lieutenant, it's Rapp. I'm sick and tired of waiting here. We should move in on Raines now.' <BR/><BR/>'Rapp, I'm warning you. This is your last chance to get him. You screw up on this one and I'll have your badge. Do I make myself clear?' <BR/><BR/>The tone of Barnes's voice had Rapp swallowing hard. 'Yes, sir.' <BR/><BR/>Placing him on hold for the moment, Rapp picked up the bullhorn and yelled "Raines!!! This is Rapp from the police department. I know you're in there. We're going to give you untill the count of ten to come out with your hands up. Ten...Nine...Eight...Se- <BR/><BR/>POW!!!POW!!!POW!!! <BR/><BR/>In three blasts, the entire crowd was shaken. Individuals watching behind the police tape ran for cover. Officers standing by were rushing the news crews away from the scene. <BR/><BR/>Wasting no time at all, Rapp ordered the SWAT team inside. The entire crew, swarmed in like a group of hornets entering their nest. While every member was searching for Raines, the question that was lingering in Rapp's mind was rather or not we would get his break today. <BR/><BR/>After searching the last room, Rapp saw no sign of Raines. The only thing that was visible was a blood smeared message on the wall in bold letters:GOTCHA. <BR/><BR/>Just a moment after, a Barnes came through on his handset. 'Rapp. Do you have Raines? I repeat, do you have Raines?" <BR/><BR/>Placing the handset in front of him, Rapp said 'NEGATIVE ON THAT SIR!!! SUSPECT HAS DISAPPEARED!!! I REPEAT, RAINES HAS DISAPPEARED!!!'" <BR/><BR/>This scene is just an example of the crime scenes in store for NYPD forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, partner/lover, in THE VANISHED MAN. For his fifth installment in the notorious series, bestselling mystery writer Jeffery Deaver has the duo move through the smoke and mirrors to find their next killer. <BR/><BR/>The pursuit by the two begins following a murder inside a music school. After fleeing away from the crime scene, the killer disappears after locking himself inside a windowless room. After being informed about this fiasco, the disabled criminologist and his partner begin a pursuit of a killer they knickname as the "Conjurer," a master illusionist who comitts each of his crimes using his 'sleight of hand.' With every gruesome murder that he commits, they evidently prove that this is not your average magician who pulls rabbits out of a hat. And with an illusionist as thier aide, the soon discover that this madman beholds a horrifying trick up under his sleeve. <BR/><BR/>Known for his usual chicanery in his plot twists, Deaver clevery creates this in THE VANISHED MAN, only now making it the main focus in this story. The enigmatic twists that he creates in the book are mezmerizing and will without a doubt kee

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Deavers conjures up a great police procedural

    He is the Conjurer, a master illusionist and magician who makes Houdini seem like an amateur. He no longer performs publicly because a fire left him with horrible burn scars on his face and neck and lung damage so he can no longer interact with an audience. Instead of public performances, he kills people with his first victim murdered in an odd and vicious way, performing for an audience that exists in his own mind. Quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme and New York Police Officer Amelia Sachs, his partner both in work and in their personal lives struggle to catch the Conjurer but he is a master escape artist who successfully eludes his captors many times. His misdirection is so brilliant that he even fools the brilliant Rhyme as to what his ultimate goal is. If Lincoln fails to figure it out soon, many more innocents will die. Anyone who likes a great police procedural or enjoys learning about a magician¿s tricks will want to read THE VANISHED MAN. There are so many twists and red herrings in the story line that the audience will feel as bewildered as Lincoln is by the clever sleight of the hand plotting of Jeffrey Deaver. The brilliant writer tells a strong tale that includes a beautiful relationship and love story between the hero and his assistant. Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    fantastic read

    loved every word of this book. couldn't put it down. best Deaver novel yet. He has polished his technique for story telling and kept the suspense thru the whole book.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    One of the best in the Lincoln Rhyme Series

    I am always surprised with the twists and turns that Jeffery Deaver thows at us in his novels. This story explores the dark side of human nature that can take hold of people as they come to grips with tragedies from their past. It also delves into how people use their skills for either good or evil to reach the end of their quest. This story is "magic". Rhyme and Sachs seem to always be able to find experts in the case to help them along to find the bad guy. I like how Deaver weaves the outsider's story into the overall picture of the novel so that we can see what drives the character. When I started reading the Rhyme series a friend of mine said that "Jeffery Deaver is WEIRD". I am so glad because that weirdness makes for fantastic reading.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Suspense Fans! Highly recommend this one!

    This is my favorite Lincoln Rhyme novel by Jeffery Deaver. "The Conjurer" is the name Rhyme gives to the magician and mentalist who keeps him stymied almost throughout the entire book. Deaver will keep your mind twisting and turning until the very end. I finally got my book club to read a Deaver novel and this is the one I chose. 12 people read the book, 10 really enjoyed it, (the other two don't enjoy this type of writing.) Two have requested I share my other Deaver novels with them, one saying she has a new favorite author! I strongly suggest this one as your first Lincoln Rhyme novel. You will want more!! Enjoy!

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    great Lincoln Rhyme - as always!

    If you liked the others, you'll like this. If you haven't read the others, this can still stand alone. But, you would enjoy all of them.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Well I know a lot more about magic tricks...

    I've read many Jeffery Deaver novels and have enjoyed each and every one!! I had difficulty keeping up with all the twists...never a dull moment...love the characters and their importance in the story line.

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Book Review- The Vanished Man

    During my winter break I had the opportunity to read a very intriguing book called The Vanished Man. The book talks about a serial killer living in New York disguised as a magician. All of his kills are performed as an illusion trick, which makes the character a very unique one. The story starts with an act of murder and rapidly turns out to be a chase between Malerick, which is the serial killer, and the cops. This is when Forensic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme and Sachs along with an aspiring illusionist named Kara came in to help catch Malerick.

    I found the plot very interesting because the illusionist, Malerick, always was able to escape from the police. This contributed to the plot in a great way due to the fact that the story was all about him and if they caught him the story would be over. He utilized a quick-change technique used by magicians, therefore he never left any evidence of his crimes and left the reader hypnotized to what he was going to do next. This is the reason for the title since he was always vanishing from every crime scene he was put up to. I found these situations very amusing, since it was always exhilarating to see if Malerick was going to be able to pull it through again.

    The fact that this novel is the fifth of the Lincoln Rhyme Series makes things even more tense. The reason for this would be because things are left incomplete; therefore you're forced to keep on reading. The Vanished Man is a highly addictive book; a description that clearly fits to this reading would be a masterpiece for modern criminology. Finally, if you like to read well-written mysteries, this is the ideal book for you.

    I would definitely recommend this book, since it's easy to understand and really makes you go deep inside the plot. Chicago Sun-Times described it as a "crackling thriller" and I couldn't agree more. The very first moment you start reading it you're stuck with it until the end. This book fits all ages, since it's a topic that interests us all. Lastly, reading this book will open your imagination to the exterior and find your passion for entertainment you have deep inside your soul. In conclusion, I couldn't have spent my vacations in a better way because The Vanished Man made them incredible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    Very Good!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was full of surprises and twists that kept me guessing. I found it very hard to put down. --K--

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    A music school student is murdered and the killer flees into a locked classroom with no way out. When the police break down the door, the killer has vanished. Criminalist Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate. It doesn¿t take them long to figure out the police were duped by the killer, whom they name ¿the conjurer¿ due to his magical feats in escaping. The conjurer leads the police on a meandering investigation as he continues on his killing spree, leaving behind bits of evidence which they eventually learn are clues to deliberately misdirect them. Rhyme can¿t help but be impressed by the conjurer¿s skills at illusion and magic. With the aid of Kara, a student illusionist, Rhyme and Sachs attempt to catch their killer through their own planned misdirections.<BR/><BR/>Deaver writes an exceptional series with outstanding characters. Rhyme is a brilliant man frustrated with his physical disability who relies on Sachs¿s skills at gathering evidence and investigating onsite. The two make for one powerful team, aided by detectives within the New York Police Department. Kara is an intriguing character, a young woman talented in magic who despairs over the mental health of her mother and sacrifices much for her welfare. As always, deeper, underlying layers of Rhyme¿s and Sachs¿s personas are subtly unveiled. Deaver leads the reader through a complicated mystery, filled with twists and turns, the final one which the reader won¿t see coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008

    Not what I expected

    Deaver is a master in this genre, I have read all of his titles to date and this one was good but just a bit to 'out of the box' for me. I like fiction just like the next guy but some things just need to be a bit more practical and plausible to keep you saying, oh wow! This killer is good at what he does and while its believable to a point you sort of start to think - What? What in the world just happened...... When it comes to Amelia, it blows my mind at how Deaver always puts her in the middle of a NASCAR race while traveling the streets of NY. Cmon guy lighten up on the 100 mph talk and have her catch a cab or two like the rest of us. While this book is certainly entertaining you will really think, oh man...not again. He did what? Sure he did..... Over the top for me when it was read in a small club of Deaver fans everyone was feeling a bit giddy with the overactive imagination of Deaver in this one. Certainly not Bone Collector or even The Stone Monkey. This is bargain bin only in my opinion unless you really like things over the top....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    A PERFECT READ

    The Vanished Man - one of my favorite books of all time. An excellent story, excellent characters, excellent chase scenes . . . what more could you ask for. Jeffery Deaver is the definition of suspense which there is no lack of in this Deaver masterpiece!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2005

    Another Great Book by Deaver

    The Vanished man was one of the best books I have ever read. It keeps the reader in suspense for the entire book, from cover to cover. You never know what is going to happen, so it makes you think and try to solve the mystery. Jeffrey also has a knack for writing in a way that creates a great picture in the reader's mind, causing them to stop and picture it in their mind. Deaver has created another all-star cast of characters, with Lincoln Rhyme being the star again. He uses great details and descriptions to give these characters a true picture that I can see in my head. He uses twists and turns in the plot, but keeps the confusion at a minimum. I really enjoyed this book, and I think that I will now have to read all of Jeffrey Deaver's works. I recommend this book to all people who like mysteries, or just to anyone who needs a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2004

    The Vanished Plot

    I'm so disappointed in this book -- Deaver can do much better (read Stone Monkey or some earlier works). This book is TERRIBLE. The plot involves an insane magician whose wife is killed by a risky illusion -- or does it really? Just when you 'think' you know who did it, the plot twists and turns in the most unbelievable ways possible. Illusions abound -- new consultants are brought in to help, but apparently only as a plot device to give the story more twists and turns than is necessary or tolerable. Once again, the villain breaks into Rhyme's apartment to put the criminalist in danger -- or does he? Again, another unnecessary plot twist and it stretches the bounds of disbelief -- how many times have we read about some villian slipping into Rhyme's bedroom to do him harm? This is the most at-risk homebound quadriplegic in all the world, certainly in all the literary world. Amelia is back, too -- still griping about her arthritic knees, still fending off advances from every heterosexual male in the entire state of New York, and still driving her 'yellow Corvette with a RACING HARNESS' through the streets of New York City at 90 miles an hour. And that's an exact quote from the book. Overall the plot is too confusing, too long, too implausible. Deaver needs to go back to what made these stories interesting, the relationship between Sachs and Rhyme, but even that is becoming cliched. I think it might be time to either give Rhyme back his legs and have him 'walking the grid' with Sachs or retire them both. If you're interested in good fiction, check out Robert Crais.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    twists and turns (complete understatement)

    I didn't appreciate the language but I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. Absolutely on the edge of my seat. You won't know what's going to happen at the beginning or in the middle and you will never guess the ending. I was completely enthralled with this book, and I'll admit, a little freaked out to be by myself for a while afterwords.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2003

    Amen! Excellent Fiction!

    This has to be one of the best thrillers I have read in ages! I was completely enthralled! Get out your credit card and order this SAME DAY DELIVERY!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2003

    Excellent Mystery

    This book featuring theforensic scientist Lincoln Rhyme and the detective Ameilia Sachs is a great muder mystery book. While reading this book the reader learns all kinds of terms used in the world of crime scene investigation. I would recomend this book to any who like muder mysteries and to anyone who likes a really god book. I really like the way the author portrays the characters in the book and really get into depth as to how the character really search a crime scene and the procedure of it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2003

    Best Thriller/Crime I have ever read

    This book defines the genre. Absolutely incredible. I do not know how Deavers does it. Suspensful, edge of seat thrills, could not put it down. Only one drawback - you finish it - how could anything ever top this? This book must be on your read NOW list. I have purposely avoided any discussion of the plot, etc. It should be a joy for you from page one. Get it now.

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