The 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)
In this fast-paced, well-narrated thriller, Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic criminologist first introduced in The Bone Collector, and his protegee, Amelia Sachs, are recruited by the FBI and the INS to track down a notorious human smuggler nicknamed "The Ghost." After being approached by a Coast Guard vessel, Ghost blows up his own ship, along with its cargo of two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, in order to avoid capture. When two lucky families manage to escape the explosion and make it to New York City, Ghost sets out to kill the survivors before the authorities can locate them among the millions of Chinese immigrants. More than an engaging police procedural, this also offers an interesting glimpse into contemporary Chinese American culture. Veteran narrator William Dufris shines as all of Deaver's characters, but his portrayal of the wacky Chinese mainland detective recruited to help Lincoln is especially enjoyable. Recommended for all popular collections.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-The FBI and immigration officials are ready to intercept a cargo vessel filled with illegal Chinese immigrants who have paid huge sums of money to be smuggled into the United States. The man at the helm and ruthless organizer of the smuggling enterprise is code-named "the Ghost." As the authorities approach, he blows up the boat, locking the Chinese inside while he flees. Two families survive the explosion and swim to shore. Wheelchair-bound forensics-expert Lincoln Rhyme and his partner/lover Amelia Sachs begin the race against time to find the families before the Ghost kills them. With enough twists and turns to make readers dizzy, Lincoln and Amelia track him down. Time and again readers are convinced of the Ghost's identity and location only to realize they have been misled. This action-packed novel will keep YAs entertained and guessing until the last page.-Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
An expert but oddly uninvolving thriller in which a murderous Chinese smuggler of illegals tracks the survivors of a disastrous Long Island landing, hotly pursued himself by a galaxy of cops directed by quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme. The ship carrying Kwan Ang, the snakehead better known as Gui, the Ghost, and his cargo of human "piglets" has almost made land when he finds the Coast Guard bearing down on him and promptly blows up the ship, planning to escape to shore and disappear in Manhattan's Chinatown. But ten members of two families, mostly women and children, succeed in escaping as well, along with ruthless Sonny Li and dissident physician John Sung, who fall into the hands of the FBI. The other survivors, whose testimony could put the Ghost away for a good long time, vanish into the bowels of the city. Can Rhyme, together with Crime Scene officer Amelia Sachs, his eyes, ears, and love, and dozens of bigwigs and minions from the NYPD, the FBI, and the INS catch up with the Ghost before-aided by a bangshou, an unnamed source within the investigation-he catches up with the families who refused to die? Veterans of the series won't be surprised by Deaver's surgical skill in cutting between predators and prey, setting up taxing ordeals and violent confrontations, and springing surprises long after a less inventive plotter would have thrown in the towel. But because he never develops the potential victims in the Wu and Chang families, the nonstop battle between good and evil remains nearly as abstract as the wei-chi game it's constantly compared to. So many incidental pleasures that it seems ungracious to note that, like Rhyme's last case (The Empty Chair, 2000, etc.), this oneseems detached and synthetic, like a five-finger exercise for some awfully busy fingers.
People Rock-solid suspense.
San Jose Mercury News [Deaver] can give the reader whiplash with his twists and turns.
The New York Times Book Review [Deaver's] labyrinthine plots are astonishing.
Publishers Weekly Monkey see, monkey do....and this monkey did the best so far.