A while ago I went to a reading by Jeffery Deaver at Waterstones & had a really great night listening to him talk about his writing process & about his latest book – The Burning Wire & afterward Mr. Deaver signed copies of his books.
The Burning Wire is a Lincoln Rhyme novel, which was excellent news for me – I think that the Lincoln Rhyme series are Deaver’s best. It follows the trail of a man bent on destroying New York City, using the electricity grid as his murder tool. As usual this book featured the usual Rhyme cast of characters – Sachs, Mel, Thom, Polaski & Kathryn Dance (via telephone) & the patented Deaver plot twists & turns, but all that couldn’t save this book! I started reading The Burning Wire on the bus home from the Deaver reading, with his words ringing in my head – Deaver said there was nothing he hated more than an author who gives you a book filled with suspense, drama, excellent characters – in essence everything you could want, then gives you a dud ending. Well, that’s what happened in this book. Deaver’s characters are excellent, the plot is brilliant, it’s full of suspense, drama & unexpected twists & then he goes & throws in the cheesiest ending! Not to mention the boring lessons on electricity! I found myself skimming the more “technical”parts of the book. I wanted a murder mystery, not Electricity for Dummies!
I seriously wanted to take the book back to Waterstones & tell them that I wanted my money back, that Deaver had ripped me off! Not only do you get the worst ending possible to the mystery, you also get the re-hash of Rhyme’s “will I, won’t I” of exploring the possibilities of surgery to get him out of his chair.
As sad as it makes me to say this – I think that Deaver needs to retire Rhyme, Sachs et al, write something completely new & maybe come back to them in 4 or 5 years.