Tag Archives: Jeffery Deaver

Edge by Jeffery Deaver

I am a Deaverette – as in I love Jeffery Deaver’s books. I devour them. I think Deaver is a genius & there are none better at weaving a suspenseful tale. Now, just because I think Deaver is a god in his genre, I am not adverse to pointing out where I think he has gone badly wrong (like the last couple books he has written – they have been good books, but by Deaver standards were really sub-par).

Just so you know, before you read any further, I need to let you know that this review is going to be a little different from usual, because I am going to give away something about the plot in this review. I normally do my utmost to describe why or what about a book I like, or dislike without revealing anything you couldn’t have go from reading the back of the book. I just know that I have read reviews that have ruined books for me, so I try to avoid doing that. I don’t think I can do that with this book, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read past the spoiler alert tag below. You have been warned.

Deaver’s latest offering (or latest to me, as I am a little behind), Edge, is a brilliant return to Deaveresqueness (ok, I know, not a real word, but it should be!). Deaver is a master of the plot twist – just when you think you have things figured out he goes & proves just how wrong you are, but does it brilliantly. Lately those twists had seemed to be a little too predictable & the endings of his last couple books really ticked me off – they were cop-outs. Something I never thought I would be saying about a Deaver novel.

Well, Edge is, as I said above, a true return to form for Deaver. This book had me gripped right from the very beginning & didn’t let go until the very end. Edge is about Officer Corte, the head shepherd of a government protection unit. He’s brought in to protect the Kessler’s when it is discovered that Henry Loving, a notorious “Lifter” has been hired to extract information from them. (Lifters are very nasty men who are hired to get information from people by any means necessary.) Corte and Loving are old enemies & Corte will do anything in his power to see that Loving is caught, but does that mean jeopardising the safety of the very people he is supposed to protect? Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out!!! And, if I may be so bold, I would like to say that if you are a fan of what I like to call “Murder, Mystery, Mayhem” books, then you MUST read this book!!!

****SPOILER ALERT****

I love the way that Deaver writes this book – the style that he uses & telling us just enough about Corte to keep us interested, but not really giving away anything about Corte the man until at least 3/4 of the way through the book. Deaver did a great job at making it seem like Corte’s family had been destroyed by a stalker. That said, this is about the only thing that I would have changed about Edge. While the bits that Deaver reveals give little away, & are of themselves a bit of a plot twist, I think it would have been better to have given nothing away, to make us continue to believe that Corte is a single man who has no family, then have the same ending as what exists in the book. I just think that the shock of the ending it would have been so much better that way!

 

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Reading book series' in order – how often does it matter?

I read a lot of series of books – Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher books, Ian Rankin‘s Rebus series, Jeffery Deaver‘s Lincoln Rhyme series,  etc, etc & I have religiously read them in the correct order. I think it’s important to read them in the order that they were published, as you are reading them as the author intended & often there are small nuances in books, connecting details, that if you read them out of order could make the stories less effective, make less sense & potentially could ruin subsequent stories by giving away things that you wouldn’t necessarily know, not having  already read the earlier books in the series.

There are other series’ where it doesn’t so much matter whether you read them in any order. Series where  the main characters may remain the same, but because there is little to no chronology to the books, reading them out of order matters less. In these kind of series the author ensures you know what you need to about the main characters. Back references about the main characters  to make sure you know enough to ensure you can read the books in any order you want. The Sherlock Holmes books specifically spring to mind. Each of those books, while about the same core of characters, can be read as individual stand-alone books.

Well, it turns out that I have recently broken my unwritten rule & have read 2 books in a series – out of order. Obviously I didn’t realise at the time that I was doing this, otherwise I would have chosen a different book to read. Unfortunately, the  books in question were part of a series that need to be read in order, especially the 2 I read – Stone Cold & The Collectors, by David Baldacci. Even worse, I read Stone Cold first, then The Collectors & this is definitely one of the cases where reading them out of order ruined the reading. Stone Cold is essentially the continuation of The Collectors & having read Stone Cold first meant that I knew exactly what was going to happen (both the plot & the outcome) before I read it. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed reading The Collectors, but I would have enjoyed it far more if I had had no idea what was happening before it happened!

So, my question to you is: How do you feel about reading Series of books out of order?

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The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver

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.

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Global Reading Challenge ~ Country # 170) Sweden

Those of you who may know me will know that I am a little obsessed with Sweden. 🙂 As with Canada, I struggled with what to read for my choice for Sweden. I have so many authors that I want to read, especially because of this website. Camilla Lackberg is an up & coming author in the rest of the world, but is one of Sweden’s best known Crime writers.  I’d never read any of her writing & the reviews I’ve previously read have led me to think that Lackberg is going to become one of my favourites!

The Ice Princess follows Erica Falck, a writer, who has returned to her home town of Fjällbacka after the tragic death of her parents. While in Fjällbacka settling her parents’ Estate, Erica discovers that her childhood best friend, Alex, has been found dead in her home, her wrists slashed in an apparent suicide. Soon it becomes clear that Alex hasn’t committed suicide, but has been murdered. After seeing Alex’s parents & her husband, and discovering that Alex has some deeply hidden secrets, Erica becomes a bit obsessed with the idea of writing a book about Alex’s life.

The Ice Princess follows Erica as she delves into the secrets of Alex’s life, trying to figure out what happened to Alex to lead her to death in a frozen bathtub with slashed wrists. Erica re-lives the moments of their shared childhood, trying to figure out what happened to Alex & her family to force them to leave Fjällbacka, and Erica, so suddenly, not to be heard from again until adulthood. Erica inevitably gets mixed up in the police investigation, which is being led by another childhood friend, Patrik Hedstrom. Together they investigate Alex’s past & in the process begin to discover that there is more to their relationship than meets the eye.

At times there is a bit of predictability to this book & it does sometimes read more like a romance novel than thriller but overall, I think it was a very good book. The Ice Princess is Lackberg’s first book & while it’s no Jeffery Deaver thriller, I really enjoyed it & I fully intend to read the rest of her books.

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The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver

Those of you who know me will know that I think that Jeffery Deaver is a writing God. Unfortunately my “God” seems to be fallible – shock, horror!! Of all the books I have read by Deaver, this one ranks up there as one of my least favourites. I was bored reading it & I really really disliked the main character, which kinda detracts from the book. Hard to enjoy a book when you hate the lead character (unless of course, that was the author’s intent, which I think I can safely say was not meant to be the case here). Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some books by Deaver that while good books, were not for me. I’ve read some of his  books that I absolutely HATED & vowed to never read the rest of the series, but this was a stand-alone, so no series to slog through or avoid. So, you may be wondering why I disliked this book so much? It was boring!

The Bodies Left Behind centres around a policewoman named Brynn McKenzie, who is wrestling with some personal issues, in the form of a husband she suspects is no longer in love with her, a son who is rebelling at school & the memories of a violent ex-husband. Brynn is called to check out a 911 call which was made from a house on the edge of Marquette State Park. She arrives on the scene to discover 2 murder victims & a witness & the rest of the book is made up of Brynn & the female witness being chased through the State Park by the murderers. There are a couple of the characteristic Deaveresque misdirections, but they fail to thrill in the usual way. I think the biggest problem with this novel is that there is far too much time spent chasing around the State Park – this book could have been about 150 pages shorter, which would have tightened the plot & made it far more exciting. The shame of it is that this book had the potential to be a real corker, but it wasn’t even a slow burn.

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