Source: Review copy
Publication: 25 November from Harper Collins
My thanks to Harper Collins for an advance copy for review
A killer without limits
He comes into your home at night. He watches you as you sleep. He waits.
A city in turmoil
He calls himself ‘The Locksmith’. No door can keep him out. No security system can catch him. And now he’s about to kill.
A race against time to stop him
Nobody in New York is safe. Now it’s up to Lincoln Rhyme to untangle the web of evidence and catch him.
But with Lincoln under investigation himself, and tension in the city at boiling point, time is running out…
Ah, Lincoln Rhyme I have missed you! I’ve read every book in this series and each new one brings something extra to the mix. This time we have a new antagonist. And this one is speaking to us directly in a first person voice. We may not know his/her identity, but we do get chilling glimpse into someone obsessed with locks and opening them; someone with a growing deadly intent; someone who enjoys opening those locks, bypassing the alarms and watching you as you sleep…
Jeffery Deaver returns with a bang as quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, NYPD consultant and his wife (!) NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs come up against a formidable adversary in ‘The Locksmith’.
Their job in tracking down this adversary is made significantly more difficult because Rhyme has been frozen out of working for NYPD by the Mayor. After his testimony in the trial of crime boss Victor Buryak is trashed by a defence attorney, allowing the defendant to go free, an edict has come down that Rhyme is no longer to be used by NYPD and any police or city official caught working with him will suffer serious consequences.
This leaves Amelia, Lon Sellitto and Ron Pulaski in some difficulty. Rhyme’s lab, situated in his brownstone, is exceptionally good and analysing crime scene information is both fast and accurate – that – combined with Rhyme’s extensive knowledge of NYC and it’s chemical and soil make-up has resulted in many crimes being satisfactorily resolved. Now they’re own their own against a formidable adversary.
One of the really enjoyable elements of Deaver’s books is the way that he incorporates current affairs and sociological undercurrents into his books. In The Midnight Lock he gives us Verum, a fake news vlogger, whose claims that a vast conspiracy is underway and that America is being run and subverted by ‘The Hidden’, a conspiracy run by the elite – and that includes Rhyme whose lack of success in the Buryak case is seen as part of that conspiracy.
In ‘The Locksmith’ Deaver has created a very unsettling antagonist. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs search for a criminal whose fascination with breaking locks terrorizes New York City. Unsettling in part because it is the methods used that really will creep you out. This is someone who waits and watches. Who analyses your social media and determines your patterns of behaviour. Someone who gets to know your daily routine, who watches, waits and follows and then enters your life in a way that ensures you will never feel safe again. Annabelle Talese is a fashion influencer who wakes up one morning to find that someone has broken into her apartment, eaten her food and left a message written in lipstick on a page of a trashy tabloid saying simply ‘Reckoning’. This is the handiwork of ‘The Locksmith’ who enters silently and eaves no trace.
Using many threads and tying together different plot lines, Deaver’s warp and weft createsan accomplished, beautiful pattern which is not fully revealed until the final chapter. I really enjoyed the introduction of a new character, Lyle Spencer, who has plenty of grit and looks to become an interesting addition to this much beloved team.
Verdict: Jeffery Deaver has created another unmissable book in the Rhyme and Sachs series. Full of twists and turns, it keeps surprising to the last chapter. It is well-plotted, beautifully structured, full of mystery and suspense and thoroughly engrossing. This is a return to be hailed and I can’t wait for more.
Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.