The Twelfth Card
Its always the memories of the author's best books that stay in mind when I lay my hands on a new book. So expectations are quite high when I start reading. But its going to be difficult for any author to consistently exceed or even match his best work in the past and so I am invariably disappointed. Thats the problem with Jeffery Deaver's latest book The Twelfth Card. It is a good read but nowhere close to Deaver's best(which IMO are The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer).
Here Lincoln Rhyme is drawn into an investigation into an attempted attack on a black teenager. The subject matter that the girl was reading(one of her ancestors' involvement in a robbery) makes Rhyme believe that the attack may be linked to something that happened 140 years ago.
The best parts of any Lincoln Rhyme novel are the parts where he analyzes the clues at a crime scene. Its the same here too. His take on the clues found at the attack site and the way it leads to the criminal are detailed and fascinating. Ofcourse, having a villain who is easy to apprehend would be no fun. The killer here is both ruthless and smart and Deaver fleshes him out nicely.
The story as always takes several twists and turns though the twists were neither as many nor as surprising as in Deaver's earlier novels. Some of the sequences are a little predictable for readers familiar with Deaver's style. The eventual motive seemed too far-fetched to me and the unmasking of the main villain was not as big a surprise as I was hoping for.
Overall, The Twelfth Card kept me engrossed though I've had better from Deaver. But I'll definitely reserve his next book, which is supposed to be a Rhyme mystery too, the moment it is announced.