Book keeps read­ers guess­ing

The Commercial Appeal - - Books - JEFF AYERS

“The Burial Hour” (Grand Cen­tral Pub­lish­ing), by Jef­fery Deaver

The lat­est in Jef­fery Deaver’s se­ries fea­tur­ing foren­sic de­tec­tive Lin­coln Rhyme and his part­ner, Amelia Sachs, throws them both lit­er­ally into for­eign ter­ri­tory.

A 9-year-old girl wit­nesses a man ab­ducted on the streets of New York, and the kid­nap­per leaves a minia­ture hang­man’s noose at the scene. Rhyme and Sachs are called in to in­ves­ti­gate and they soon learn of a video record­ing of the vic­tim slowly be­ing hanged by a man in the shad­ows while eerie mu­sic plays. He calls him­self “The Com­poser,” and with some quick think­ing and de­duc­tion, they’re able to find and res­cue the vic­tim be­fore he dies. Un­for­tu­nately, The Com­poser es­capes.

When an ab­duc­tion oc­curs in Italy un­der sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, Rhyme and Sachs fly to Europe to as­sist in the cap­ture of this elu­sive vil­lain. Work­ing with lo­cal author­i­ties, they try to not only stop The Com­poser, but also un­cover a mo­tive. Will they be able to fig­ure it out in time to save The Com­poser’s lat­est con­quest?

Deaver is a mas­ter of plot twists, and they are abun­dant in this story that keeps the reader guess­ing about who can be trusted and what’s be­hind the mo­ti­va­tions of the ab­duc­tor. Putting Rhyme and Sachs in un­known ter­ri­tory show­cases a dif­fer­ent side of their char­ac­ters. Mak­ing them jump through hoops to keep in­ter­na­tional peace gives the story an ex­tra edge.

The usual as­pect of ter­ror and the tick­ing­clock plot de­vice that Deaver is known for seems not to be as prom­i­nent in “The Burial Hour” as in pre­vi­ous nov­els, but that doesn’t mean the story line isn’t sus­pense­ful. Per­haps it’s the fo­cus on so many new char­ac­ters when the reader pri­mar­ily wants to read about Rhyme and Sachs. Even with that in mind, this is still es­sen­tial for fans of the fran­chise.

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