Lincoln and Amelia are recruited to track down a cargo ship carrying two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, as well as the notorious human smuggler and killer known as the Ghost. But when the capture goes disastrously wrong, Lincoln and Amelia find themselves in a race to stop the Ghost before he can track down and murder the two surviving families who have vanished deep into the labyrinthine world of New York City's Chinese community. Over the next forty-eight hours the Ghost ruthlessly hunts for the families while Rhyme, aided by a policeman from mainland China, struggles to find them before they die and Sachs pursues a very different kind of policework - forming a connection with one of the immigrants that may have consequences going to the core of her relationship with her partner and lover, Lincoln Rhyme.
When a vicious smuggler known as the Ghost scuttles a ship filled with undocumented Chinese immigrants less than a mile from New York harbor, only a handful of survivors--and the Ghost himself--manage to escape the burning vessel. Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic NYPD forensic detective first introduced in 1997's The Bone Collector
, and Amelia Sachs, his partner and lover, must stop the Ghost before he murders the two families who made it to shore. The families have gone to ground in the all but impenetrable world of Manhattan's Chinatown, a fact that makes the pair's two allies--Sonny Li, a Chinese cop, and Dr. John Sung-- invaluable partners.
The group's race against time showcases Jeffery Deaver's many talents, particularly intricate plotting, plenty of surprising twists, and breakneck pacing. This is a real standout from a writer whose previous thrillers have earned him a solid following among mystery fans. --Jane Adams