The Empty Chair

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9780684855639: The Empty Chair

When wheelchair-bound criminologist Lincoln Rhyme is asked by the North Carolina police to help out with two local kidnapping cases, he has no idea that the kidnapper will come between him and everything he holds dear, especially his protegee and love, Amelia Sachs.

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Review:

It's not easy being NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme, the world's foremost criminalist. First of all, he's a quadriplegic. Secondly, he's forever being second-guessed and mother-henned by his ex-model-turned-cop protégé, Amelia Sachs, and his personal aide, Thom. And thirdly, it seems that he can't motor his wheelchair around a corner without bumping into one crazed psycho-killer after another.

In The Empty Chair, Jeffery Deaver's third Rhyme outing--after 1997's The Bone Collector and 1998's The Coffin Dancer--Rhyme travels to North Carolina to undergo an experimental surgical procedure and is, a jot too coincidentally, met at the door by a local sheriff, the cousin of an NYPD colleague, bearing one murder, two kidnappings, and a timely plea for help. It seems that 16-year-old Garrett Hanlon, a bug-obsessed orphan known locally as the Insect Boy, has kidnapped and probably raped two women, and bludgeoned to death a would-be hero who tried to stop one of the abductions.

Rhyme sets up shop, Amelia leads the local constabulary (easily recognized by their out-of-joint noses) into the field, and, after some Holmesian brain work and a good deal of exciting cat-and-mousing, the duo leads the cops to their prey. And just as you're idly wondering why the case is coming to an end in the middle of the book, Amelia breaks the boy out of jail and goes on the lam. Equally convinced of the boy's guilt and the danger he poses to Amelia, Rhyme has no choice but to aid the police in apprehending the woman he loves--no easy task, as she's the one human being who truly knows the methods of Lincoln Rhyme.

Rhyme's specialty combines the minute scientific analysis of physical evidence gathered from crime scenes and his arcane knowledge of, it would seem, every organic and inorganic substance on earth. Deaver combines engaging narration, believable characters, and his trademark ability to repeatedly pull the rug out from under the reader's feet. Lincoln Rhyme's back all right, and the smart money's betting that his run has just begun. --Michael Hudson

About the Author:

Jeffery Deaver is a New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels, including The Coffin Dancer, The Bone Collector -- now a major motion picture starring Denzel Wahington -- and, most recently, The Devil's Teardrop. He lives in Virginia and California.

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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 416 pages. From Booklist: This new Lincoln Rhyme mystery is as intricate, well written, and enormously satisfying as its predecessors. Rhyme, a criminalist, is a quadriplegic, directing crime-scene investigations from his wheelchair; his associate, Amelia Sachs, the fashion model turned cop who "walks the grid" while Rhyme watches, is at least as tough, smart, and independent as Rhyme himself. This time the pair looks into an apparent case of kidnapping and murder that keeps getting more complicated. Deaver, a former attorney, supplies enough forensic detail for the most demanding readers, but he also creates characters who feel like real people (his dialogue is so realistic that we don't read it so much as hear it). But what really sets Deaver's novels apart from most of his competitors' is his ability to pile plot twists on top of plot twists until readers are frantically flipping pages, trying to get to the end of the maze before Deaver is ready to lead them there. It's a futile gesture, of course; Deaver is the master of the plot twist, and readers will only drive themselves crazy trying to outguess him. Better just to enjoy the ride. A magnificent thriller. David Pitt From Kirkus Reviews Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic criminalist who recently knocked em dead at the bijou (The Bone Collector, 1997), is back, sweating to rescue a pair of kidnapped Tarheelers from the insect-loving kid whos snatched them. Lured to North Carolina by the promise of some experimental surgery that might allow him to move more than his head and a single finger, Rhyme is on hand, along with his protge Amelia Sachs, when Sheriff Jim Bell gets the news that Garrett Hanlon, the troubled teenager who already killed fellow-student Billy Stail and dragged Mary Beth McConnell off to the back of beyond, has returned to abduct nurse Lydia Johansson as well. Analyzing the scanty trace evidence with all his usual rigor, Rhyme, using Sachs as his eyes and nose at the crime scene, dopes out where the Insect Bo. Bookseller Inventory # 0311L978464

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