Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authorsA pair of federal agents from either side of the US-Mexico border target a cartel kingpinThey call him "Cuchillo,"the Knife. Not because he kills with a blade--he has plenty of men to do that kind of work for him--but because his mind is so sharp. As Mexico's government wages war on the drug cartels, it takes brains to survive, and Cuchillo has not just survived--he has prospered. But when Cuchillo begins to cut too deeply, the federal police of both the United States and Mexico step in to dull his blade. P. Z. Evans and Alejo Díaz know the Hermosillo cartel is planning an attack on a tourist bus in Sonora, and they know they will have to capture or kill Cuchillo to stop it. The cartel leader has one weakness: rare, old books. To destroy the intellectual's evil empire, this unlikely pair of international police will have to appeal to his inner bibliophile.
Best-selling novelist Jeffery Deaver edits this latest collection of the genre's finest from the past year. Featuring "gritty tales told with panache," this is a "must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories."
Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of The Empty Chair and The Devil's Teardrop. Here his trademark "ticking-bomb suspense" (People) explodes off the page in another heart-stopping thriller. Hollywood location scout John Pellam thought the scenic backwater town of Maddox, Missouri, would be the perfect site for an upcoming Bonnie and Clyde-style film. But after real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, he's more sought after than the Barrow Gang. Pellam had unwittingly wandered onto the crime scene just minutes before the brutal hits. Now the feds and local police want him to talk. Mob enforcers want him silenced. And a mysterious blonde just wants him. Trapped in a town full of sinister secrets and deadly deceptions, Pellam fears that death will imitate art, as the film shoot -- and his life -- race toward a breathtakingly bloody climax.
The Blue Nowhere will forever change the way you feel about your computer. Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Empty Chair and The Bone Collector, now turns to the labyrinthine world of cyberspace -- a world where safety is elusive, appearances are deceiving, and the most powerful can lose their wealth, their minds, their lives with a hacker's touch of a button. When a sadistic hacker, code-named Phate, sets his sights on Silicon Valley, his victims never know what hit them. He infiltrates their computers, invades their lives, and -- with chilling precision -- lures them to their deaths. To Phate, each murder is like a big, challenging computer hack: every time he succeeds, he must challenge himself anew -- by taking his methodology to a higher level, with bigger targets. Desperate, the head of The California State Police Computer Crimes Division frees Wyatt Gillette, imprisoned for hacking, to aid the investigation -- against the loud protests of the rest of the division. With an obsession emblematic of hackers, Gillette fervently attempts to trace Phate's insidious computer virus back to its source. Then Phate delivers a huge blow, murdering one of the division's own -- a "wizard" who had pioneered the internet -- and the search takes on a zealous intensity. Gillette and Detective Frank Bishop, an old-school homicide cop who's accustomed to forensic sleuthing, at first make an uneasy team. But with a merciless and brilliant killer like Phate in their crosshairs, and his twisted game reaching a fever pitch, they must utilize every ounce of their disparate talents to stop him. Hot on the trail of the New York Times bestseller The Empty Chair, The Blue Nowhere once again demonstrates that Deaver is "the master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People). It is a truly stunning tale of suspense in the computer age.
When a night-time call to 911 from a secluded Wisconsin vacation house is cut short, offduty deputy Brynn McKenzie leaves her husband and son at the dinner table and drives up to Lake Mondac to investigate. Was it a misdial or an aborted crime report? Brynn stumbles onto a scene of true horror and narrowly escapes from two professional criminals. She and a terrified visitor to the weekend house, Michelle, flee into the woods in a race for their lives. As different as night and day, and stripped of modern-day resources, Brynn, a tough deputy with a difficult past, and Michelle, a pampered city girl, must overcome their natural reluctance to trust each other and learn to use their wits and courage to survive the relentless pursuit. The deputy's disappearance spurs both her troubled son and her new husband into action, while the incident sets in motion Brynn's loyal fellow deputies and elements from Milwaukee's underside. These various forces race along inexorably toward the novel's gritty and stunning conclusion. The Bodies Left Behind is an epic cat-and-mouse chase, told nearly in real-time, and is filled with Deaver's patented twists and turns, where nothing is what it seems, and death lingers just around the next curve on a deserted path deep in the midnight forest.
Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm. New York City is thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. The cops go to Lincoln Rhyme, an ex-NYPD forensics expert left paralysed after an accident on the job. Rhyme reluctantly postpones his ambitions towards suicide and puts together a forensic investigation team, enlisting as his eyes and ears young police officer Amelia Sachs. Rhyme digs deep into the only world he has left - his astonishing mind - and slowly begins to narrow the noose around the Bone Collector. But the kidnapper is narrowing his own noose - around Lincoln Rhyme.
In his most gripping thriller yet, Jeffery Deaver takes readers on a terrifying ride into two ingenious minds...that of a physically challenged detective and the scheming killer he must stop. The detective was the former head of forensics at the NYPD, but is now a quadriplegic who can only exercise his mind. The killer is a man whose obsession with old New York helps him choose his next victim. Now, with the help of a beautiful young cop, this diabolical killer must be stopped before he can kill again!
A couple is kidnapped right outside JFK airport and one of the bodies is found with clues that point to more murders to come. Lincoln Rhyme, a quadraplegic forensic specialist -- the best in the business -- is brought out of retirement to help solve these gruesome crimes and find the madman who's committing them. This is one of the best crime/mystery books I've ever read, with lots of excitement, incredible plot twists and tension. Plus lots of interesting forensics procedure that has the "feel" of accuracy. Plus characters who, for a change, are complicated and act like real human beings, with all of their flaws. This is a must read. It will scare you to the bone.
Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller. Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose ingenious staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information.... When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect -- too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed. At the behest of Arthur's wife, Judy, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance -- despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation. An information service company -- the huge data miner Strategic Systems Datacorp -- seems to have all the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled team begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and coverups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522." When "522" learns the identities of the crime-fighting team, the hunters become the hunted. Full of Deaver's trademark plot twists, The Broken Window will put the partnership of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to the ultimate test.
Lincoln Rhyme is back, on the trail of a killer whose weapon of choice cripples New York City with fear. The weapon is invisible and omnipresent. Without it, modern society grinds to a halt. It is electricity. The killer harnesses and steers huge arc flashes with voltage so high and heat so searing that steel melts and his victims are set afire. When the first explosion occurs in broad daylight, reducing a city bus to a pile of molten, shrapnel-riddled metal, officials fear terrorism. Rhyme, a world-class forensic criminologist known for his successful apprehension of the most devious criminals, is immediately tapped for the investigation. Long a quadriplegic, he assembles NYPD detective Amelia Sachs and officer Ron Pulaski as his eyes, ears and legs on crime sites, and FBI agent Fred Dellray as his undercover man on the street. As the attacks continue across the city at a sickening pace, and terrifying demand letters begin appearing, the team works desperately against time and with maddeningly little forensic evidence to try to find the killer. Or is it killers . . . ? Meanwhile, Rhyme is consulting on another high-profile investigation in Mexico with a most coveted quarry in his crosshairs: the hired killer known as the Watchmaker, one of the few criminals to have eluded Rhyme's net. Juggling two massive investigations against a cruel ticking clock takes a toll on Rhyme's health. Soon Rhyme is fighting on yet another front--and his determination to work despite his physical limitations threatens to drive away his closest allies when he needs them most . . .
"The face of war is changing.The other side doesn't play by the rules much anymore.There's thinking, in some circles,that we need to play by a different set of rules too ..." James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan war, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6 and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: To protect the Realm, by any means necessary.A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission . . . The new thriller by Master of the Mind GameJEFFERY DEAVERfeaturing JAMES BOND as you've never seen him before.
New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver's enviable task? Choose the best mystery/horror detective stories from a century of work by the world's most celebrated writers. The result is a triumph, featuring masterpieces of suspense by:<P> Robert Bernard * Robert Bloch * Lawrence Block * Anthony Boucher * Frederic Brown * James M. Cain * Max Allan Collins * Jeffery Deaver * Stanley Ellin * Harlan Ellison * Erle Stanley Gardner * Ed Gorman * Anna Katharine Green * Jeremiah Healy * Patricia Highsmith * Reginald Hill * Tony Hillerman * Evan Hunter * Stephen King * John Lutz * John D. MacDonald * Ross MacDonald * Michael Malone * Steve Martini * Sharyn McCrumb * Margaret Millar * Marcia Muller * Sara Paretsky * Bill Pronzini * Ellery Queen * Ruth Rendell * Lisa Scottoline * Georges Simenon * Mickey Spillane * Rex Stout * Janwillem van de Wetering * Donald E. Westlake
Detective Lincoln Rhyme, the foremost criminalist in the NYPD, is on the hunt for an elusive murderer, the Coffin Dancer. He's a brilliant hitman who changes his appearance even faster than he adds to his trail of victims, only one of whom has lived long enough to offer a clue: the assassin has an eerie tattoo on his arm of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman in front of a casket. Like his previous bestselling novels A Maiden's Grave and The Bone Collector, Jeffery Deaver's latest psychological thriller combines spine-chilling forensic detail with a turbocharged plot. In The Coffin Dancer, Rhyme, tragically paralyzed from a line-of-duty accident, continues to tutor his beautiful protégé, Detective Amelia Sachs, in the art of criminal hunting. Rhyme is certain he's seen this killer before, and his suspicion of an earlier encounter fuels a bitter taste for vengeance. When the chameleonlike assassin targets three federal witnesses for death, the stakes reach a new high. Rhyme's brainpower and Sachs's legwork are the only tools they have to track the cunning murderer through the subways, parks, and airports of a darkly painted New York City. And they have only forty-eight hours before the Coffin Dancer strikes again. With The Coffin Dancer, Deaver -- already an internationally bestselling author whose acclaimed novels have been translated into a dozen languages -- uses his trademark plot twists to keep this fast-paced, masterly thriller steamrolling along with breathtaking speed. This is page-turning suspense of the highest order.
On a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering in the black sky over New York City, two people are brutally murdered -- the death scenes marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks investigators fear ticked away the victims' last moments on earth. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the chilling realization that the killer -- who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker -- has more murders planned in the hours to come. Rhyme, a quadriplegic long confined to his wheelchair, immediately taps his trusted partner and longtime love, Amelia Sachs, to walk the grid and be his eyes and ears on the street. But Sachs has other commitments now -- namely, her first assignment as lead detective on a homicide of her own. As she struggles to balance her pursuit of the infuriatingly elusive Watchmaker with her own case, Sachs unearths shocking revelations about the police force that threaten to undermine her career, her sense of self and her relationship with Rhyme. As the Rhyme-Sachs team shows evidence of fissures, the Watchmaker is methodically stalking his victims and planning a diabolical criminal masterwork.... Indeed, the Watchmaker may be the most cunning and mesmerizing villain Rhyme and Sachs have ever encountered.
Twenty-one-year-old Rune is an aspiring filmmaker, but so far her only break has been scoring a job as an underpaid production assistant in Manhattan. Still, she's always on the lookout for the perfect topic for her own film--and she thinks she's found it when she witnesses the bombing of a triple-X movie theater in Times Square. Rune's got a great hook for her documentary: She plans to film it through the eyes of Shelly Lowe, the porn star whose movie was playing at the theater when it exploded. But just hours after Rune films a poignant Shelly reflecting on her dreams of becoming a serious actress, a second bomb silences the beautiful film star forever. Was Shelly in the wrong place at the wrong time--or was she the bomber's target all along? Rune vows to find out the truth behind the death of this blue movie star. But as she struggles to finish shooting her film, Rune's labor of love may be her final masterpiece--as a shooting of a more lethal kind threatens to write an ending to this story that no one wants to see. . . .
It's New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999, and Washington, D.C., is under siege. Early in the day, a grisly machine gun attack in the Dupont Circle Metro station leaves dozens dead and the city crippled with fear. A note delivered to the mayor's office pins the massacre on the Digger, a robotlike assassin programmed to wreak havoc on the capital every four hours -- until midnight. Only a ransom of $20 million delivered to the Digger's accomplice -- and mastermind -- will end the death and terror. But the Digger becomes a far more sinister threat when his accomplice is killed in a freak accident while en route to the money drop. With the ransom note as the single scrap of evidence, Special Agent Margaret Lukas calls upon Parker Kincaid, a retired FBI agent and the top forensic document examiner in the country. Somehow, by midnight, they must find the Digger -- before he finds them. In The Devil's Teardrop, Jeffery Deaver delivers the same intricate forensic detail, masterful plot twists and harrowing breakneck pace that made A Maiden's Grave, The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer national bestsellers. The Devil's Teardrop is destined to continue Jeffery Deaver's bestselling track record and thrill his legions of fans worldwide.
Behind the well-known U.S. security organizations-- the FBI and CIA among them--lies a heavily guarded, anonymous government agency dedicated to intelligence surveillance and to a highly specialized brand of citizen protection. Shock waves of alarm ripple through the clandestine agency when Washington, D.C., police detective Ryan Kessler inexplicably becomes the target of Henry Loving, a seasoned, ruthless "lifter" hired to obtain information using whatever means necessary. While Loving is deft at torture, his expertise lies in getting an "edge" on his victim--leverage--usually by kidnapping or threatening family until the "primary" caves under pressure. The job of keeping the Kessler family alive falls to a man named Corte, a senior federal protection officer known as a "shepherd." Uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a passionate board game aficionado, he applies brilliant gaming strategy to his work. For Corte, the reappearance of Loving--the man who, six years earlier, had tortured and killed someone close to him--is also an opportunity to avenge his friend's death. The assignment soon escalates into a fast-paced duel between Corte and Loving, a dangerous volley of wits and calculated risks. As he shepherds the Kesslers to a concealed safe house, Corte must anticipate Loving's every step as the lifter moves in on his prey, and with the help of razor-sharp investigator Claire DuBois and his longtime ally, FBI agent Paul Fredericks, pinpoint which of Kessler's seemingly insignificant cases has triggered Loving's return. As the team digs deeper, each of the Kesslers comes under close scrutiny, and in captivity their family bonds are stretched to the breaking point--as the lifter draws near, Corte must ultimately choose between protecting his charges and exposing them to a killer in the name of long-awaited revenge.
Lincoln Rhyme is back... From the bestselling author of The Bone Collector and The Devil's Teardrop comes this spine-chilling new thriller that pits renowned criminalist Lincoln Rhyme against the ultimate opponent -- Amelia Sachs, his own brilliant protégée. A quadriplegic since a beam crushed his spinal cord years ago, Rhyme is desperate to improve his condition and goes to the University of North Carolina Medical Center for high-risk experimental surgery. But he and Sachs have hardly settled in when the local authorities come calling. In a twenty-four-hour period, the sleepy Southern outpost of Tanner's Corner has seen a local teen murdered and two young women abducted. And Rhyme and Sachs are the best chance to find the girls alive. The prime suspect is a strange teenaged truant known as the Insect Boy, so nicknamed for his disturbing obsession with bugs. Rhyme agrees to find the boy while awaiting his operation. Rhyme's unsurpassed analytical skills and stellar forensic experience, combined with Sachs's exceptional detective legwork, soon snare the perp. But even Rhyme can't anticipate that Sachs will disagree with his crime analysis and that her vehemence will put her in the swampland, harboring the very suspect whom Rhyme considers a ruthless killer. So ensues Rhyme's greatest challenge -- facing the criminalist whom he has taught everything he knows in a battle of wits, forensics, and intuition. And in this adversary, Rhyme also faces his best friend and soul mate. With the intricate forensic detail, breathtaking speed, and masterful plot twists that are signature Deaver, The Empty Chair is page-turning suspense of the highest order, destined to continue Jeffery Deaver's bestselling track record and thrill his legions of fans worldwide.
In the most ingenious and provocative thriller yet from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, a conscience-plagued mobster turned government hitman struggles to find his moral compass amid rampant treachery and betrayal in 1936 Berlin. Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hitman known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only "righteous" assignments. But then Paul gets caught. And the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He's to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst -- the ruthless architect of Hitler's clandestine rearmament. If successful, Paul will be pardoned and given the financial means to go legit; if he refuses the job, his fate will be Sing Sing and the electric chair. Paul travels to Germany, takes a room in a boardinghouse near the Tiergarten -- the huge park in central Berlin but also, literally, the "Garden of Beasts" -- and begins his hunt. In classic Deaver fashion, the next forty-eight hours are a feverish cat-and-mouse chase, as Paul stalks Ernst through Berlin while a dogged Berlin police officer and the entire Third Reich apparatus search frantically for the American. Garden of Beasts is packed with fascinating period detail and features a cast of perfectly realized locals, Olympic athletes and senior Nazi officials -- some real, some fictional. With hairpin plot twists, the reigning "master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People) plumbs the nerve-jangling paranoia of prewar Berlin and steers the story to a breathtaking and wholly unpredictable ending.
Rune is an aspiring filmmaker with more ambition than political savvy, paying her dues as an assistant cameraperson for the local news. But she's got her eyes on the prize, the network's hot newsmagazine,Current Events-- and she's got the story she knows will get her there. Poking around in the video archives, Rune spots a taped interview with Randy Boggs, who's doing hard time in Attica for a murder he claims he didn't commit. Rune can't say exactly why, but she's sure he's innocent. If she can prove it, Current Events won't merely report the news, it'll make news -- and Rune's career. But what she could be writing is Randy Boggs's epitaph -- and her own. Rune's newly discovered witness soon turns up dead. A hit man from Miami is on Rune's trail, and Boggs is finding prison even more dangerous than before. Someone wants this story killed, and it could be the girl with the camera who ends up on the cutting room floor.
This is another of the typically cunning volumes penned by the premiere writer of deductive mysteries today. He always researches his books meticulously and, in this case, we find ourselves finding out more about the Hell's Kitchen area of New York than we ever wanted to know. The arsonist is clever and the excitement is nonstop.
Get on the case with Kathryn Dance.Three novels featuring California Bureau of Investigations body language expert Agent Kathryn Dance from internationally bestselling suspense master and seven-time Edgar Award nominee Jeffery Deaver, plus an excerpt from the next Kathryn Dance novel, XO (publishing June 2012). The Cold MoonOn a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering over New York City, two people are brutally murdered. The death scenes are marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks that investigators fear ticked away the victims' last moments on earth. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the chilling realization that the killer--who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker--has more murders planned in the hours to come. With Rhyme's longtime love Amelia Sachs now busy as the lead detective on a homicide case of her own, it will take the expertise of Agent Kathryn Dance to stop the Watchmaker killings and unravel the trail of a diabolical criminal masterwork in the making.The Sleeping DollDaniel Pell, the "Son of Manson," is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family, a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s, and that left behind only one survivor: the youngest Croyton daughter, who, because she was in bed hidden by her toys, was dubbed "the Sleeping Doll." When Agent Kathryn Dance is called in to interrogate Pell in connection with a recent murder, the psychological jousting match that ensues goes terribly wrong, and Pell escapes. But far from simply fleeing, Pell turns on his pursuers--and other innocents--for reasons Dance and her colleagues can't discern. The only person who can help her find the pattern in Pell's rampage is the now-teenage girl who lay as though asleep through that terrible night.Roadside CrossesThe Monterey Peninsula is rocked by fear when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways--not in memoriam, but as announcements of his intentions to kill. And he kills in particularly horrific and efficient ways: using personal details about his victims that they've carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking websites. Agent Kathryn Dance traces the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager whose role in a fatal car accident has inspired vicious attacks against him on a popular blog, The Chilton Report. To get to Brigham, Dance must overcome speechifying politicians, paranoid parents, and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose willingness to derail the case--and possibly Dance's career--soon forces Dance to take desperate measures.XO (excerpt)Country-pop ingÉnue Kayleigh Towne's career is reaching new heights with her huge hit single "Your Shadow"--but increased fame is also bringing unwanted attention to the young singer. An innocent exchange with one of her fans, signed with an "XO," leads Kayleigh into a dangerous and terrifying realm of obsession. Despite her clear rejection and threats from lawyers and law enforcers, Edwin Sharp remains convinced that Kayleigh loves him, and he announces he's coming for her. A series of accidents and disturbing phone calls lead Kayleigh to believe her life is in danger, and soon people close to Kayleigh die. Agent Kathryn Dance must stop the stalker--but before long she learns that, like many celebrities, Kayleigh has more than one fan with a mission...
It was a "million-dollar bullet," a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: he was a United States citizen, targeted by the United States government, and assassinated in the Bahamas.The nation's most renowned investigator and forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme, is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim's steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems.When a deadly, knife-wielding assassin begins systematically eliminating all evidence-including the witnesses-Lincoln's investigation turns into a chilling battle of wits against a cold-blooded killer.n," a unique and deadly knife he reveres more than most people.
Bill Corde looks down at the face of the murdered girl and sees the horror of sudden death. He cannot know, as he stands there at the trampled, muddy scene beside the college girl's corpse, that his own life is about to slip into terror. He cannot know that everything he holds precious is about to shatter before his eyes. He cannot know that his career-and his family-are about to enter a new dimension of danger. For Bill Corde, the killer is everything he fears most. For Sarah, Bill's wild, learning-impaired daughter, trapped in a world of frustration and ridicule, he may be just the person she's been waiting for. Someone who understands her worries and loneliness. Someone who signs his notes "The Sunshine Man." Someone she can run away with-even a perfect stranger.From the Paperback edition.
A trio of novels from internationally bestselling suspense master and seven-time Edgar Award nominee Jeffery Deaver, featuring quadriplegic NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his beautiful protÉgÉe, Detective Amelia Sachs (portrayed by Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in the film The Bone Collector). The Coffin DancerLincoln Rhyme is on the hunt for an elusive murderer known only as the Coffin Dancer, a brilliant hitman who changes his appearance even faster than he adds to his trail of victims. Only one victim has ever lived long enough to offer a clue to the killer's identity: an eerie tattoo on his arm of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman in front of a casket. When the chameleonlike assassin targets three federal witnesses for death in forty-eight hours, Rhyme must use his protÉgÉe and partner, Detective Amelia Sachs, as his eyes, ears, and legs to track the cunning murderer through the subways, parks, and airports of New York City and stop him before he strikes again.The Empty ChairDesperate to improve his condition, Lincoln Rhyme travels to the University of North Carolina Medical Center for high-risk experimental surgery. When a local teen is murdered and two young women go missing in the sleepy Southern outpost of Tanner's Corner, Rhyme and his partner, Amelia Sachs, are the town's best chance to find the girls alive. The prime suspect is a strange teenaged truant known as the Insect Boy, so nicknamed for his disturbing obsession with bugs, and Rhyme agrees to find the boy while awaiting his operation. But even Rhyme can't anticipate that Sachs will disagree with his crime analysis, and that her vehemence will put her in the swampland, harboring the very suspect whom Rhyme considers a ruthless killer.The Stone MonkeyRecruited to help the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, manage to track down a cargo ship headed for New York City carrying two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, as well as the notorious human smuggler and killer known as "the Ghost." But when the Ghost's capture goes disastrously wrong, Lincoln and Amelia find themselves in a race to track him down before he can find and murder the two surviving families from the ship, who have vanished into the labyrinth of New York City's Chinese community. As Rhyme struggles to locate the families, aided by a quirky policeman from mainland China, Sachs finds herself forming a connection with one of the immigrants that may affect her relationship with her partner and lover.
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