More like stole my time…. **
Jeffery Deaver is at his best when writing a Lincoln Rhyme novel. Unfortunately, his best, lately, is not great. Relying on the same tension between characters and a formuliac style can get boring to read. In The Steel Kiss, Deaver takes this approach and produces a mediocre novel.
Sadly, he also brings one of his threads to a close by essentially tricking the reader, which is a Writing 101 mistake. If this were not bad enough, the side story (can’t divulge or this would be a spoiler) and motivation of Ron Pulaski, a side character, is completely unbelievable.
To Deaver’s credit there is one twist I did not see coming and that kept this novel from getting a one star. The only fresh aspect to this story was the introduction of Juliette Archer, who becomes an intern to Rhyme and is a character I would like to see in future novels.
The forensic skills accredited to Lincoln Rhyme have usually been the highlight of books in this series, this time his deductions stretch believability and I am sure made Sherlock Holmes roll over in his grave.
This one gets two stars.
Hold on, and don’t close your eyes….. *****
Some writers who write a series get lazy after a few novels and rely on formula to put out the rest of the series. Lee Child is a good example of this. Michael Robotham is one of the exceptions. His novels have only gotten better as the series featuring Joe O’Loughlin has progressed. His latest, Close Your Eyes, is one of his best.
Once again, using first person for the viewpoint of both the antagonist and the protagonist, Robotham creates a page turner that not only doesn’t let you go, but in the last few chapters had me breathing fast and on the edge of my seat.
The story revolves around two people who were murdered at a farm house and a seemingly unconnected group of women, and men, who have been attacked throughout the city, left alive, with a letter “A” carved in their foreheads. (Yes, Robotham pays homage to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.) Finding the connection between the victims becomes O’Loughlin’s task and he recruits Vincent Ruiz, as usual, to help.
While the story of solving the crimes is enough to make this a good read, it is the side story of Joe’s family that cements this as a must read. It has been a while since a book actually made my heart pound and had me completely engrossed in the fate of the characters.
This one gets a full five stars!