myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics Totally Biased Book and Movie Review: Jeffery Deaver's The Twelfth Card Book Review

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Jeffery Deaver's The Twelfth Card Book Review


The Twelfth Card
by Jeffery Deaver
published by Pocket Books in 2005
576 pages

There’s only so much I can watch of CSI. I admit it. I know, I know, this has become a national obsession, hence the four or five prime time television shows that have the initials “C”, “S” and “I” in them, presumably those stand for “Crime Scene Investigation”, not “Can’t Stomach It (anymore)”, which is what I would name it. Why? Outraged CSIers might demand.

Because I just don’t believe it all. I mean, I’ll try to watch it. I do find it fascinating. The idea of catching criminals using a tiny piece of fiber from their pants, or from a ketchup stain on the footprint they left in the kitchen is cool. I remember one show where they had vacuumed up the scent of a bad guy from a crime scene and apparently froze it, then later, they unfroze it and waved it under a dog’s nose before releasing him into a ghetto-like neighborhood. The dog, of course, ran straight to the perp, the arrest was made, the show was over.

But does that REALLY happen? I just can’t see someone getting convicted on the basis of a dog sniffing his crotch. I’ve heard that some actual court proceedings have been all fudged up because jurors, fans of these great TV shows, incorrectly assume that they know all about forensic science. They demand “CSI”-like evidence or they won’t convict. They ignore the fact that some of what they see on TV. is, well, fiction. It’s called the “CSI Effect” and it apparently really pisses lawyers and judges off.

Why the above blah dee blah? Because I wanted to point out my total hypocrisy for the world to observe. You see, I feel that way about those shows, but when it comes to Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhymes novels, such as The Twelfth Card, all of my objectivity flies out the window. You see, when it comes to these books, well, let’s just say- I saw his case… and I’m a believer.

For those of you who live in caves and haven’t read a Jeffery Deaver book, don’t worry. There’s plenty of them out there on Amazon, some just for pennies (plus shipping, of course). And for those of you who live in the alternate reality, the same one populated by the jurors with CSI Effect, who think that “book” and “movie” are interchangeable words and say, “Well, I’ve seen The Bone Collector”, hmmm… how can I put this kindly? Just be quiet... please. You know how people always say, “the book was better”? Well, those people are right.

….And WHO chose Denzel Washington to play Lincoln? That’s what I’d like to know! But I’m getting off subject. I apologize.

Now, Lincoln Rhymes is the main dude in a series of novels written by Mr. Deaver. I like all of his books, by the way, but crusty, snarky, crabby old Lincoln holds a special place in my heart. He is the greatest forensic mind to ever be invented on the pages of a book. Confined to a wheelchair due to an accident some years earlier which crushed his fourth vertebrae and left him completely paralyzed except for his head, neck and some shoulder movement, and the ring finger on his left hand. Despite this, he is frequently called upon by the NYPD as a criminalist consultant. Read- he solves the really tough cases for them. He owns an impressive townhouse in NY City and runs it from his candy apple red Storm Arrow wheel chair, using voice commands and that previously mentioned digit. Joining him in his adventures is his partner and lover (Yes, lover, paraplegics have lovers too, surprise surprise) Amelia Sachs, former fashion model, current NYPD detective. Sachs is his legs and arms. Connected by radio headset, they “walk the grid” (search the crime scene) together, and let me tell you, not much gets past these two.

Lincoln has a mind like the metaphoric steel trap. It is so much fun to read the loop-the-loops in which his nimble brain processes information, leading them to the bad guy, again and again, and usually just in the nick of time. This is one author I cannot second guess. I can’t guess ahead, in fact, I rarely do much guessing at all when it comes to Mr. Rhymes and Ms. Sachs.The Twelfth Card is the latest (paperback) in the series.

This time, Rhymes and Sachs are up against seemingly impossible (even for him) odds- cracking a cold case from the eighteen hundreds. The main character, aside from the usual bunch, is a young black girl from Harlem who has been studying one of her ancestors, a freed slave who was accused of a horrible crime. She has a few letters he wrote, an article or two, and the rest is up to Rhyme’s brain. Targeted by a stone cold killer, Geneva at first seems to be a victim of an attempted rape/murder. As the evidence points out, however, it seems that this killer doesn’t want her to find out any information about her great-great-great grandfather (or however many greats there are in there). How could something that happened nearly a century and a half ago affect our world today? What does Geneva have to do with it? Who else is involved? What’s with the tarot cards this dude leaves at his crimes scenes? Can Lincoln and Amelia, and Roland Bell (another reoccurring character in Deaver’s novels) keep her alive long enough to find out?

If you’ve never read a Lincoln Rhymes novel before, as I said, just trot on over to Amazon and order yourself a copy. But don’t start here- start in the beginning of the series, and work your way on up. You won’t regret it by the time you get to The Twelfth Card where you’ll actually be invested in the characters to the point that one little thing at this end of this novel will make you wanna shout. But no more spoilers. This is a good book. In his usual masterful way, Deaver cleverly takes us through a twisting maze, making you sure you know what’s up, and then changing your mind the next second. As with all of his novels, you’ll be left trusting no one, suspecting everyone and wondering who will turn out to not be what they seem. The one thing you will not be, is bored.

This one gets an orange-red on the reader's rainbow.

3 Comments:

Blogger isokesa said...

I had a point of contention for a moment and then I kept reading. I do watch CSI. The original, not any of the others. I like the characters, but I read enough to know that all the magic they do on tv isn't all to be found in the real world.

I'm happy to hear that there is another Lincoln Rhyme book. I skipped the paragraphs describing it...even though I will wait for it to arrive in paperback form I don't want any spoilers at all! I'll be looking forward to it.

And my last points of non-contention pertains to: "….And WHO chose Denzel Washington to play Lincoln?" as well as the previous comment about movies vs books. Lincoln is white. I like Denzel...but he's no Lincoln. And books are almost always better than the movies. The only exception I can think of right now is Firestarter by Stephen King. Its the only movie I like as much as the book.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Meowkaat said...

It's in paperback...it's sitting right next to me... it could be at Mom's next time you are...
And I have to admit, I have an exception to the books-r-better rule... Dances With Wolves. I really thougth the movie was kick ass and the book was rather dry.

7:14 AM  
Blogger isokesa said...

Cool! I'll try to ask you where the book is before we head over there next time.

8:41 PM  

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