Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review - The Burning Wire: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver

Title: The Burning Wire: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Year: 2010
Page: 448
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

New to me author? No
Read this author again? Yes
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
As Earth Day approaches, someone breaks into the power company and starts manipulating the electric grid in New York City to create "arc flashes," 5000-degree sparks that leap from electrical outlets and kill anybody nearby. It can happen at anytime, anywhere . . . . Is it eco-terrorists, or a disgruntled employee of the utility, or some psychotic individual? Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs and the crew from the prior Rhyme books have to race against time to find and stop the killer before more people die. Meanwhile, Rhyme is working with Kathryn Dance and a police official in Mexico to find and trap his nemesis, the Watchmaker, who is in Mexico City to assassinate a businessman. And Rhyme is finally confronting the question of dangerous surgery to improve his condition.

First Sentence:
Sitting in the control center of Algonquin Consolidated Power and Light's sprawling complex on the East River in Queens, New York, the morning supervisor frowned at the pulsing red words no his computer screen.  

Why did I pick this book?
I am a big fan of Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series ("The Body Collector"), so when I heard he has a new Lincoln Rhyme book coming out, I reserve it at the library straight away! I don't like his stand alone books much. The last stand alone book, The Bodies Left Behind, was a big disappointment to me. The new Kathryn Dance series was okay, not as good as Lincoln Rhyme. So I highly anticipated this book, to see if it's up to the usual Lincoln Rhyme standard!

My thoughts:
  • I like that when I read a Lincoln Rhyme book, I'd learn something new. Some people think there may be too much technical information, but that's what I like - to be able to learn something even if it's a fiction. This time is about electricity - and boy, there were some scary scenarios!
  •  While this is the 9th book in the series, you can still pick up the book and be able to understand who-is-who as the author gave background to the characters and relationships. However, it can be a bit redundant to those who have read all the books in the series (though I admit I sometimes forget who some minor characters were). Though if you have never read his books before,  I would still recommend you start from the beginning, the Bone Collector (which was made into a movie) so you can see how the characters develop over time. I read the Bone Collector before it got popular as a movie. I randomly picked it off the library shelf at college (had no idea who the author was at the time), and was thrilled to discover an author I love by myself :)
  • For those familiar with the series, it was great to see the usually calm Thom (the aide) showed a different side in this book (p131).
  • I have to say though this is not my favorite book of the series, though I didn't guess the twists which was good. It did start off a little slow - wasn't much of a page turner for me, but it did pick up pace later in the book.
  • The ending dragged on a little though - I kept thinking it was going to end the next page, but nope.
  • I guess the next one in the series will be around 2012. Will be reading it.
  • This is more like a 3.75 Stars for me, but since I do 1/2 Star rating and not 0.25 Star rating, I bumped it up to 4.0
  • For some reasons, I was paying more attention to the writing while I was reading this book. For instance, on p1, it said, "He lowered his cardboard coffee cup, blue and white with stiff depictions of Greek athletes on it, and sat up in his creaky swivel chair." My first thought was, is the description, blue and white with stiff depictions of Greek athletes on it, necessary? Is it significant? Does it add to the story? Should that have been edited out, so the book is shorter, more straight to the point? My second thought it, the description does help me visualize the scene with more details, so perhaps it is not unnecessary. But do I really need to know what the color of the coffee cup is? What do you think? I usually don't like books that take 34 pages to describe one little detail... though this is just one sentence so I could tolerate it, but it just got me thinking about writing - when to include more detailed description, and when to just leave it out if it doesn't contribute to the story.


    He believed that we were all disabled in one way or another, ranging from emotional scar tissue to arthritis to Lou Gehrig's disease. Life was one big disability; the question was simple: What did we do about it? (p128)

    If you understand something, Lincoln Rhyme had told him, you fear it less. Knowledge is control. (p167-168)

    Rating: 4 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading

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