The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver is published with Harper Collins. It is described as ‘a roller coaster…features surprise after surprise and offers a fascinating look at the esoteric world of locks and lockpicking.’
I have a rather embarrassing admission to make, I have never read any book in the Lincoln Rhyme series…until now. Being that this is the fifteenth book in the series you can understand why I was a little reticent about jumping in at such a late stage, but I needn’t have been concerned. There is a reason why Jeffery Deaver is known as the ‘master of ticking-bomb suspense’. He really does grab his readers from the offset and hold their attention until the final page is turned.
I picked up The Midnight Lock last weekend and read it over the course of one day. It was just what I needed to escape the chaos of the here and now. At no point did I feel confused about the characters and I was able to keep up with the back story without doing any research into the history of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs. Now of course I have no doubt that those of you who have followed the series will have a very different reading experience to mine. I have nothing to compare it to, but I liked that. I had no preconceptions and no expectations, except that I was hoping to be captivated, and I clearly was.
Lincoln Rhyme, for the uninitiated, was first introduced in 1997 when Jeffery Deaver released The Bone Collector. At that point Lincoln Rhyme was ex-head of NYPD forensics after an accident on the job left him a quadriplegic. Angry and frustrated, a case involving a highly intelligent killer, brought Rhyme out of retirement. With his extraordinary mind, and with Amelia Sachs as his arms and legs, a partnership was born.
Now twenty-three years later and Lincoln Rhyme is in court with a testimony that is being ripped apart by the defence. His ability comes into question, resulting in the NYPD wiping their hands of him as a consultant. He and his team are immediately removed from any active NYPD cases. The message filtered down the ranks of the NYPD is that no member of the force is to interact with Rhyme in any way or to pass on any information. There will be stiff penalties for any one caught in a compromising situation.
But Rhyme is not one to sit idly by and do nothing, especially when he is convinced he can assist. There is an open and active investigation within the NYPD involving a sinister character nicknamed The Locksmith, a creepy individual who stealthily picks locks late at night, gaining access to the homes of women. While they sleep, The Locksmith sits by their beds watching them, perhaps eating a biscuit or having a glass of wine. When the woman wakes up she initially is a little discombobulated but then comes the frightening realisation that someone has been in her home. Someone has observed her in sleep, someone has rifled through her underwear drawer taking souvenirs and, most unnerving of all, is that a knife is missing and a note is left behind. The Locksmith is clever and leaves no trace, no DNA, no prints whatsoever. But this does not deter Rhyme and Sachs. With great risk and a little ingenuity, the team get access to some of the evidence gathered at the scenes and the analysis begins.
I can honestly say I did not see how this book was going to end and the shock was real folks. Packed with suspense, the pace of The Midnight Lock was relentless. Twisted characters, with very disturbed mindsets, are depicted with superb imagination and flair. The tension is ramped up, with multiple possible suspects throwing confusion and uncertainty into the mix. This is pure entertainment with quite a complex plot, containing multiple threads, all expertly woven together to create a brilliant and very engaging novel. Recommended to all who love a compelling thriller with a very gripping storyline.
(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)
Order your copy online here.