THE BURNING WIRE

Jeffery Deaver

Hodder & Stoughton HBK £18.99

Released: 22nd July 2010

Reviewer: Adrian Magson

 

Adrian Magson is the author of five crime novels set in London. Two new series begin in 2010 with ĎRed Stationí (Severn House) and ĎDeath on the Maraisí (Allison & Busby). See http://www.adrianmagson.com for more information.

 

Someone is playing games with the city of New Yorkís power grid. Someone who knows what they are doing and is threatening to put the city into shut-down. And in an atmosphere where terrorism is ever-present, itís not unreasonable that Homeland Security are looking one way when they see the dangers at hand, not just for homeowners and businesses if the city gets blacked out, but for the greater economy. 

For Lincoln Rhyme, however, things are never so simple or obvious. Alongside his on-going hunt for mass-murderer ĎThe Watchmakerí, Richard Logan, down in Mexico, the first thing Rhyme does is to understand how the threat was made and, more importantly, carried out. The first thing he realises is just how complex this situation is.

Through the investigation (and JDís research, which is impressive), we find out a huge amount about electricity, and how lethal it can be. Not just on a touch a live wire with a damp finger and youíll get more than a little buzz, but the startling fact that electricity can be aimed just like a rifle. Unlike a rifle, it can deliver a devastating amount of death and destruction in one Ďhití. 

As someone new to Jeffery Deaverís novels, and one who prefers the protagonists Iím reading about to be up and doing rather than static and therefore forced to employ others to be out and about, I wasnít sure how I would get to grips with Lincoln Rhyme. Heís tetchy, heís impatient, heís arrogant and really doesnít care for social chit-chat. And he canít get out there himself to fight the baddies. But he has a team which does, and I soon found myself drawn in by the interaction of the team members, especially his companion, Amelia Sachs; so much so that Rhymeís lack of movement didnít, in the end, matter a jot. He was directing operations, but rather than being a puppeteer, he was somehow always there.  

I donít have much of a head for things scientific, but oddly enough, found the considerable detail of all things electrical surprisingly interesting. And I could see why: itís a major part of the plot, therefore it couldnít have been left to a few lines of explanation about how many thousands of volts will kill you. It needed to be complex to make it the threat that it was.  

And it worked. 

This is not a book you can skim through in a brief sitting. And nor should you. Itís absorbing, itís horribly realistic, itís a great who-is-doing-it?

Recommended.

 


 

 

 


 

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