With the chilly weather we’ve been having, it seems the perfect time to talk about Jeffrey Deaver’s Burning Wire.

Once again, quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme has his love, NYPD Det. Amelia Sachs, as his legs, eyes, and ears on a crime scene. The weapon of choice this time is electricity, an invisible but deathly utility most of us take for granted. Without it, modern society would grind to a halt. New Yorkers face this threat when their power grid is attacked. The killer uses huge arc flashes combined with high voltage to create a heat so searing it melts steel and sets his human victims on fire.

Assisted by Officer Ron Pulaski, and FBI agent Fred Dellray undercover on the street, Rhyme moves quickly to halt these terrifying attacks as they escalate. Suddenly terrifying demand letters begin to appear, and Rhyme’s team works frantically to find the perpetrators, fighting time and a lack of forensic evidence.

At the same time, Rhyme is trying to unearth his nemesis, a hired killer called the Watchmaker, one of the few criminals to have escaped Rhyme’s capture. Leads point to Mexico, and Rhyme struggles to conduct both investigations, fighting time and his own limitations.

Once gain, Deaver manages to succinctly convey the palpably frustrating situation of Lincoln Rhyme, a man whose intellect fights constantly with the needs of his body.  His capable assistant Thom is back, keeping Rhyme functioning despite the toil of stress on his body, and giving the reader a disturbing but fascinating look into what it takes to keep a quadriplegic alive on a daily basis. The white boards, which catalog the evidence for the reader and Rhyme to see at a glance, are back, too.  This is Deaver at the top of his form, with plot twists and rapid pacing that will keep you reading long after you should have turned out the light.

Advertisements