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The Lesson of Her Death Paperback – July 21, 1994

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Attorney-author Deaver, whose Manhattan Is My Beat was an Edgar nominee, delivers a harrowing and substantial suspense thriller. The investigation into the murder of Auden University coed Jennie Gebben, whose mutilated body is found in a "bed of muddied hyacinths," coincides with crises in the life of Lt. Bill Corde of New Lebanon, Ind. While the case draws Corde into a maelstrom of academic politics and sexual obsession, his learning-impaired nine-year-old daughter writes stories about a wizard named the Sunshine Man, his teenaged son constructs sexual fantasies from multiple viewings of a science fiction film, and his wife finds comfort with the young professor who tutors their daughter. As more murders occur at the financially endangered college and hysteria about cult killings pervades the community, Corde's family is harassed by snapshots and notes somehow secreted into private areas of the house. As Corde follows an intricate trail emblazoned with sadomasochism, bisexuality and vaulting academic ambition, he is surrounded by well-drawn secondary characters: his children, the villain, certain venal academics and a security guard. Terror steadily accelerates in this page-turner until the final riveting secrets are revealed.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

One murdered college student and then another seem to indicate the presence of a serial killer in the small town of New Lebanon. Bill Corde, the investigating detective, finds his family threatened by a killer who appears to know them all too well. As Corde hunts the killer, others scramble to protect their own secrets until Corde at last learns the complex pattern leading to the deaths. Corde's nine-year-old daughter, Sarah, hampered by a learning disability, is both a potential victim and star of the story. The family's struggles to identify and deal with her problems make a highly satisfying counterpart to the police-procedural aspects of the plot. Although the author ( Mistress of Justice , LJ 8/92, among others) has overloaded his story with characters and subplots, he provides enough complications to entice any reader-detective. The characters have the inconsistencies and frailties of real life. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections.
- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperback; 2nd Revised edition edition (July 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340610557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340610558
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on January 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jeffery Deaver is the master of suspense. I have yet to read one of his books that has not kept me up all night reading by flashlight.
pucksau@earthling.net is wrong, by the way, Jeffery Wilds Deaver is the same author who wrote The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer. I must also whole heartedly agree with dglavelle@hotmail.com. It is a shame that many of Jeffery Deaver's books are no longer in print but I keep scouring the used book stores in hopes of finding a treasure - namingly an out of print Deaver book.
Lessons of Her Death is a perfect example of Deaver's work - smart, engrossing and well written (plot line and characters). He also makes you feel for both the victim as well as the villain - Deaver shows you what is behind the eyes of a mad man. This was another Deaver book with plot twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I highly recommend getting into Mr. Deaver's world
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jason Birkby on January 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is far from being Jeffery Deaver's best novel but it is a srong tale. Deaver has the ability to make strong likeable characters among the most devilish and harrowing times.
The story revolves around the murder of Co-ed. The long list of suspects from ex-boyfriends, college professors and a teenage trouble-maker keep the reader guessing till the end. Even the investigator's family slowly starts to crumble from the events.
The story line of the daughter who may be gifted is a gripping side, to which the Father ignores looking for the main killer.
Deaver has abilities to show the world of people with handicaps. He also will leave the reader holding their breath till the outcome. The book does tend to get a little long and action does slow down in the middle. Some of the violence is not for everybody. The three stars comes based on the fact that Deaver does have other books that are more well rounded. This is a strong read for any forensic criminal investagation novel fans.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gerard T. McGuire on August 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bill Corde is a former big city cop turned small town detective who is assigned to investigate a murder of a local college girl. Although signs point to a cult killing, Corde knows better and he closes in on the real killer. He discovers the victim has left him with a number of suspects and as he gets closer to the killer, the killer gets closer to him. In typical Deaver fashion, there are twists and turns with every new chapter. You are kept guessing until the very end as to the identity of the murderer. The book is a smooth read and it held my interest throughout. Deaver conveys real suspense and dread by bringing the Hero's children into the sights of the villain. Deaver and suspense fans will find this as a book worth reading.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By N. Sausser on September 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first picked up this book, I mistakenly thought it was written by Jeffery Deaver, author of The Coffin Dancer. I was not disappointed, however. The characters in this story are immediately captivating and the action seldom lets up. Some of the surprising twists had me gasping out loud. The only thing that slowed the pace was the lack of punctuation in places that made for awkward and unwieldy sentences. These missteps became easy to ignore once the story got going. I really enjoyed this book, and like other reviewers here, would like to read his earlier works.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "the_halberdier" on February 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of Deaver's books and this is probably the weakest. That, however, is like saying that a painting is one of Da Vinci's weakest -- the guy is so good that even his earlier, poorer stuff is still worth reading. I found this book fun and gripping, but it has the same flaws (hard to empathise with the characters enough to really get into the story) as his other earlier work.
This is quite fast-paced (not as fast as his later work) and quite chilling in parts. He really knows how to get inside peoples' heads, particularly loonies, and describe their thought processes scarily well. Good for a rainy day or when you're sick at home, once you've read all of his others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tarheel Golfer on January 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of Deaver's earlier works. I'll echo most of the other reviewers and say that this isn't his best. It is, however, still a very strong story. Deaver's weakest is still as good or better than most writer's best.
This is a strong plot, but there are fewer twists than Deaver has become known for. The characters are also very good. He makes you cheer for Corde and wonder how his coworkers can be so stupid.
Again, it's not his best, but you still won't be disappointed by it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "skipzgal" on January 24, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fascinating and intriguing novel with more than one plot twist and surprise! If you are a Deaver fan, I'm sure you'll love this story.

Bill Corde is a deputy in a small midwestern town, New Lebanon. When the murder of a college student, Jennie Gebben, is discovered. Detective Corde is placed in charge of the investigation. Sheriff Ribbon and one of his deputies, Slocum are convinced that this is a cult killing, and that it is connected to a previous murder of another college student, Susan Biagotti. However, Bill Corde is not convinced of this, and continues to pursue the case in his own manner.

Tied in with the murder are two mysterious teenage boy's who call themselves Jano and and Phathar, characters from a science fiction movie that they are obsessed with. As the story continues, the reader wonders if these teenager's are serial killers, or perhaps just troubled youth's.

Detective Corde not only faces the puzzle of Jennie Gebbens murder, and difficulties he faces in the sheriff's department, in his family life he is dealing with a nine year old, learning disabled daughter who is a possible target of the killer, and living in a fantasy world, a teenage son who becomes a suspect in the murder, and a wife who is less than happy with their marriage.

This is an intriguing and fascinating mystery. The characters are well stuctured and believable. Everything is wrapped up and explained by the conclusion of the novel. The reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because I would have liked to know what happened to several of the characters shortly after the mystery was solved. It's a pet-peeve of mine.
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