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The Burning Wire Hardcover – June 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 400 customer reviews
Book 9 of 11 in the Lincoln Rhyme Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An explosion at a Manhattan electrical power substation that destroys a bus—followed by threats of much worse violence unless Algonquin Consolidated Power and Light meets virtually impossible demands—sparks Deaver's sterling ninth Lincoln Rhyme novel (after The Broken Window). Forensic expert Rhyme takes charge of looking into the fatal blast, aided by his partner and sometime lover, field agent Amelia Sachs, among others. Rhyme is able to glean many clues from the scant trace evidence left by the elusive killer at the crime scene. Meanwhile, Rhyme is also staying in close touch with Mexican army and police commander Rodolfo Luna, who's tracking dangerous assassin Richard Logan (aka the Watchmaker) in Mexico City. The twin investigations take an increasingly dangerous toll on quadriplegic Rhyme's precarious physical health. Not even the brilliant Rhyme can foresee the shocking twists the case will take in this electrically charged thriller. (June)
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From Booklist

In the latest Lincoln Rhyme thriller, Deaver rounds up the usual suspects—well, crime-solvers—and pits them against a shadowy perpetrator (or perhaps it’s a terrorist group?) who is using New York City’s electrical grid to commit murder. And if that isn’t frightening enough, it looks like murder might be the least of the villain’s intended mayhem. The Rhyme novels follow a pretty tight format, but that’s fine because it’s a killer format, mixing aspects of the traditional procedural with CSI-style forensic techniques. Deaver, master of the plot twist, does his usual magic—no matter how hard you try, you can’t figure out what he’s about to spring on you—and, as an added tension-intensifier, the Watchmaker, the nasty villain introduced in Cold Moon (2006), is still behind the scenes, just outside our peripheral vision. Another winner from the dependable Deaver. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439156336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (400 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme books and have long felt that the duo of Rhyme and Sachs is one of the best in crime fiction. Having said that up front, I have to admit this was not one of my favorites. The author's infamous attention to detail and his trademark methods of ratcheting up the suspense were still there, and there were parts of this book that I really enjoyed. One of the big attractions of this series for me has always been the relationship between Rhyme and Sachs and their interactions with each other. This was pretty much gone from this book. These characters experience no change or growth; Sachs was a ghost flitting through the book just going wherever Rhyme pointed. Rhyme has more interaction with Thom, his caregiver than he does with Sachs and that interaction was always virtually identical to what we have seen in previous books. How many times do we have to argue about whiskey? There are a couple of efforts to advance the personal aspect of the story, but they seem token attempts at best and are only there to set up a teaser ending.

It's a common problem in series fiction that authors often spend too much time writing for readers that aren't familiar with the characters. I can see their reasoning, but it doesn't make things any less frustrating. I swear some of the dialogue in this book (in the beginning at least) is taken word for word from some of the previous books. The author spends alot of time going over things that followers of the series will already know. I'm not talking just about characters, I'm also talking about forensic basics I'd already learned from Lincoln Rhyme before! I don't remember this being such an issue with earlier Rhyme books, but maybe that's just my selective memory.
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Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this. I've been a fan of the Rhyme novels, but the past few have had the "same feeling" to them. Someone kills someone else, Sachs goes and walks the crime scene. I've noticed that the crime scenes are getting longer and longer to read about. I mean, we're again treated to the reason why Sachs and whoever is with her has to wear bands on their shoes and again it's explained how and why they walk the grid (crime scene) the way they do. Do we needs this over and over and over again? I could only read a few pages at a time, then I'd get really bored reading it, and that's not a good sign.

I will admit that it was interesting to see electricity as a weapon, very interesting, and I did like that part about the book. It was a nice touch, and the only thing I liked about it.

For me, it was "more of the same"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have loved the Lincoln Rhyme books for years. They were sharp, exciting, cerebral and made perfect use of forensic data to solve puzzles that ultimately undid the bad guy. Deaver was on my A+ list which is comprised of about 3 authors whose books I buy in hard cover. The books have been slowly getting worse and this one probably knocked him off my A+ list. Rather than being a hair ahead, Rhymes seems oddly distracted and ineffectual. And then there is the ending. Without giving anything away, it entails an enormous suspension of disbelief to buy the motive for all this mayhem. Far too complex. I gave it three stars out of product loyalty, but if it had been a new author for me it would have gotten less.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm no electrical engineer but I can't even count the number of technical errors in this book. It is a compelling storyline but totally impossible.
Sachs theorizes that a construction site is a target because the ironwork might be electrified. The problem is that, the ironwork is, essentially, grounded. If a high voltage line were bussed to the ironwork, the only thing that would happen would be to trip breakers somewhere or, depending on what was used to make the connection, the wire itself might simply burn away.

Shortly after evacuating the scene, Sachs is told by a utility company employee that this isn't a likely target because the workers are all wearing work boots and gloves which would insulate them. An inch or two of rubber won't do anything to stop 100KV. It is like the idea that the rubber tires on your car protect you from lightning. Electricity (lightning) that travels through miles of air isn't stopped by an inch of rubber. You are safe in the car because it is a Faraday Cage. Skin effect protects you, not the tires.

Another example was the statement that, the longer length transmission lines (over 500 miles) were DC because it was more efficient. That is exactly opposite of the truth. AC is used for long distances because, by raising the voltage, there is less loss. It can then be stepped down at the destination.

Finally in the first "incident" with the bus, the voltage wouldn't go up when the demand (load) increased. The CURRENT would go up.

I usually look forward to Deaver's work but this just had too many holes to be believable. It had a lot of promise but didn't deliver on it. A little fact checking by someone with some electrical knowledge would have made all the difference.
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