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The Stone Monkey: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel (Lincoln Rhyme Novels) Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2012
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"People" Rock-solid suspense.
"The New York Times Book Review" [Deaver's] labyrinthine plots are astonishing.
"San Jose Mercury News" [Deaver] can give the reader whiplash with his twists and turns.
"Publishers Weekly" Monkey see, monkey do....and this monkey did the best so far.
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver is the international, #1 bestselling author of more than twenty-seven suspense novels, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. He lives in North Carolina.
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This time out, the quadriplegic Rhyme and his "walk-the-grid" colleague, Amelia Sachs (as spectacularly neurotic as ever) are involved with the underworld of illegal Chinese immigration. They have to fight not only the perpetrators, but possibly a mole among the various organizations--NYPD, FBI, INS, Coast Guard, U.S. State Department, the Chinese government--involved in the case. Since the book is part of a series, you know the good guys will win, but how? That's where the thrills are.
Notes and asides: on p. 282 the term NYFD is mentioned. Sorry. It's NYPD but FDNY. Mr. Deaver, familiar as he is with things NYC, must know that. Somewhere in Outsourceiana (Indiana? Idaho? Iowa? India?) is a copyeditor who thinks "wow! I saved Jeffery Deaver from an obvious error." Err, no.
The primary plot of 'The Stone Monkey' turns on the fates of the passengers of the ill-fated Fuzhou Dragon, carrying illegal immigrants to the United States from southeastern China. On board as well is the human smuggler (or snakehead) they have paid to bring them here - Kwan Ang, a psychopathic killer also known as 'The Ghost.' When the Dragon is nearly captured by a team under the direction of Lincoln Rhyme, the Ghost cold-heartedly locks immigrants and crew alike in the hold and blows a hole in the ships side, sending it to the bottom as he makes his own escape.
As luck would have it, the Chang and Wu families, along with a few others, manage to escape. Despite the Ghost's determination to kill them they reach shore before Amelia Sachs and INS can arrive and sweep them up. They, with the Ghost in hot pursuit, disappear into the rich oriental subculture of New York City. The Ghost is determined to kill the escaped Chinese 'piglets.' So determined that he leaves a trail of death behind him wide enough to draw attention. Soon he begins to find his actions and plans countered by Rhyme and the rest of the GHOSTKILL team. Without a blink he moves to include Sachs and Rhyme among his victims.
Two Chinese men have a great impact on the case, and on the emotional relationship between Rhyme and Sachs. These are John Sung and Sonny Li, both passengers on the Fuzhou Dragon as well. Sung is a doctor and herbalist. His calm forthright style attracts Amelia as she deals with the problems of a woman who loves a quadriplegic. Sonny Li is a Chinese police officer, driven to hunt the Ghost down and bring him to justice one way or another. While Li seems to be a bit of a space cadet, his brand of wisdom and insight gradually make him a friend of Rhyme.
Jeffrey Deaver writes true 'mind candy.' Not only is this a story that is almost entirely pure detection with many satisfying twists and turns, it is full of facts and insights. He reveals to us an entirely different kind of Chinese world, where good and bad frequently have entirely different meanings. Many times Deaver traps us in our misconceptions and makes us confront situations at are a bit beyond the traditional comfort zone of the mystery novel. And he does this all with an easy, believable style. Expect a novel several notches above the norm.