The Twelfth Card

This is the first Jeffery Deaver I've read. I was prompted to read something by him, after hearing an interview with him on the radio. Also, I'd heard generally good reviews of his books, and enjoyed, although was not bowled over by, the film of The Bone Collector.

The twelfth card features the same dynamic duo of the quadriplegic criminalist, Lincoln Rhyme, and his go-getting sidekick (and love interest) Amelia Sachs. The novel opens with a warning that genealogy could seriously damage your health, when a young black girl researching her ancestor's involvement in an embryo version of the civil rights movement is nearly murdered in a quiet library in New York. It soon becomes clear that the murderer will stop at nothing to get to Geneva Settle, and Rhyme and Sachs are embroiled in an attempt to protect Geneva both from herself and from the assassin.

A lot of the historical background was fascinating, especially, I suspect, to a non-American with little knowledge of the American constitution or the amendments, and as a broad historical background to what would later become the civil rights movement, it was fascinating. But as a crime story, it really dragged - some facts were mentioned over and over and, well you get the idea, again. It was also incredibly tortuous, with more twists than a spiral staircase. Now although any good detective story needs its twists and turns, you can get to the point where you think enough is enough, and I reached that several times in this novel.

So fascinating for historical background, not a bad throwaway read, but not an author I think I'll be reading again.


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