A killer flees the scene of a homicide at a prestigious Manhattan music school and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. Then a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot. The police break down the door. The room is empty. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation ...
A killer flees the scene of a homicide at a prestigious Manhattan music school and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. Then a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot. The police break down the door. The room is empty. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protegee to ferret out a master illusionist they've dubbed 'the conjurer', who balts them with gruesome murders that become more diabolical with each fresh crime. As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, Rhyme and Sachs must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-01-20 Fans of Deaver know that he works storytelling magic in his thrillers, not just the Lincoln Rhyme tales (The Stone Monkey, etc.) but also the stand-alones (The Blue Nowhere, etc.). It's fitting, then, that in his new, giddily entertaining story about quadriplegic crime fighter Rhyme, he casts as his villain a professional illusionist-and an apprentice magician as assistant to Rhyme and Rhyme's cop sidekick-lover, Amelia Sachs. The novel opens with the murder of a young female student at a music school on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Caught in the act, the killer vanishes from a sealed room. Forensic and eyewitness clues point to a culprit with magic training; looking for expert help, Sachs encounters an aspiring illusionist, who goes by the stage name of Kara, who agrees to help her and Rhyme. The villain-revealed in passages from his POV as "Malerick," soon identified as a world-class magician with a serious ax to grind-commits further mayhem (including an attack on Rhyme), which looks like steps toward an act of consummate revenge. A subplot about a white power demagogue's attempt to assassinate the Manhattan D.A. who's prosecuting him grows to involve Malerick, giving the storyline twists-and twists and twists, through Deaver's masterful sleight of hand. Further subplots concerning Sachs's attempt to attain a sergeant's ranking, and Kara's relationship with her stroke-addled mother, as well as the customary difficulties of Rhyme's condition, add ballast to the gyrating main story line, rich in magic lore and lingo. This is prime Deaver. (Mar. 11) Forecast: With a 300,000 first printing, plus Deaver's ever-growing reputation, booksellers should expect magic with this title, as they stock it on shelves only to see it disappear in the blink of an eye. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-02 Not since Bill Bixby's The Magician has illusion played such a vigorous role in the investigation of a homicide. A girl is murdered, the killer is caught red-handed, then trapped in a sealed room with a hostage. A shot is fired and when the room is entered, it is empty. Deaver (The Stone Monkey; The Devil's Teardrop; etc.) summons up a fifth tale in the Lincoln Rhyme series and loads it with his trademark twist and turns. Rhyme, a quadriplegic forensic criminologist, seems to have met his match in his new foe, dubbed "The Conjurer" by the police, a master of sleight of hand, illusion and misdirection, much like Deaver himself. Grupper does a fine job of keeping the thriller on the rails, and his depiction of Malerick, a villainous master of disguise straight out of a comic book (he regularly disappears in a flash of light and smoke), is riveting. Grupper's skill with gender and accents is marvelous. The structure of the book is nicely formatted for audio, as the killer narrates his own "performances" as if he were a ringmaster announcing the latest trick, using phrases like, "And now, revered audience...." Simultaneous release with the Simon & Schuster hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 20). (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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