The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
This is the tenth of Jeffery Deaver's fascinating Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs novels. For those unfamiliar with the series, Rhyme is a quadriplegic former policeman, a forensic genius who consults for law enforcement agencies from his high-tech control
room in a New York City brownstone. Sachs is his lover, still on the force. Despite her premature osteoarthritis, she functions as his legs and eyes on crime sites, often wearing a streaming video camera so he can view the murder scene.
One morning, Rhyme's friend and former partner Detective Lon Sellitto appears with a Captain (Special Services Division) and Nance Laurel, an Assistant District Attorney. They have an unusual case. Roberto Moreno, a US citizen and passionate anti-US advocate in Latin America, was murdered by a super sniper in a hotel room in the Bahamas. Two other people in the room were also killed, apparently by flying glass. Laurel has evidence that the assassination was ordered by the head of NIOS, a quasi-federal intelligence gathering agency headquartered in New York City. She believes that Shreve Metzger, a man with known anger-management issues, has gone rogue and ordered the assassination on flimsy intelligence.
Like most of the Rhyme thrillers, the story is complex and well-plotted, with many twists; but it is not for the faint of heart or stomach. The issues it addresses made me uncomfortable, and I found myself yelling at or arguing with the author and various characters from time to time, much to my husband's amusement. The relationship between Rhyme and Sachs shifts subtly as her arthritis progresses, and Rhyme relearns the sobering lessons of his incapacity afresh in the waters off Nassau. It is Rhyme, with his genius, crotchety character, and authentic-sounding relationships that keeps me coming back book after book to this sometimes gruesome series.
I would like to think of this book as just another thriller, but it pulls in many real situations from recent headlines and raises questions that we as a nation have yet to answer. In addition to his taste for the gruesome and bizarre, Deaver has a rare gift for challenging the world views of his readers, often to their discomfort.
Note: I received a free review copy of Jeffery Deaver's The Kill Room, published by Grand Central Publishing and scheduled for release on June 4, 2013. Versions of this review may appear on other review sites, under my user names there.