‘The Burial Hour’ by Jeffery Deaver

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About the book: 

The only leads in a broad-daylight kidnapping are the account of an eight-year-old girl, some nearly invisible trace evidence and the calling card: a miniature noose left lying on the street. A crime scene this puzzling demands forensic expertise of the highest order. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate.  

Then the case takes a stranger turn: a recording surfaces of the victim being slowly hanged, his desperate gasps the backdrop to an eerie piece of music. The video is marked as the work of The Composer… 

Despite their best efforts, the suspect gets away. So when a similar kidnapping occurs on a dusty road outside Naples, Rhyme and Sachs don’t hesitate to rejoin the hunt. But the search is now a complex case of international cooperation – and not all those involved may be who they seem. All they can do is follow the evidence, before their time runs out. 

My thoughts: 

Reading a Deaver novel, for me, is like slipping on a comfy, much-loved jumper that I haven’t worn since last winter.   Within pages I feel cocooned in a world with my favourite characters, and whilst that world is generally one of murder, torture and intrigue, Deaver’s style in undeniably unique and always submerges me in another world.

The novel begins in New York, home to Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs.  Their apartment serves as both home and criminal laboratory for the duo, as Rhyme, a quadriplegic, prefers to work the high-profile cases he assists with from home. Rhyme is an abrupt and often sardonic protagonist that you can’t help but warm to.  His observational eye and vast forensic knowledge allows him to have the upper hand in any given situation, making him comparable to the much-loved Sherlock Holmes.

However, as the case swiftly moves across the ocean to Italy, die-hard Rhyme fans are introduced to some new characters.  Whilst this shift made me dream of sunshine as Naples and Milan were explored, it was refreshing to have Rhyme take a slight backseat as these Italian investigators were thrown into the mix and Sachs was given more of the limelight.  The often bumbling and generally inexperienced Ercole Benelli was the underdog you desperately wanted to succeed, whilst his superior, the harsh and antagonistic Prosecutor Spiro was his antithesis – think pantomime villain.  Whilst I have grown fond of the familiar New York team who work alongside Rhyme, it was particularly engaging to have this new mix of characters.

The story delivers all the twists, turns and red-herrings I have come to expect from Deaver, and whilst I know never to take things at face-value and to expect the unexpected, I’m always surprised by the way the plot unfolds.

I read my first Jeffery Deaver novel 17 years ago and have eagerly anticipated each publication since.  If ‘The Burial Hour’ is to be the first Deaver novel you pick up, please don’t let the fact that it is the thirteenth Rhyme novel put you off, it will not hinder your enjoyment.  But I warn you, it may start a new addiction!

Many thanks to Jeffery Deaver and Louise Swannell for an advanced review copy of this book.  This was my honest opinion.

Fancy reading this book? Click here.  Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought, so please leave a comment below.

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