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Monday, May 06, 2013

Happy Birthday: Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is the international bestseller author of the Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance series of thrillers, as well as numerous other works. His novels include The Cold Moon, the James Bond novel Carte Blanche, Roadside Crosses, and more.

Born May 6, 1950, Deaver has been a journalist, folksinger, and an attorney. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a law degree. He has won numerous awards for his novels and short stories.

Deaver's two most popular characters are Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. These two couldn't be more different: Rhyme is a quadriplegic who believes in the science of crime solving, while Dance is a female detective skilled at reading body language. There are ten Rhyme books and three in the Dance series. Each character has made brief appearances in each others's series. Rhyme has a steady cast of supporting characters and a partner, female detective Amelia Sachs. While there are a few recurring characters in the Dance series, most of the time she works alone.

Deaver is known for his plot twists, interesting villains, and suspenseful plots that usually take place over a small duration of time, say a few hours or maybe a week. The Cold Moon is my favorite Deaver book and I highly recommend it. While there are recurring characters and ongoing personal plot lines, each novel in a series is basically standalone. He gives enough information for new readers on character relationships so that you don't have to read every book in order to know who is who and what's what. His plots are twisted and he writes in a style that deceives you, but in a good way. Almost all the clues are there, you just have to pay attention. I sometimes feel his twists are a little too much, a character figuring something out just a little too conveniently, but this doesn't happen very often. He is a master of suspense and thrills.

The Bone Collector is the first in the Rhyme series, and if you saw the movie, just forget about it and read the book. They get better with each installment. I really liked his literary reboot of James Bond in Carte Blanche, and hope the editors continue with that direction. Like I said before, The Cold Moon is my favorite Deaver book. The main villain is smart and interesting, almost a match for Rhyme. The most interesting Dance book has been XO. The plot centers around a female country music singer who has a stalker, when her friends and colleagues begin to turn up dead, the stakes are raised. This book is interesting because an album was released with it, making it only the second book I know of with a soundtrack (the other being Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire). All the song's lyrics were written by Deaver, with Treva Blomquist providing the vocals as "Kayleigh Town." It is an interesting bit of cross-promotion and I recommend listening to the album before, or while, reading XO.

Check out Deaver's site for more info and if you want a nice taste of his style, I recommend his two short story collections, Twisted and More Twisted.

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