The writing is great, the suspense is top notch as usual but the story pans out to be rather dull.
A high school student is the target of a hit man. The million dollar questions are: who is the killer? and why is she being targeted? The case takes a strange turn once everyone realises she is researching her family tree and one of her ancestors may have a bearing on history as we know it.
Suddenly Rhyme and co are trying to find out what happened all those decades ago as well as keep young Geneva safe.
You'll be terribly disappointed to find out the conclusion of the case but the road there almost makes it worth it. Plus, there's another Rhyme book coming out soon and you dont want to be left in the dark when certain personal aspects creep in...:)
Read if you are an avid Rhyme/ Deaver fan only....
Jeffery Deaver is one of those authors whose releases I look forward to and always buy. His invention of paraplegic forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme & his partner/ girlfriend Amelia Sachs are a bright, breezy and very likeable pairing whose investigations are 9 times out of 10 very enjoyable and capable of keeping the reader well entertained right up to the last page.
This one is unfortunately one of the 1 out of 10 that dont quite make the grade.
There is a schoolgirl being hunted by a meticulous hitman whose reasons for wanting her dead are unclear at first. Her story is unravelled slowly but surely and as we learn more of her we learn more of a slave ancestor of hers who may or may not have turned bad and whose own story becomes tied up with the plot.
There's no lack of ideas or of characterization, Deaver has yet to write poorly in these areas, but there is something awry with the pacing of the story. It just moves too slowly and repeats itself too often so that your mind begins to wander and your interest becomes lost.
Truth is there's a good story in here but it would probably have been to make the ancestors story the main plotline as it was the one with the most potential and plot and to have relegated the schoolgirls plight to the lesser story as this was repetitive and ultimately the less interesting of the 2.
Dont get me wrong, a half cooked Deaver story still kicks much of the competition into touch, it's just that he has written better and so in comparison this one looks somewhat undercooked.
Jeffery Deaver writes another great Lincoln Rhyme novel. This one is about Geneva Settle, a 16 year old black girl who is researching her ancestor, Charles Singleton who lived during the Civil War. He was active in the early Civil Right movement but the newspaper report tells of his arrest for theft. While Geneva is at the Black History Museum looking at the micro fiche tapes, she is attacked by Thompson Boyd. But Geneva is smarter than Boyd. She sets up a mannequin in her place and runs.
In steps Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to help the police figure out why Geneva is the target of Boyd. Boyd is willing to sacrifice innocents to accomplish what he was hired to do. Who hired him and why? Is he working alone? Why has he become a person who feels nothing?
Another problem arises when Lincoln discovers that Geneva's parents are fictitious and she is living on her own. She is doing very well in school so no one suspects the real situation. Where are her mom and dad?
And, of course, there is always the side of the story where Lincoln's paralysis comes in. This time, he is exercising to attempt to create even a small amount of movement. Does all the hard work bring about what Lincoln hopes for? The twists and turns of this story kept me wanting to listen long into the night.
The reader, Dennis Boutsikaris, is adept at voice inflections and keeps the reader interested by not becoming monotone. He is clear and precise in his pronunciation of the words and does very well when reading the Black English Vernacular.
The Twelfth Card provides historical background on the civil rights movement and how hard life was for the black man. It also tell of what hard work and determination of a teenager can bring about and of Lincoln's constant struggle to gain even a little bit of freedom from the paralysis he suffers.
on 7 June 2005
This is only the second Jeff Deaver Novel I have read, the first being the "Bone Collector" a few years ago. No excuse as to why I have not read more Deaver as I liked "The Bone Collector" and I liked this novel "the Twelfth card." The author has a wonderful talent for for the unexpected twist and or turn that makes this kind of book fun. He also does a great job of developing his characters and writting bvelivable dialog. I think the quadraplegic Lincoln Rhyme is just great, a tough exterior but a big marshmellow inside. And an insperation as to how he handles his Handicap.
In this installment Rhyme is investigating why a man has been stalking a highschool student. Could it have something to do with the 140 year old death of the student's ancestor. I wont give away the plot but it takes off from here and leads the reader on a suspencful tale full of thrills and twists and turns! I highly recommend "The Twelfth cars" you wan't be disapointed!
I also must recommened "A Tourist in the Yucatan," underground thriller hit of 2005!
on 3 April 2013
I've been a fan of Jeffery Deaver's for a long time; so perhaps a disappointment had to come along some time, sooner or later.
And "The Twelfth Card" is definitely a disappointment.
It's not only far too long and artificially prolonged by one suspect after another being uncovered, in a sequence leading up to a person dropped in to the plot in the last 30-odd pages.
But far worse, it's plagued by excursions into AAVE (if you're not American, look it up); there's even a discussion near the end about whether AAVE is legitimate.
And one of the participants in this discussion is the "heroine", Geneva Settle, whom I would would normally warm to for her delight in books. But I found myself wishing that this prissy little miss would - just for once - open her legs rather than open a book.
And as for the final pages about the miraculous off-scene discovery of the ownership of some prime NY real estate, the less said the better.
Am I interested in Rhyme's new-found ability to move more than just his ring-finger? Naaah!
on 12 April 2006
I have read all of Jeffery Deaver books (except for the Rune series and the Location Scouts series which I think he should stop and concentrate on Rhyme). I consider myself a great fan of his writings and always eagerly awaits his new books. The Twelfth Card is a real letdown and disappointing! Only the criminology parts kept it alive for me. I just couldn't wait to get it over and done with. His 3 BEST books by far are "The Bone Collector", "The Devil's Teardrop" and his recent "Garden of Beasts".
I hope "The Cold Moon" fares better!
on 25 September 2005
Sorry Jeff, as much as I am a fan of yours, this is a lazy, by the numbers thriller which doesn't compare to your earlier works.
I was so looking forward to this book, and it came as a massive disappointment when I had finished it. The Rhyme/Sachs crime busting duo is now becoming contrived and tiresome, and seems to get more and more incredulous as each book comes around.
The premise of this book sounds promising, with shady secrets and ancient murder mysteries to be solved, but it never really takes off, and the ending is a big anti-climax.
The crippled, cantankerous genius that is Rhyme; the super cliched ex-model Sachs, complete with arthritis and blue cape; the plodding, but indispensable back up staff and faceless cops; the typical Deaver heroine/hero - feisty, independent, intelligent....need I say more?
Deaver hasn't written a decent Rhyme/Sachs thriller since the Coffin Dancer (his best work by a mile), and on this evidence, it looks like that streak will continue. Strangely, his better works are stand alone novels, where he doesnt seem to be constrained by the formulaic mechanisms he insists on using in books like this.
on 13 March 2006
Being a big fan of deaver and his lincoln ryhme novels, I was really excited when I bought this book, but this is definately the worst of the lot, where as the others keep you guessing right to the end this one just did'nt do it.
Sorry Jeffery 2 stars.
on 28 May 2011
Always eager to read the next Deaver-Rhyme book, I was left feeling a little disappointed by the Twelfth Card. Although packed with twists, turns and suspense, I found the story rather dull and lacking in substance creating an "oh" instead of an "ooooooooh". There were some excellent touches to the story, such as the historical theme and learning more about regular characters. The Harlem dialect was a nice touch although sometimes difficult to follow. I felt the last section of the book brought necessary closure and updates, which could have easily been overseen as unnecessary to the story but were in fact key to the overall rating. Although merely passable for Deaver, he still blows most similar genre authors out of the water!
This is everything you'd expect a Lincoln Rhyme novel to be. And there's the problem: this is really just the same as all the others, but with a few different colours splashed across the final canvas. It provides exactly the same thrills, twists, turns, surprises, intriguing characters, that we expect from Deaver, and of course he succeeds at that. But, Deaver's now come up with a Rhyme template that means every novel is really very very similar, which is where they might fall down. Rhyme must catch a bad guy before he gets to his target, while Amelia Sachs rides around the city looking at various crime scenes where they *almost* caught said villain and reporting the finds to him. Various tense situations are set up, nice double-takes on Deaver's part, but don't worry because you know that before anything really bad can happen, Rhyme will figure out something obscure from the collected evidence, and the police will dash to the rescue or a crisis will somehow be averted. Always exactly the same. There's nothing wrong with the formula exactly, but Deaver's getting in a bit of a rut telling these stories in the same way over and over; he needs to think of new ways to tell his stories, really, new variations, because when the reader knows the exact template for the plot, much suspense is removed.
It's to Deavers credit, then, that despite the reader's absolute familiarity with Deaver's storytelling method, he can still keep suspense and intrigue up to a level that keeps you gripped (even if not as much as it might do if he came up with some more original story/plot-frames). Rhyme and Sachs are as compelling as ever, and the subsidiary characters are stronger in this novel than ever before: Geneva Settle is particularly strong, a great character, and it's largely down to her that the book stands out from Deaver's other Rhyme thrillers in any way at all: in the midst of a story you know exactly how will unfold (even if not quite WHAT will unfold), she's an island of originality that supplies the heart of the book, and really is the thing which keeps this book absolutely above water.
Once again, Deaver's method of throwing twists in has become as predictable as Rhyme's continued incapacity, so you just sit back and wait for them to come, rather than are much surprised by them. There are some good ones here, but probably one two many.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the book a lot, and Deaver fans doubtlessly will too. The largest effect, I suspect, will be on those who are picking up a Deaver novel for the first time. It's certainly worth reading, for a great story and a great piece of entertainment, but if Deaver doesn't start doing something different with this series soon, people aren't going to be so keen to read the sae book over and over.