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Those reviewers who have said that Deaver has been off form of late are not wrong. The storylines have been fairly uninspired and the relationship between his 2 main characters, paraplegic forensic genius lincoln Rhyme and his policewoman partner Amelia Sachs, had started to become stale.

With the cold moon we have a welcome return to the sort of form that Deavers fans have been waiting for.

Two people have suffered slow, painful deaths out in the cold snow covered streets of New York. What connects them is that both murders are meticulously planned to ensure as slow a death as possible and next to each victim a clock is left along with a piece of paper on which is written a poem.

Meanwhile elsewhere a wealthy buisnessman appears to have killed himself but all is not as it seems and his death begins to point to police corruption.

The 2 plotlines are well enough written and move along quite neatly but what sets this book apart from Deavers recent offerings is the changes that are rung. For the first time Rhyme & Sachs embark on 2 seperate cases, a new expert who specialises in human behaviour is introduced, a rookie cop introduced in the previous book has his development charted and the sometimes irritatingly smug and rude Rhyme is left rueing not listening to others and dismissing different, non forensic methods.

It's not in the same league as the blue nowhere or the empty chair but the cold moon is a welcome improvement and certainly an entertaining read. Hope you enjoy it.
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I believe this is the seventh of the Rhyme-Sachs escapades but I regret to say, as a dedicated fan and owner of fourteen Jeffery Deaver novels, that this particular franchise is in danger of running out of steam. From a technical point of view it is awesome, a masterpiece with highly impressive accounts of police tactics and forensic research, with the psychological science of kinesics now added to the mix. But if there is such a thing as showboating in crime fiction writing then Deaver may be guilty of it, because this tale has more twists than a fistful of fusilli and I for one am growing slightly tired of it. In a way, the first of the many twists was most welcome, because the first story (there's more than one, in effect) was so by-the-numbers Deaver fare that I was almost crying out for the `shock surprise' that would change the direction of the tale completely. The thing is, there's fiction and there's fantasy - not only are the plans of the bad guy - the Watchmaker - rather less than credible in their complexity, but the foresight of Lincoln Rhyme in being able to thwart him is even more so. It's as if the baddie's too bad to be true, and the good guy's too good - or at least has incredible detective skills that border on mind-reading.

If anything, our immobile hero Linc takes something of a back seat (or wheelchair) to his established partner Amelia Sachs and a newcomer to the series in the form of a female kinesics expert (Kathryn Dance - note the musical innuendo again) who just happens to get deeply involved in this case while visiting New York from her native California. Come to think about it, Dance is `on her way to the airport' for the entirety of this novel, but keeps on putting it off to another day. Anyway, Sachs enjoys a new responsibility as lead detective in a suicide case that might just be murder in disguise (guess which!), and this distracts her from helping Rhyme out in his pursuit of the evil Watchmaker. This is a man who seems to have the time for ten seemingly unrelated murders and leaves a clock beside each victim as a calling card. I was relieved when this `plan' altered dramatically and we suddenly found ourselves heading in an utterly different direction, moving away from an almost boring serial-killing spree and onto the slightly more interesting subject of police corruption. That didn't last long though, oh no. Time to get nasty again, and conjure up a completely new objective for the bad guy that has nothing to do with watchmaking or bent coppers. Despite this confusion, Lincoln Rhyme miraculously sees through it all from the comfort of his high-tech town house in Central Park West and basically saves the world. Well, lots of potential victims, at any rate.

Anyone new to the Deaver style may well enjoy all these twists, but for those of us who have seen it all before - and in my case, enjoyed it a lot, to be fair - it was just a little too much. In combining presumably very accurate accounts of forensic science in the pursuit of justice with criminals and criminalists who are just too bad or too good to be true, we are left with a somewhat lop-sided mixture of authentic police procedural work and leading characters who are less than convincing in their identities, objectives and capabilities. In the real world, crime is a lot muckier and so is the solving of it.

Picture Chubby Checker being whipped away by a tornado and you have a ridiculous image of mind-boggling twisting. Or you could read Cold Moon - your impression would be much the same.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2006
Deaver finally gets back on form bringing his signature to this great and clever thriller, not quite Coffin Dancer the best thriller ever written and the only book that made me miss my underground stop. The twists are beautiful the villains almost too many to keep track of but very good anyway. The villain this time is a suspect called the Watchmaker who is obsessed with clocks and killing people very very slowly to make them suffer for a reason that becomes clear later on in the book. Just when you think you have solved it you can be sure you have not and that there is yet another twist/book around the corner to proove you have not. This is 1000 times better than the previous attempts recently and I STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT.
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on 17 August 2006
I have read and bought quite a lot of his books now & this one was very like his others and a gripping page-turner as usual. There is the usual clever villain with his own unique style & Rhyme & Sachs are very much in character trying to find clues from odd bits of forensic evidence. The "Watchmaker"'s knowledge of the history of time & clocks was very interesting to read and gave his character more dimension. I very much liked the new character of Kathryn Dance who is brilliant at interrogating people & interpreting their reactions & body language - she acted as a refreshing counterpoint to Rhyme's own techniques & methods. I also liked the background to Sachs & her father that was revealed in the book.

I did enjoy reading this novel - my only criticisms would be: There were a few too many twists & turns to make it truly believable and the way the 2 cases in the book came together just seemed too far-fetched.

Rhyme & Sachs' personalities are now becoming a little stale and hackneyed & I never really feel convinced of their love for each other. I know Rhyme is a quadriplegic and is supposed to be a logical person who only likes cold, hard evidence but it's about time a) he was able to move more than just his finger and b) a bit of passion and new life was injected into both their characters.
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on 19 August 2008
I was a huge fan of Jeffrey Deaver's character - Lincoln Rhyme, but find I am becoming increasingly 'fed-up' with the constant promise of a crucial mouthwatering revelation, only for it to be snatched away - again. As a mother if I continually made promises to my children, only to then tell them I was just teasing at the last minute, they would cease to trust anything I promised. Unfortunately this is exactly how I felt while reading this book - eventually I just did not believe any cliff-hanger chapter ending offered. As an example (not to spoil the story for you) a young police officer is walking the grid of a crime-scene, while Lincoln is communicating via a 2-way radio link. The police officer hears strange noises, is eventually attacked by an unknown assailant - who you assume to be the murderer. Lincoln loses contact, while the last sound he hears from the officer is described as sounding like someone having their throat cut. But no it transpires it is a homeless guy who has tipped rubbish over the police officer. Believe me it is like this throughout the book, and I eventually found myself thinking "Oh yeah whatever, we know that's not going to happen!"
Overall I have rated this book as a 3 star, there is some very good writing, and I feel the overall plot is very good. But the sheer number of 'coincidences; unfulfilled cliff-hangers; and unnecessary twists really did become infuriating, and a bit of a turn-off, rather than a page turner.
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on 25 September 2006
There are plots.

There are complex plots.

And there are Deaver plots.

The trouble is that of late JD seems to be evolving a rather 'samey' sort of scenario: a couple of apparently unrelated storylines that ARE (of course) related - then an apparent resolution - then a violent shift onto a new tangent as a whole new storyline seems to be uncovered - then ANOTHER such twist with lots of explanation to remind you what's been happening to whom and why - and then a final lurch back onto the main storyline.

Far better were his earlier novels where the emphasis was upon following Rhyme and Sachs through the twists and turns of a more straightforward investigation - but without the need to make the reader feel as if they are starting whole new storylines.

As other reviewers point out, the relationship between Sachs and Rhyme is now well developed, and JD does seem to be avoiding the rut so beloved of writers such as Craig Thomas, Cussler, Patrick Robinson etc. etc. where every new adventure trots out the same weary characters.

Nevertheless, this new book by JD does get a bit wearisome in the last quarter because there are so many jumps, shifts and expositions.

One additionally worrying feature of 'The Cold Moon' is what happens to the main protagonist at the end of the book - does JD think he's created a new character who deserves resurrection? I hope not.
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on 21 November 2006
Having recently met with the author in person at a book signing, I remarked to him that the Cold Moon was the most preposterous book I had ever read - and, being a gentleman and a man of modesty, Deaver burst out laughing! I explained to him I meant it in a good way, which he kind of understood.

Anyway, back to the book. After the supremely disappointing Twelfth Card, Deaver is bang on form in this offering. He somehow manages to hold together a mulit-layered crime thriller, with the ever reliable Sachs & Rhyme heading up the task force to find the killer. Written in similar vein to the Vanished Man, with numerous twists and red herrings, Deaver brings about what can only be described as a fantastic plot, and at times, suspension of disbelief is hard to control. However, fans of Deaver expect the unbelievable, and this is what makes his novels, in the main, so thoroughly enjoyable.

Despite this, I actually believe Deaver is a far better writer when he turns his hand to subjects of seriousness - Garden of Beasts gives ample proof of that.

Finally, if any readers of this review get the opportunity, I would highly recommend going to see Deaver at one of his book signings - he is a most unassuming gentleman, and he spends as much time as he can with every person he goes to see him.
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on 11 September 2006
I am an avid Deaver fan and once again he produces a book that does not disappoint. The realtionship between Rhyme and Sachs is now wholly embeded within each storyline and the books wouldn't be the same without reference to this. Deaver, once again, provides many twists and turns to keep us on our feet and proves that he is the master of suspense.

Buy it - you wont be disappointed !!
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on 24 July 2006
Thank God: Jeffery Deaver hasn't totally lost it after all!

After three bad Lincoln Rhyme novels (the disappointing 'The Stone Monkey, the frankly rubbish 'The Vanished Man' and the tedious 'The Twelfth Card') he once again hits some kind of form here. If he hadn't penned the excellent 'The Garden of Beasts' two years ago I'd have written him off by now, but no, he's proved with this latest volume that all the old ingenuity is still there.

Of course the plot is often preposterous (is 'The Bone Collector' really credible anyone?) but it's done with such verve and vigour that you can't help but get carried along in the excitement. And you simply won't believe how many twists there are in this one!

So, well done Jeffery, keep up this standard and you'll be up there in my top three favourite American crime writers again.
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on 6 June 2008
From reading many of the other opinions on here, this seems to be a book that has clearly divided the Deaver/Rhyme fans, however I'm pitching up in the camp who were underwhelmed by this one in the series. Weighing in at over 500 pages, this is quite a lengthy beast that started out well in true Deaver style `sadistic killer' fashion but then - for me at least - evaporated into virtually nothing towards the end with a frankly limp finale that left me feeling cheated. Compared to previous episodes, the plot/s in this one although as convoluted as always, somehow seemed less interesting and his killer less enigmatic. The final explanation of the protagonist's main motives were frankly too fantastic and ridiculous to be true, going beyond what you could plausibly expect to happen in real life. Deaver has often pushed the realms of reality in the past, but this was far more akin to Hollywood style fantasy than New York style grit.

I also got the distinct impression that Lincoln Rhyme may now be passing his shelf life with Deaver becoming tired of him. The criminalist's usually telepathic deductions lacked proper explanation this time out with seemingly brief, almost lazy anecdotes of him second guessing the killer's moves. Additionally, the repetitions of Rhyme grumpily steering Sachs - and now Pulaski - into "walking the grid" and bossily processing crime scenes have all been heard before and merely seem lifted from previous novels to act as padding.

So overall, I was not too impressed with this one and probably view it as the worst Rhyme novel so far, at least in more recent years. I can easily envisage Deaver now resting Rhyme for a while and taking up with the newer, fresher Kathryn Dance character so it could be some time before we see Lincoln again.

I'll give it three stars since the standard of writing is as top notch as ever from Deaver and I still enjoyed reading it, however I can't escape the niggle that the content didn't quite match the promise...

EDIT; After I wrote this, I read that Deaver is in fact only going to write a Rhyme novel every two years, alternating between him and other works. His next Rhyme novel is imminent - due June 2008 - so it'll be interesting to see if he can rejuvenate his desire for Lincoln by allowing the series to continue with a new lease of life or put it to sleep indefinitely...

EDIT December 2013: although I wrote this review over five years ago, I've read the other Rhyme books since then and I can now sadly confirm that, in my opinion, the character - and author - are over and done with. Deaver really has lost his zest now and, churning out formulaic rubbish, with the subsequent The Broken Window and The Burning Wire just sheer travesties of what Rhyme/Deaver used to be. Oh and not much has changed in those several years... we're still grumpily walking the grid with Sachs and Pulaski but mixed in with a new ageist taint from the author. Time to move on from Deaver and find a fresher, more contemporary author, who's truly appreciative of his fan base.
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