on 12 May 2002
As an avid fan of Jeffrey Deaver and a follower of the Lincoln Rhyme series, I eagerly awaited for the fourth installment.
The Stone Monkey is another great story and well written addition. However, I found that this novel certainly isn't best of the four and my least favorite. I think this is mainly because there is less character development, particularly of Rhyme (the ex. head of forensics quadriplegic) and his partner Sachs (a crime scene officer).
Apart from the aforementioned, I must say once I started reading the book I couldn't put it down. Deaver's portrayal of the human smuggling underworld was grim as ever! and that of the chinese society brilliant. Deaver really delves into these subjects providing the story with intricate details. Add this with a chilling plot, unexpected turns, lovable and detestable characters - you end up with another outstanding Deaver thriller...
on 15 July 2002
Deaver made a huge impact on me with the Bone Collector and subsequently I have purchased all his offerings - including his previous novel which were wrapped up in new covers to fool the unsuspecting - his style of faint romance between Sachs and Rhyme, a cruel and ruthless villain and a sudden twist is beginning to wear thin. While I enjoyed the book it is all a bit "thriller-by-numbers" as opposed to the genuine attention holders he produced for a while. Like James Patterson the one-book-a-year author production line tends to diminish the final product. Read on a plane.
on 8 May 2002
Deaver's books just keep on getting better and better. This one is no exception.
All the usual characterrs are back in full force, as well as some new excellent subsidiary characters. John Sung, Sony Li, Sam Chang, and the captain of the Fuzhou Dragon, who, even though he only features in the first couple of chapters, is an incredibly strong presence.
Deaver packs it all again, knowing exactly what his readers want. Quirky characters, a quick, tense, suspenseful and original plot, which has complex and interesting twists. (It is a good thing that here he has cut down on his twists...he still has some (really good ones) but just not quite as many. sometimes he can go over the top.) The relationship between is Rhyme and Sachs is moving along nicely. I like the fact that Deaver is not rushing their relationship. It tells us a couple of things. First, the he plans at least several more Rhyme books, during which their relationship will progress. Second, he is a talented writer who thinks ahead. Some writers who write series characters develop their characters really well early on in a series, but in the later novels there is nothing left to develop, so the characters begin to seem wooden and very two dimensional. (james Patterson, this is you im talking about.) Wise writers choose to develop their characters more slowly, giving room for a series to seem fully developed. It is the mark of a really good writer that even though the characters are still being developed, they do seem fully fleshed out in all the novels, even though they are not fully devloped. Deaver manages to do this so well. There are still things we have yet to know about Rhyme and Sachs, but still their characters are wonderfully vivid.
there is less interaction in this novel between the two leads, because interaction is not always needed any more. Sachs KNOWS what Rhyme will say, she doesnt need to hear him say it. It shows how far their relationship has gone, and is a reflection of it. It also gives us an opportunity to see how both characters work almost on their own. When the two characters do interact, it really gives the reader a kick. This time round, Deaver concentrates a little more on his other stock characters (Dellray, Sellito, etc) and it gives the book a really good, well rounded feel. (Although i have always felt that Deaver sometimes gives Thom unnaceptably short shrift.)
Deaver does his research wonderfully, and his little tidbits about Chinese culture (and other things) which he feeds to the reader really are wonderful.
The beginning of the book is great. It begins with a scene of incredible suspense and does not let up all the way through. (It was almost as if i had stepped into the book right at the exciting climax.) I was amazed at how he built the suspense up so well over just a couple of pages.
Deaver's books always have essneitally very bad crimes in them, and wonderfully chilling villains. THis one is no exception. Justice is meted out in the end, as always.
A brilliant book. Possibly his best yet.
on 2 July 2014
Kwang Ang, a heartless snakehead - those used to illegally transport immigrants into the land of opportunity - has run into some trouble; The piglets he was leading to the new country have escaped his grasp, and are folling his intricate plot and his plans - Step in Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs, Mel Cooper and the usual team to sieve through the evidence for that key piece that will link the bad guys to the scene. Only everything isn't as straight forward as it seems..
Brilliant work and writing by the legendary Jeff Deaver - Plot twists and turns keep you on your toes, whilst allowing you to enjoy the ride. The short simple chapters let the story flow at the readers pace.
Entertaining, Informative, Brilliant - Expect anything else form Deaver?
on 22 June 2013
I would have given a 5, but it's just not his best book. But then - if you are as big a fan of J. Deaver as I am, you will probably want to read this one as well - certainly, if you are like me, who has allllll his books on the shelve, some as yet unread. A person needs to have reserve !!!
As always with Deaver, some very unexpected twists in the interesting story - and a rrreallly unexpected twist towards the end - I did NOT see that one coming !!! - so yes, a very good read.