Two men of words...
One seeking only peace.
The other, violence.
Tate Collier, once one of the country's finest trial lawyers, is trying to forget his past. Now a divorced gentleman farmer, land developer, and community advocate in rural Virginia, he's regrouping from some disastrous mistakes in the realms of love and the law. But controversy -- and danger -- seem to have an unerring hold on Tate. Even as he struggles to rebuild his life, his alter ego is plotting his demise.
Aaron Matthews, a brilliant psychologist, has turned his talents away from curing patients to far deadlier goals. He's targeted Tate, Tate's ex-wife, Bett, and their estranged daughter, Megan, for unspeakable revenge. Matthews, ruthless and hell-bent, will destroy anything that inhibits his plans. When their daughter disappears, Tate and Bett reunite in a desperate, heart-pounding attempt to find her and to stop Matthews, a psychopath whose gift of a glib tongue and talent for coercion are as dangerous as knives and guns. Featuring an urgent race against the clock, gripping details of psychological manipulation, and the brilliant twists and turns that are trademark Deaver, Speaking in Tongues delivers the suspense punch that has made this author a bestseller. It will leave you speechless.
Before he launched his praised and popular series about quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme (The Empty Chair, etc.), Deaver made his reputation with tricky, stylish thrillers such as Praying for Sleep and Manhattan Is My Beat. This slick novel is a throwback to those books and Deaver's first wholly outside the Rhyme universe since A Maiden's Grave. The basic plot is simple. An insane but intensely charismatic psychiatrist, Aaron Matthews, for reasons revealed only near book's end, kidnaps his patient, alienated Megan McCall, the young adult daughter of former Virginia prosecutor Tate Collier, and imprisons her in an abandoned mental institution. Tate and his estranged wife go looking for Megan and enlist the cops in their search. Much violence ensues. Deaver's characters are workable but not deep, though there's some psychological probing along the fault lines dividing Tate, his wife and their daughter. The novel's primary appeal arises from its thrills, which are plentiful. Like James Patterson, Deaver writes dialogue-driven prose, in short, strong sentences and paragraphs that demand little from the reader while seizing attention to the max. Tate and his wife are forgettable heroes, but Deaver tells some of the story from feisty Megan's gripping POV, as she fights back against her captor--one dandy villain who delights in conning others through disguise and misdirection, allowing for plenty of plot curves. This isn't Deaver's most accomplished novel but it's high-energy entertainment. (Dec. 11) Copyright 1997-2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Simon & Schuster
October 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Speaking in Tongues by Jeffery Deaver
Crazy Megan parks the car.
Doesn't want to do this. No way.
Doesn't get out, listens to the rain...
The engine ticked to silence as she looked down at her clothes. It was her usual outfit: JNCO jeans. A sleeveless white tee under a dark denim work shirt. Combat boots. Wore this all the time. But she felt uneasy today. Embarrassed. Wished she'd worn a skirt at least. The pants were too baggy. The sleeves dangled to the tips of her black-polished fingernails and her socks were orange as tomato soup. Well, what did it matter? The hour'd be over soon.
Maybe the man would concentrate on her good qualities -- her wailing blue eyes and blond hair. Oh, and her body too. He was a man.
Anyway, the clothes covered up the extra seven...well, all right, ten pounds that she carried on her tall frame.
Stalling. Crazy Megan doesn't want to be here one bit.
Rubbing her hand over her upper lip, she looked out the rain-spattered window at the lush trees and bushes of suburbia. This April in northern Virginia had been hot as July and ghosts of mist rose from the asphalt. Nobody on the sidewalks -- it was deserted here. She'd never noticed how empty this neighborhood was.
Crazy Megan whispers, Just. Say. No. And leave.
But she couldn't do that. Mega-hassle.
She took off the wooden peace symbol dangling from her neck and flung it into the backseat. Megan brushed her blond hair with her fingers, pulled it away from her face. Her ruddy knuckles seemed big as golf balls. A glance at her face in the rearview mirror. She wiped off the black lipstick, pulled the blond strands into a ponytail, secured the hair with a green rubber band.
Okay, let's do it. Get it over with.
A jog through the rain. She hit the intercom and a moment later the door latch buzzed.
Megan McCall walked into the waiting room where she'd spent every Saturday morning for the past seven weeks. Ever since the Incident. She kept waiting for the place to become familiar. It never did.
She hated this. The sessions were bad enough but the waiting really killed her. Dr. Hanson always kept her waiting. Even if she was on time, even if there were no other patients ahead of her, he always started the session five minutes or so late. It pissed her off but she never said anything about it.
Today, though, she found the new doctor standing in the doorway, smiling at her, lifting an eyebrow in greeting. Right on time.
"You're Megan?" the man said, offering an easy smile. "I'm Bill Peters." He was about her father's age, handsome. Full head of hair. Hanson was bald and looked like a shrink. This guy...Maybe a little George Clooney, Crazy Megan decides. Her wariness fades slightly.
And he doesn't call himself "Doctor." Interesting.
"Come on in." He gestured. She stepped into the office.
"How's Dr. Hanson?" she asked, sitting in the chair across from his desk. "Somebody in his family's sick?"
"His mother. An accident. I hear she'll be all right. But he had to go to Leesburg for the week."
"So you're like a substitute teacher?"
He laughed. "Something like that."
"I didn't know shr -- therapists took over other patients."
Dr. Peters -- Bill Peters -- had called yesterday after school to tell her that Hanson had arranged for him to take over his appointments and, if she wanted, she could make her regular session after all. No way, Crazy Megan had whispered at first. But after Megan had talked with Peters for a while she decided she'd give it a try. There was something comforting about his voice. Besides, baldy Hanson wasn't doing diddly for her. The sessions amounted to her lame bitching about school and about being lonely and about Amy and Josh and Brittany, and Hanson nodding and saying she had to be friends with herself. Whatever the hell that meant.