Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller. To save the life of a young girl who's being stalked by a ruthless hit man, Lincoln and his protégé, Amelia Sachs, are called upon to do the impossible: solve a truly "cold case" -- one that's 140 years old.
The Twelfth Card is a two-day cat-and-mouse chase through the streets of uptown Manhattan as quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs try to outguess Thompson Boyd -- by all appearances a nondescript, innocuous man, but one whose past has turned him into a killing machine as unfeeling and cunning as a wolf. Boyd is after Geneva Settle, a high school girl from Harlem, and it's up to Lincoln and Amelia to figure out why.
The motive may have to do with a term paper that Geneva is writing about her ancestor, Charles Singleton, a former slave. A teacher and farmer in New York State, Charles was active in the early civil rights movement but was arrested for theft and disgraced. Assisted by their team, Fred Dellray, Mel Cooper and Lon Sellitto (suffering badly from a case of nerves due to a near miss by the killer), Lincoln and Amelia work frantically to figure out where the hired gun will strike next and stop him, all the while trying to determine what actually happened on that hot July night in 1868 when Charles was arrested. What went on at the mysterious meetings he attended in Gallows Heights, a neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that was a tense mix of wealthy financiers, political crooks like Boss Tweed and working-class laborers and thugs? And, most important for Geneva Settle's fate, what was the "secret" that tormented Charles's every waking hour?
Deaver's inimitable plotting keeps all these stories -- the past and the present -- racing at a lightning-fast clip as we learn stunning revelations that strike at the very heart of the U.S. Constitution and that could have disastrous consequences for today's human and civil rights in America. With breathtaking twists and multiple surprises that will keep readers on tenterhooks until the last page, this is Deaver's most compelling Lincoln Rhyme book to date.
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1 . Twelfth Card
Posted July 31, 2008 by scarlett , West Hills, CAI enjoyed this Lincoln Rhyme mystery. The background research done by the author adds interesting historical elements to the story. I do wonder, however, why Rhyme does not seem upset when his red herrings keep changing their colors.
Simon & Schuster
June 06, 2005
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Excerpt from The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver
Chapter One: The Three-Fifths Man
Tuesday, October 9
His face wet with sweat and with tears, the man runs for freedom, he runs for his life.
"There! There he goes!"
The former slave does not know exactly where the voice comes from. Behind him? To the right or left? From atop one of the decrepit tenements lining the filthy cobblestoned streets here?
Amid July air hot and thick as liquid paraffin, the lean man leaps over a pile of horse dung. The street sweepers don't come here, to this part of the city. Charles Singleton pauses beside a pallet stacked high with barrels, trying to catch his breath.
A crack of a pistol. The bullet goes wide. The sharp report of the gun takes him back instantly to the war: the impossible, mad hours as he stood his ground in a dusty blue uniform, steadying a heavy musket, facing men wearing dusty gray, aiming their own weapons his way.
Running faster now. The men fire again. These bullets also miss.
"Somebody stop him! Five dollars' gold if you catch him."
But the few people out on the streets this early -- mostly Irish ragpickers and laborers trooping to work with hods or picks on their shoulders -- have no inclination to stop the Negro, who has fierce eyes and large muscles and such frightening determination. As for the reward, the shouted offer came from a city constable, which means there's no coin behind the promise.
At the Twenty-third Street paintworks, Charles veers west. He slips on the slick cobblestones and falls hard. A mounted policeman rounds the corner and, raising his nightstick, bears down on the fallen man. And then --