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The Empty Chair

Renowned criminalist Lincoln Rhyme faces his ultimate opponent: a kidnapper and murderer dubbed the Insect Boy. But Rhyme is in for a surprise when he learns that catching a criminal is one thing...and keeping him is another. Now Rhyme, in North Carolina to undergo risky spinal cord surgery, finds himself hunting a ruthless killer in the heart of a southern swampland -- and going head-to-head with his prot�g�, Amelia Sachs, in a rivalry that tests the limits of both their expertise and their love.
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Wheelchair-bound criminalist Lincoln Rhyme is back, here investigating the kidnapping of two girls. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

The New York Times Book Review A pulse-racing chase. The New York Times Book Review A twisted thriller...[of] scientific smarts and psychological cunning. New York Post Masterful....[Lincoln Rhyme] is the most brilliant and most vulnerable of crime fiction's heroes.

Lincoln Rhyme, the gruff quadriplegic detective and forensic expert of Bone Collector fame, strays far from his Manhattan base to a spooky North Carolina backwater in this engrossing and outlandish tale about the hunt for evil. The hick town is called Tanner's Corner, where Rhyme--in North Carolina for experimental surgery--has been called by the local sheriff to oversee the search for a kidnapper and his victims. The kidnapper is 16-year-old Garrett Hanlon, a local youth of ill repute whose obsession with bugs has earned him the nickname "The Insect Boy." His captives are Mary Beth McConnell, who Hanlon has stalked for months, and local nurse Lydia Johansson, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A marathon chase ensues across North Carolina's perilous swampland by sheriff deputies and Rhyme's assistant and lover, Amelia Sachs. Rhyme, a former New York City cop whose on-the-job injury several years earlier left him with movement in only one finger, directs the search from his wheelchair at sheriff headquarters. As he examines forensic evidence from the crime scenes and points along the search route, Rhyme grows increasingly suspicious about which players are the good guys and which are masking their evil intentions. The story grows heavy in the middle, but eventually takes several of Deaver's trademark twists, cleverly camouflaged for maximum effect. The characters surrounding Rhyme in his third adventure are colorful, back-country cutouts who serve their purpose well. In the end, it's all a bit hard to swallow--particularly the ultimate revelations about Tanner's Corner and its strange inhabitants--but for thrills and surprises, Deaver is still aces. Agent, Deborah Schneider. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild main selections; Doubleday Book Club super release; Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

YA-The author combines wonderful examples of the powers of forensic detection along with plenty of bad guys and girls, plot twists, murder, mayhem, and environmental crime. Rhyme, who may be known to those who saw the movie The Bone Collector, based on Deaver's book (Viking, 1997), travels to North Carolina for an experimental surgical treatment with his aid Thom and prot‚g‚e/soul-mate Amelia Sachs. Soon after their arrival, the sheriff from a nearby town calls upon him. It happens that he is desperate to locate two kidnapped young women. The kidnapper is believed to be a 16-year-old orphan who is suspected of involvement in three deaths, two through attacks by stinging insects. Through chemical analysis of the dirt from the scene, Rhyme is able to learn much about the kidnapper and his travels. However, there are other sinister signs here-like the absence of children among the town's populace. The book is fast moving with lots of surprises. The story offers an additional inducement to recommend it-that of a candid look at a quadriplegic's life. The foray into environmental poisoning by a profit-driven company is timely, and the surprise ending will leave readers impatient to read the next installment of Rhyme's adventures.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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