May 28, 2024

The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver (2006) – a book review

Expertly written crime thriller, about a serial killer loose in New York City, with an obsession with time and a passion for elaborate murders.

Two seemingly unrelated deaths quickly become the hottest new chase for a killer, after an old fashioned, ticking clock was found at each of the crime scenes. The face of the clocks show a moon image, representing the lunar calendar, which bears a great importance to the murderer. Detective Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs become the lead investigators for the case, with the help of a handful of colleagues. Rhyme is a quadriplegic, who has to do all of his research from a base in his home, although, his masterful attention to detail and an unrelenting persistence with evidence have made him one of the most revered detectives in the city.  Sachs is a determined street cop, whose family has been born and bred in the service, making her resolve to find this killer even more solid.

The killer, known as The Watchmaker, utilizes a terrifying book of torture methods as inspiration for his evil deeds, and once he teams up with a sexual predator, their goals become even more threatening.

It is a brilliantly written book with outstanding attention to character details. The author brings these people to life with a delicate grace, rather than immediacy, making them even more interesting and rewarding. The plot becomes a raging bull, uncontrollable and deadlier with every minute gone by. The twists and turns are very difficult to see coming, and few would be able to foresee the ultimate conclusion.  The freezing temperatures of NYC make for an excellent setting considering the subject matter, and the little moments of comedy and poignancy are perfectly chosen within what is otherwise a pretty harsh story.

Perfect reading if you like gritty crime thrillers that hold no punches when it comes to killing. Deaver has created a place for himself within the literature industry for being brutal with a pen.

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