Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Deaver/Rhyme/Sachs Trio

As I recall, John Ryan is, or rather was, the only serialized fiction character whose exploits, both in novels and the celluloid screen, that I have followed. I’m referring to the part-time historian/part-time CIA Deputy Director made famous by the guru of techno-thrillers, Tom Clancy.

Then things changed a bit. It all started with my younger D’s fetish for buying used books from the public library, a pastime that she picked up not too long ago, apparently vying with her elder sister for literary supremacy, or acquisition to be exact. So in two outings, she has amassed several books by Jeffrey Deaver, of the Lincoln Rhyme’s pedigree.

Perhaps like me, a Denzel Washington’s fan, you would have heard, or may even have watched, the movie The Bone Collector starring DW in the role of the quadriplegic detective, Lincoln Rhyme. So therein lies the connection with Jeffrey Deaver.

I started with The Stone Monkey, which is about human trafficking involving Chinese piglets, a literal translation from its Chinese counterpart meaning people who are smuggled into a country. The story plot was fascinatingly bizarre, driving me to finish the book within a couple of days, which is a record of sort these days.

Since the cast comprises Chinese people, Deaver has sprinkled several Chinese terms throughout the book. However, his choice of Chinese words as appellations of some of the characters did unsettle me a bit. Let’s just say they are not only less than complimentary, but rather crude. But I was soon lost in the intricate plot, being thrown off several times by his misdirections when I thought I have the bad guy nailed.

Next up was The Coffin Dancer that dealt with the sinister world of hired assassins. My mistake was thinking that all assassins work alone. So there Deaver had me again, until he decided to reveal the identity by a process of elimination. I would not go further here, as I have learned the hard way from the reaction of my younger daughter when I tried to spill some beans, so to speak. Also, my elder daughter has taught me the meaning of being spoilers when I blogged about the latest JK Rowling's offering, unwittingly revealing beyond the normal bounds of "decency".

Now I’m one third way through The Vanished Man, but this time Deaver has decided to reveal the villain early. So the plot takes on a different tack, the readers getting worried for the hero and the heroine whenever the villain gets near. Yes, there is actually a serialized couple, the fairer one by the name of Amelia Sachs, an understudy criminologist. This twist is unlike the previous two where several candidates for villainy compete for my attention.

This particular foe poses tremendous challenge for Rhyme/Sachs and company, for he is an illusionist by profession. I don’t feel bad about revealing the guy here because it’s there in the first few pages of the book. My interest has also been piqued considerably by the fact that I recently watched the Illusionist starring Edward Norton and The Prestige starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, which is about two illusionists trying to outperform each other. So I am familiar with an illusionist’s paraphernalia as explained in the book. The difference is I have to use a lot more imagination in reading Deaver’s convoluted plot.

OK, on to more Deaver/Rhyme/Sachs. To you know who in Oregon, it's time to switch from the Horvath guy to Rhyme.

Oh yes, I just realize that before Rhyme, there is Horvath for me too, the ex-SEAL/secret agent popularized by Brad Thor.


Kitty Girl said...

@_@ HArvath, Dad, HArvath!! Not Horvath!!! lol Geez! Speaking of, there is a new Brad Thor book out, called "The First Commandment" (I think). I'm on the waiting list at the library.

Deaver/Rhyme/Sachs, eh? I've seen some of Deavers' books on sale at the library (books are so cheap there, it's incredible! And they are usually in very good condition). I am, for now, trying to read more 'literary' novels, like books that have won the Pulitzer Prize and that are in the 'literature' section, rather than 'thriller/suspense'. Although, of course, I still love and read the latter genre.

I suppose May and I are in a sort of competition, yes, heh heh!! In fact I discovered another used bookstore, run by the Beaverton City Library, general prices are hardbacks $1, paperbacks 50 cents, but about $2 for newer books (newer as in published within the last two - three years).

I have found a new author to add to my favorites list, Jodi Picoult. She writes on vastly interesting topics; "My Sister's Keeper" (which May has also read) is about this family. At first there's just the son and the daughter. The daughter develops the rarest form of leukemia, and her only hope of survival is for her parents to try and conceive a child that will be a perfect genetic match for their daughter, by way of in-vitro fertilization. And so their third child is born. Anyway the story is about that child's lawsuit against her parents for emancipation, so that she doesn't have to donate any more blood cells or undergo any more surgery to help out her older sister, but there is a HUGE twist to the whole reason as to why the child is doing it. Her other book that I just finished is about this young woman who lives with her dad and her daughter. One day the police show up at their door and arrest her dad, and it turns out that 28 years ago, he had kidnapped her from her mother. Anyway there are twists and turns before we find out, at the very end, the reasons why he did what he did (he was found not guilty--I breathed an audible sigh of relief).

Anyhow. Dan and I have even purchased new bookshelves to keep my new books! :D They're 6' tall, and were only $22 each from Target (on sale)!!! I will post pictures soon.

Oh yes, and I have also joined a local book club. Well, it's an informal group, really, I answered a posting on Craig's List and we just had our third meeting this last Monday. It's a very fun, lively bunch! I enjoy myself immensely! The first book we read was, incidentally, "The Dante Club", whose author I met a few weeks ago. :D Now we're reading "Woman on the Edge of Time" by Marge Piercy, a sci-fi novel about a woman whom everyone thinks is a stark raving lunatic, but actually she is perfectly sane, she is just in tune with the future. Well, the synopsis sounds far more interesting, but that's what I remember from the summary. I haven't started the book yet--I'm trying to wade through my collection! :D

PS I don't think I've ever once correctly guessed the killer's identity in any novel.

Say Lee said...

OK, my mistake, I should have checked one of his books that are on the shelf. My memory is not as good as it used to be.

As for The First Commandment, I'm #38 on the library waiting list here. I think I read the first few pages while at Barnes and Nobles not too long ago.

Have fun with your book club.

Say Lee said...

I wonder whether the unnamed second novel by Jodi Picault that you referred to is 19 minutes cos' I just checked it out yesterday from a public library here. It's published in 2007. I just started a few pages last night and will be the judge of whether she is every bit as good as you have said.

Obviously my interest was piqued by your comment so my eyes caught her name while sweeping across the array of books in the New Books Section.