Book Reviews

The Stone Monkey * JEFFERY DEAVER

Before having been confined in a train for 6h, I picked up a book from my mother’s stash and have been pleasantly surprised to find a great novel about Lincoln Rhyme and his beautiful red-haired model girlfriend, Amelia Sachs. In the lengthy 500 – odd pages, I was happy enough to learn about the disidents life in modern China, the perils of illegally crossing into America, land of the dreams, and what awaits an immigrant when their guide is less than honest and looking to kill them.

I loved the families involved, their traditions, the way they looked at their growing children, their desires for a better life and the risk they took by uprooting their families and moving to a foreign land in hopes of a better life.

chinatown

“Yield and you need not break. Bent, you can straighten. Emptied, you can hold. Torn, you can mend.”

The book starts off with a bang. Quadriplegic forensic scientist chases criminals and is looking to catch the meanest in China: The Ghost. Never seen, responsible for numerous murders and rapes, always escaping justice.

49f8528c0He’s now heading towards the American soil in a boat filled with Chinese immigrants, entire families, sons and fathers, mothers and daughters, grandparents. When caught by the Coast Guard, The Ghost blows up the ship, sinking everything and everyone in it. Barely escaping, he devises a plan that will allow him to stay alive and systematically kill everyone who escaped the boat (Cheng and Wu). The book follows Liconln from the distance and Amelia from close up as they tease each other, hook up the clues and find one of the families before they are killed and then the second.

The Ghost hires some killers from the nearby towns and goes on a killing spree with inside information. Who was the traitor? Who helped him hunt down and nearly kill the families when only the FBI was aware where they went? The mystery deepens as Lincoln receives a new helping hand from a chain-smoking cop from China who was also on the capsized boat.

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My idea of Amelia Sachs

Great book for a read but I don’t think I would be able to read it again due to some unfortunate flaws:

  • The Licoln Rhyme is a great detective but flawed with the idea that everyone else is clueless, explaining everything to an exasperating detail
  • Amelia’s modelling background is of no importance to the book but is repeated at least 4 times throughout. Should I care that she was a model before she became a cop? Or be surprised that a model wants to be with a quadriplegic and have his children.
  • The cops in Lincoln’s team are highly qualified but they seem to carry a hidden agenda
  • Lincoln Rhyme is not exactly likable, and Amelia Sachs is too perfect. And there’s a stupid tease of something involving Amelia the entire book that may have readers thinking she is looking to get away from Rhymes. Instead it’s a tired misdirect that I was just rolling my eyes at.

Good points:

  • Jeffery Deaver must have visited China or received some sort of table top book of Chinese culture as over half of this book concerned itself on Chinese people and their culture.
  • The ending was good but not amazing; there wasn’t the usual massive twist at the end and things tied off neatly with no cliff-hangers of any sort.
  • The monkey king explanation

 

About the author

JEFFERY DEAVER

deaverauthorphoto200A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.

The author of thirty-eight novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards around the world. His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize, as was a short story. He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and the Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award. Solitude Creek and The Cold Moon were both given the number one ranking by Kono Misurteri Ga Sugoi in Japan. The Cold Moon was also named the Book of the Year by the Mystery Writers Association of Japan. In addition, the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association awarded the The Cold Moon and Carte Blanche their annual Grand Prix award. His book The Kill Room was awarded the Political Thriller of the Year by Killer Nashville. And his collection of short stories, Trouble in Mind, was nominated for best anthology by that organization, as well.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and by the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy. The Strand Magazine also has presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony, a Shamus and a Gumshoe. He was shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. Roadside Crosses was on the shortlist for the Prix Polar International 2013.

He contributed to the anthology In the Company of Sherlock and Books to Die For, which won the Anthony. Books to Die For recently won the Agatha, as well.

His most recent novels are The Steel Kiss, a Lincoln Rhyme novel, Solitude Creek, a Kathryn Dance thriller and The October List, a thriller told in reverse. For the Dance novel XO Deaver wrote an album of country-western songs, available on iTunes and as a CD; and before that, he wrote Carte Blanche, a James Bond continuation novel, a number-one international bestseller.

His book A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his The Devil’s Teardrop. And, yes, the rumors are true; he did appear as a corrupt reporter on his favorite soap opera, As the World Turns. He was born outside Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.

Source: http://www.jefferydeaver.com/about/

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