Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver

I'm made myself a promise that each holiday, I'll try to take some time off from working and I'll treat myself by reading a book just for fun. The vast majority of the books I read are for clients and although I thoroughly enjoy those books - its fun to read a book just for fun. So, you will probably notice that on many holiday weekends, I've posted reviews for Jeffrey Deaver books :)

The Broken Window is a high tech story about identity theft taken to extremes. Picture this, you are at your home having dinner or watching TV and the police knock on your door. They ask where you have been that evening and even though you know that you haven't done anything wrong, the police find evidence that ties you to a crime - murder. How can that be? They have a shoe print that matches your shoe, the condom at a rape scene matches the condoms you bought a couple of days ago, the potato chip crumbs at the scene match a bag in your garage and the worst news is that the victim's blood was found in your car.

This master criminal thinks that he has all the necessary information to pull off repeated "perfect crimes" and he did for years. Then he makes a "fatal" mistake - he frames Lincoln Rhymes cousin. That brings the renowned forensic specialist to the case and that means the criminals days are numbered (he would appreciate the pun :).

As the criminalist and his crew work on the crime, they find their way to a business that collects every bit of available information about every man, woman and child in the US. The business gives credence to the concerns about 'big brother watching you'. They know where you were, what you did, what you bought and much much more. The idea that a company could have all this information is creepy enough - but then imagine that a criminal mastermind has access to that information.

We see bits and pieces of the criminal and he lashes out at Rhyme, Amelia, and the other people who work with Rhyme. Literally, no one is safe from him and while Rhyme is very good - he has limited access to the information he needs. As always there are plenty of people who appear to be guilty while the reader is given tidbits to help us figure out who the mystery man is.

For anyone who likes a detailed and well researched thriller, I highly recommend this book. If you are a fan of Jeffrey Deaver - this book does not disappoint.

NOTE: I read through a number of other reviews before I posted this and I enjoy the immense detail that Deaver brings to his book and as an author I know the amount of pain staking work that is involved in being authentic and bringing this realism to a story. There was a lot of detail in this book and his usual multiple sub plots, but those are all things that make a Deaver book so great. Its not short or full of fluff and it is very possible to get lost in the story. I didn't think this book had as many whiplash twists to it, but with the detail that was included, I'm not sure that would've worked as well in this novel.

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