Review: The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver

Tuesday 25 August 2015
Title: The Twelfth Card (Lincoln Rhyme, #6)
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 18th September 2008 (Kindle) / 1st August 2005 (HB)
Pages: 548
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Geneva Settle is running from death. She's just a bright high school student researching a paper on one of her ancestors, but someone sees her as a threat. Someone who will stop at nothing to prevent her from digging up the past. Someone on a mission to kill.

Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs are called to the case. They've tracked down some of the world's most brilliant criminals, but this particular hunt is posing more questions than answers. Where will their prey strike next? What is the historic secret he's so desperate to protect? And how can anyone catch a killer who leaves no trace?

I remember the first time I borrowed a Jeffery Deaver book from the library and it's stuck with me for years because that book was The Bone Collector. I then sought out every other book in the Lincoln Rhyme series and hit a bit of a stumbling block. That stumbling block being The Twelfth Card. I must have started and stopped reading this book about five times over the years, and I have always struggled to get into the story. Annoyingly, I hate skipping a book in any series and so pretty much forced myself to see this one through so I can continue with the series!

Geneva Settle is at the library researching one of her ancestors when a stranger enters and gives Geneva the sense that she's in danger. She escapes from the library in a very inventive way, straight into the arms of her friend and the police. The case is brought to the attention of Lincoln Rhyme, quite loosely because it doesn't really call for his expertise in the beginning, but still. I'm not usually crazy about stories like this as I wondered where it was going. Why would Geneva's looking into her family history mean that someone would want her dead? Especially as it's all from so long ago, so long ago that everybody involved is long dead. Lincoln Rhyme must first reach the conclusion that Geneva wasn't targeted at random and then the story really gets going.

What I have always loved about this series is the rather unique way that we follow the crimes, and the way they are solved. For those new to this series, Rhyme is a quadriplegic, which means that he largely solves cases from home but does occasionally venture out into the field. He's quite a headstrong and determined individual, and very sarcastic too. He takes no messing from anybody, and his long-suffering aide Thom usually bears the brunt of Rhyme's anger and frustrations. But, there's a great partnership there between the two. Rhyme is quite clever, and he often thinks a few steps ahead of anybody else. Certainly me anyway! I particularly enjoy the level of detail that Jeffery Deaver goes into when it comes to the forensic details of crime. Rhyme and his team have a very sophisticated setup, and some rather unique ways of analysing evidence found at the scene.

In the end I'm glad that I persevered with The Twelfth Card as it means that I can now finally continue with the series. That said, it was immensely enjoyable to be back in the company of Rhyme, Amelia and co. Jeffery Deaver's books were some of the ones that really kick started my love of crime fiction and reading this book almost took me back to that young age when the only care I had in the world was what book to borrow next from the library. The Lincoln Rhyme series is one I always recommend to people who are yet to discover it and if you are also yet to pick one of Jeffery's books up, I definitely recommend starting with The Bone Collector.

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