Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Review: The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

The Cutting Edge (Lincoln Rhyme #14)
by Jeffery Deaver
Release Date: April 10th 2018
2018 Grand Central Publishing
Kindle Edition; 434 Pages
ISBN: 978-1455536429
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

In the early hours of a quiet, weekend morning in Manhattan's Diamond District, a brutal triple murder shocks the city. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs quickly take the case. Curiously, the killer has left behind a half-million dollars' worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street. As more crimes follow, it becomes clear that the killer's target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves. 

The Promisor vows to take the lives of men and women during their most precious moments--midway through the purchase of an engagement ring, after a meeting with a wedding planner, trying on the perfect gown for a day that will never come. The Promisor arrives silently, armed with knife or gun, and a time of bliss is transformed, in an instant, to one of horror. 

Soon the Promiser makes a dangerous mistake: leaving behind an innocent witness, Vimal Lahori, a talented young diamond cutter, who can help Rhyme and Sachs blow the lid off the case. They must track down Vimal before the killer can correct his fatal error. Then disaster strikes, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of the city--and providing the perfect cover for the killer to slip through the cracks. 

My Thoughts
The Cutting Edge is the fourteenth book in the Lincoln Rhyme series and while I don't think it's the mos suspenseful book of the series, the premise was definitely interesting, the story telling was quite good, and as always, the author manages to throw in a few surprises that were unexpected.  I think that is why I keep coming back to these books time and time again; the author never really disappoints with his twists and turns, even if I expect them to happen now.

First of all, one of the weaknesses to the novel was kind of also its strength.  Let me explain.  Much of the time, Rhyme and Sachs are usually in so much danger and the tension usually revolves around them and this is expected in one of these books.  This time, except for a couple of situations, Rhyme and Sachs actually took a backseat to a lot of the tension and the story line revolved around the other characters in the book, which was a bit different.  The brutal triple murder of the jeweler and his customers was witnessed moments later by a worker and the story revolves around his story and the killer's pursuit of him throughout the city. It was kind of nice to get the perspective of someone who has no training in deception trying to escape a killer in the city; and how Rhyme and Sachs go about helping him, or inadvertently hindering him, in his escape.  What this does however, is diminish the actual tension in the novel.  I am fully invested in what happens to Rhyme and Sachs, but was not really invested into what happened to Vimal; in some ways, I just don't think there was enough time to really develop his character and make the reader empathize with him other than to feel sorry for the fact he witnessed a brutal slaying.  That being said, there was, at one point, some really interesting stuff happening with a trial that could have caused Rhyme a lot of potential trouble and I thought this was where the story really picked up; but unfortunately, it didn't really go the path that I thought it would and I was left a bit disappointed because I was looking for a bit of excitement and didn't really get it.  I don't want to see Rhyme get in a lot of trouble, but perfect Rhyme is a bit boring too, you know?

The plot itself was actually quite convoluted, much more than I initially gave it credit for as I first thought the villain was a bit daft.  As the novel jumped from the murders to these explosions that rocked the inner city and killed some people, I began wondering what the connection was although for the life of me I couldn't really see it.  What I did learn was an awful lot about diamonds I didn't really know before, and that information was actually quite informative.  It definitely made me look at my own jewelry a bit differently.  That being said, I did think this plot was a bit too far-fetched, with too many plot twists and too many convolutions.  Sometimes, simpler is better as one can get caught up in all the threads and lose one of them.  I also don't do very well with huge shifts in personalities, where one minute someone is locking someone up because they don't agree with their decisions, and suddenly, at the end, they have a huge change of heart and give that someone their blessing.  It just didn't ring true for me and left a bad taste in my mouth.  

The Cutting Edge (totally get the title now) was an interesting, but convoluted read with a lot of plot twists, maybe too many.  The author is a great writer with an amazing ability to draw the reader in to his stories, but sometimes simpler is better.  For the first time in a long time, I actually debated whether to give this one 3.5 starts rather than 4. And don't get me wrong, I loved Vimal's story; I just wished the author had more time to spend on his story.  Maybe without some of the other stuff that wasn't really needed, he could have fleshed out some of the other story lines a bit more and allowed us to feel more empathy to those characters.  While it was so great to revisit these characters, overall I felt a bit letdown.  It will be interesting to see where this heads in future books though as the ending definitely left some questions unanswered, not so much for this story arc, but for the future of the team.


  1. This one looks interesting. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.