The Kill Room

After a three-year absence, Jeffery Deaver's dynamic duo of crime scene investigators, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, return in The Kill Room, the 10th book in the series (following The Burning Wire), which addresses some of the most timely and controversial subjects the criminalists have ever dealt with. In an exciting and thoughtful examination of how far government can go, Deaver introduces a new government agency: NIOS, the National Intelligence and Operations Service.

Robert Moreno, born in the U.S., hates capitalism's exploitation of Latin and South America. When intelligence suggests he has ordered an attack on an oil company's headquarters in Miami, NIOS director Metzger orders a kill. Moreno is shot in his Bahamian suite from long range by a contract sharpshooter. The so-called attack, however, was nothing more than a "protest." An assistant district attorney asks Lincoln for help; she wants to prosecute Metzger (and the federal government) for murder.

Here's where the trademark Deaver narrative takes off. Chapters alternate between Rhyme and his task force versus his brilliant, sadistic nemesis--an assassin who loves to cook as much as he loves wielding his treasured knife, an expensive Kai Shun Premier with a nine-inch blade that he uses on animal and human flesh alike.

Deaver doesn't disappoint. Against a grave and complex legal backstory, he unwinds an elaborate narrative with believable, intriguing characters and fascinating CSI-like investigative aplomb. Even though the villain seems a bit too Hannibal Lecter-like, he's a worthy and intriguing adversary for the ever-brilliant Rhyme. --Tom Lavoie, former publisher

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