Book Review: Murder In The Machinery

The Steel Kiss is a thriller by prolific crime writer Jeffery Deaver. Lincoln Rhyme, the paralyzed yet still clever forensic investigator, returns with his partner, Amelia Sachs, with all of his various caretakers and fancy equipment to ferret out another unusual and outlandish killer.

Amelia has traced a killer to a department store in Brooklyn when an escalator malfunctions terribly and kills a man. Rhyme has retired from the life of criminal forensics and decides to put his formidable analytical talents to civil cases. Amelia and Rhyme have not been on the same page, but the investigations dovetail together. They find that a serial killer has found a way to turn various electronic tools and appliances unto weapons. Of course, Amelia becomes even more determined when her own mother becomes a target of this current lunatic.

At first glance, it seems a little hard to buy into this one, and that does not change much when one actually reads it. However, Deaver is a talented writer, and I enjoy the company and banter of the characters enough to not be that critical of the plot. There are a couple of side plots that are interesting. Rhyme takes in a new intern who has similar physical afflictions as himself. Juliette Archer’s spunk and intelligence are formidable enough to sometimes let this reader forget about her disability. There is another side plot in which an old flame and former colleague of Amelia’s is released from prison and asks for her help in proving his innocence of the crime that got him incarcerated. Of course, there turns out to be a bit more to the that story. There are a few twists and surprises that makes the journey worthwhile here, but it’s mostly the characters and relationships that helped to keep me engaged.

This is not a series I tend to read in order, so I have to piece some of the history together. This particular novel did keep me intrigued enough to look forward to the next chapter and the next revelation. Even if the credibility of the plot gets a little strained, there is plenty to talent and intrigue displayed for me to forgive Deaver for these imaginative indulgences.

It has been a while since I have delved into a bona fide classic, but I have put this off long enough. Time to meet Hank Morgan, a nineteenth century New England mechanic, who finds himself suddenly in the middle of Camelot at the time of King Arthur. The great Mark Twain has provided a story of A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, and I am long overdue to join in on that adventure.

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