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The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver
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The Empty Chair (2000)

by Jeffery Deaver

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lincoln Rhyme (3)

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English (28)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
It looks like I'm the odd person out here, but this is my least favorite of the Lincoln Rhyme novels. I thought it was a lot of activity with nothing really happening. It was as though Mr. Deaver had a minimum word count that he was struggling to meet. Did I miss something? ( )
  JackieCarroll | Jul 25, 2014 |
As usual Lincoln Rhyme uses his brilliant mind to solve the most baffling cases. In this case he is not in New York, his normal hunting ground. This makes the case a lot harder, but challenging. Many twists and turns in this one, which adds to a great story. Well done Mr Deaver! ( )
  nilbett | Jun 14, 2014 |
Pretty good, not as formulaic as he's been recently. he actually managed to surprise me sometimes.

I still don't know why I keep reading him, though. ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Swamp/ Insects/ Forest/ Renegades/ Red-necks. Mix well and there you have it.
Lincoln Rhyme has little to do until late in the book,indeed seems rather baffled for much of the time. Amelia takes on the main role in this one.An exciting read,if rather too much of the wilderness in it for me.Not one of the better cases in the series,but by no means the worst. ( )
  devenish | Dec 28, 2013 |
The Barnes Noble Review May 2000 The Empty Chair is the third or, if you count a guest appearance in the millennial thriller The Devil's Teardrop, the fourth – novel to feature Lincoln Rhyme, the irascible forensic genius who became a quadriplegic when a cave-in at a crime scene damaged his spinal cord beyond repair. The series began in 1997 with The Bone Collector, which was recently made into a so-so film starring Denzel Washington. Every Rhyme novel to date has been characterized by authentic forensic detail and wild, even extravagant plotting, and the latest entry is no exception. The Empty Chair may, in fact, be the single trickiest suspense novel published so far this year. Unlike earlier volumes, The Empty Chair takes place outside of New York City in the bucolic but sinister environs of Paquenoke County, North Carolina. Rhyme – accompanied by his long-suffering physical therapist, Thom, and his beloved forensic assistant, Amelia Sachs – has just been accepted as a patient at the Medical Center of the University of North Carolina, where he is scheduled to undergo an experimental procedure that might increase the range of his mobility but might, on the other hand, result in his death. Shortly after his arrival, Lincoln 's plans are disrupted by an unforeseen emergency. Jim Bell, Paquenoke County sheriff, has trouble on his hands and needs Lincoln 's expertise. According to Bell, a disturbed teenager – known, for reasons that become graphically clear, as the Insect Boy – has murdered a local football hero and abductedtwoyoung women. Convinced that the women have only hours to live, Bell asks Lincoln to examine the trace evidence found at the abduction site in the faint hope of pinpointing the kidnapper's location. Though he knows nothing about the physical composition of the surrounding area – he and Sachs, as he repeatedly comments, are "fish out of water" in the American South – Rhyme agrees to help. Once again using Amelia Sachs as his eyes and legs, he sets up an ad hoc forensic lab in a borrowed corner of the local Sheriff's office and goes to work. This sort of scenario – a crazed killer, a race against time, a scattered handful of clues – offers more than enough drama to fuel any number of traditional suspense novels. In The Empty Chair, however, this same scenario is merely the first level of a complex, multitiered mystery that constantly confounds our most fundamental expectations. The first indication that The Empty Chair contains unexpected depths comes when Lincoln, flawlessly interpreting his disparate bits of evidence, locates both the Insect Boy (Garrett Hanlon) and his most recent victim (an oncology nurse named Lydia Johannsen) within the first 150 pages. At that point, Deaver throws away the rulebook. After talking with Garrett Hanlon in the Paquenoke County jail, Amelia develops the instinctive sense that Garrett might, as he continually claims, be a victim, and that another unidentified killer might still be at large. In a moment of intuitive – and reckless – empathy, Amelia abandons her professional principles and escapes with Garrett, determined both to prove the boy's innocence and rescue the remaining victim, a local history student named Mary Beth McConnell. From this point forward, almost nothing that happens in The Empty Chair is even remotely predictable. It would spoil too many of the carefully constructed surprises to reveal the plot in any more detail. Suffice it to say that the narrative – which seems, at first, a simple but effective chase story – broadens and deepens to become something stranger and infinitely more complex. Throwing a varied assortment of people and elements into the mix – a trio of Deliverance-style rednecks, an emotionally scarred cancer survivor, a revisionist account of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, an apparently deranged deputy sheriff, a pair of incipient rapists, the hidden motivations of a wealthy industrialist, and the tragic history of Tanner's Corner, a "town without children" – Deaver constructs an artful, entertaining melodrama that has much to say about the destructive consequences of uncontrolled greed. If The Empty Chair has a besetting weakness, it is Deaver's relentless determination to dazzle the reader with his narrative sleight of hand, piling on an endless, constantly escalating series of shocks, surprises, and unexpected twists that might, in a lesser writer's hands, have become just a bit too much. But Deaver, as usual, is a consummate professional, and he holds it all together with the ease and assurance of a natural storyteller. Readers familiar with the earlier adventures of Lincoln Rhyme will be lining up for this one, which seems likely to attract a substantial number of new readers, as well. The Empty Chair is Jeffery Deaver at his best and most devious and is recommended, without reservation, to anyone in search of intelligent, high-adrenaline entertainment. – Bill Sheehan
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffery Deaverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curtoni, MatteoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parolini, MauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
From the brain, and the brain alone, arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrow, pain, grief, and tears. . . The brain is also the seat of madness and delirium, of the fears and terrors which assail by night or by day . . . - Hippocrates
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For Deborah Schneider . . . no better agent, no better friend
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She came here to lay flowers at the place where the boy died and the girl was kidnapped.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671026011, Mass Market Paperback)

It's not easy being NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme, the world's foremost criminalist. First of all, he's a quadriplegic. Secondly, he's forever being second-guessed and mother-henned by his ex-model-turned-cop protégé, Amelia Sachs, and his personal aide, Thom. And thirdly, it seems that he can't motor his wheelchair around a corner without bumping into one crazed psycho-killer after another.

In The Empty Chair, Jeffery Deaver's third Rhyme outing--after 1997's The Bone Collector and 1998's The Coffin Dancer--Rhyme travels to North Carolina to undergo an experimental surgical procedure and is, a jot too coincidentally, met at the door by a local sheriff, the cousin of an NYPD colleague, bearing one murder, two kidnappings, and a timely plea for help. It seems that 16-year-old Garrett Hanlon, a bug-obsessed orphan known locally as the Insect Boy, has kidnapped and probably raped two women, and bludgeoned to death a would-be hero who tried to stop one of the abductions.

Rhyme sets up shop, Amelia leads the local constabulary (easily recognized by their out-of-joint noses) into the field, and, after some Holmesian brain work and a good deal of exciting cat-and-mousing, the duo leads the cops to their prey. And just as you're idly wondering why the case is coming to an end in the middle of the book, Amelia breaks the boy out of jail and goes on the lam. Equally convinced of the boy's guilt and the danger he poses to Amelia, Rhyme has no choice but to aid the police in apprehending the woman he loves--no easy task, as she's the one human being who truly knows the methods of Lincoln Rhyme.

Rhyme's specialty combines the minute scientific analysis of physical evidence gathered from crime scenes and his arcane knowledge of, it would seem, every organic and inorganic substance on earth. Deaver combines engaging narration, believable characters, and his trademark ability to repeatedly pull the rug out from under the reader's feet. Lincoln Rhyme's back all right, and the smart money's betting that his run has just begun. --Michael Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Renowned criminalist Lincoln Rhyme is pitted against Amelia Sachs, his own brilliant protegee, as they disagree on the analysis of a crime they began working together.

» see all 8 descriptions

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