Title: The Steel Kiss
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 8 March 2016
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley
Amelia Sachs is hot on the trail of a killer. She’s chasing him through a department store in Brooklyn when an escalator malfunctions. The stairs give way, with one man horribly mangled by the gears. Sachs is forced to let her quarry escape as she jumps in to try to help save the victim. She and famed forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme soon learn, however, that the incident may not have been an accident at all, but the first in a series of intentional attacks. They find themselves up against one of their most formidable opponents ever: a brilliant killer who turns common products into murder weapons. As the body count threatens to grow, Sachs and Rhyme must race against the clock to unmask his identity–and discover his mission–before more people die.
I’m not a big reader of detective novels, but I am a big fan of Jeffery Deaver’s work and I have read all of his previous eleven Lincoln Rhyme novels. So I was really excited when my NetGalley request for The Steel Kiss was accepted and I was finally able to jump back in the world of Lincoln Rhyme after a two year wait.
The Steel Kiss is Jeffery Deaver’s twelfth novel is his popular Lincoln Rhyme series of detective/mystery thrillers. Now retired from his job as a consultant for the NYPD, Lincoln Rhyme finds himself investigating an escalator malfunction in order to help the widow of the man who died in the accident in her civil proceedings. Rhyme quickly determines that it may not have been an accident after all and that puts him, along with Sachs and the rest of the gang, on the trail of a serial killer who is turning everyday appliances into deadly weapons.
Everyone who is familiar with Deaver’s work knows that he is the master of twists and The Steel Kiss doesn’t disappoint on that front. This is always my favourite part of Deaver’s books because he is really great at pointing you in one direction and then throwing in a big twist that is unexpected yet totally understandable. I felt some of Deaver’s earlier books relied too heavily on twists and ended up dragging on much longer than they should, but he has really found the right balance in The Steel Kiss.
The other strong feature of Deaver’s work is the characters. Lincoln Rhyme is truly a unique character in that he is a quadriplegic and he focuses on the trace evidence left at crime scenes which is something that not many other authors do. The new main character introduced in The Steel Kiss, Juliette Archer, was pretty interesting and I can see her becoming more prominent in future novels. On top of that, Deaver always has intriguing and innovative killers even if they are a little gimmicky at times and the villain in this book is no exception. I was really interested in the killer’s ability to use household appliances as weapons through the Internet of Things. It’s impressive that after twelve novels in the series, Deaver is still able to create killers that are completely unique in terms of MO and motives.
All in all, The Steel Kiss features everything you expect in a Jeffery Deaver novel from the numerous twists and turns to the interesting characters. It moves at a quick pace, there are little bits of action here and there and there are several intertwining plotlines that all come together in a neat little bow at the end.
Worth a read? If you are a fan of mysteries and love unexpected but realistic twists and turns, then Jeffery Deaver and The Steel Kiss are perfect for you. You would probably also find it enjoyable if you enjoy stuff like CSI where forensic evidence is used to solve cases. Even though it is the twelfth book in the series, it can easily be read on its own although you’ll get more enjoyment out of it if you have read the previous books.