The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver

  • Narrator: Joe Mantegna – One of My Favorites
  • Genre: Murder, Detective
  • Writing: Excellent
  • Story: Very Good
  • Time: 15 hours 6 minutes

I’m not a huge fan of murder mysteries, but having read and enjoyed one of Deaver’s other books about his master, limb-challenged (quadriplegic) detective, Lincoln Rhyme, The Empty Chair, I thought I’d give another one a shot.

This book was thoroughly enjoyable and kept me guessing all the way.  Matching wits with the ace ex-NYC detective Rhyme, is a serial killer they call The Watchmaker.  A virtual equal to Rhyme in terms of skills, although converted to the dark side of course, The Watchmaker seems to always stay one step ahead of Rhyme and his team.

I found Deaver’s ability to intertwine two cases far better than the usual coalescing of stories that you find in this type of novel.  At points in the story, it’s not even clear that the plot lines will ever converge.  When they do, though, it’s subtle and meaningful to the story.

The only downside to Deaver’s style is his desire to review all of the forensic evidence to date many times throughout the story.  This results in the reciting of long lists of information already obvious from the telling of the story.  The technique creates breaks in the suspense that are unneeded and distracting.

That said, the book is a no-brainer if you enjoy murder mysteries.  It is well put together, reasonably fast-paced and loaded with surprises.  Highly recommended

With this book/audiobook review, I’m going to start to add a couple of additional categories; relative amount of sex that takes place, approximate numbers of deaths that occur and the overall description of gore.  A reader of this blog suggested that she could not possibly find my reviews useful unless I included these facts and I suppose I agree.

Without being as eloquent, I’m going to try to mimic Joe Bob Briggs’ great drive-in movie reviews in which he always included at least the breast count, pints of blood spilled, number of kung-fu fights and so forth.

The Cold Moon included no sex; less death than you’d expect from a murder mystery, although detailed descriptions of planned methods of murder; and gruesome details about the few deaths that do occur.

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