‘The Vanished Man‘ is the fifth book in the famous Lincoln Rhyme series by the author Jeffery Deaver which portrays Lincoln Rhyme as the forensic analyst and criminologist who worked for the New York Police Department (NYPD) until he was paralyzed from the neck-down, giving him movement of his head, neck and right ring-finger only. He is accompanied by his co-worker and love interest Amelia Sachs who is an active duty officer in the NYPD.
The plot here can sometimes be as multifaceted as a magic trick but the author skilfully juggles the various strands of the plot. The story revolves around a serial killer loose in New York City who kills people with the help of delusion and illusionistic tricks. There are many twists in this gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your proverbial seat in anticipation and be as bewildered as the protagonist. Deaver does an excellent job of giving the reader a look into the mind of the antagonist, an illusionist who kills by his performances of magic, the final and the most revered one being ‘The Vanished Man’. A master of misdirection creating a master illusionist villain. Perfect.
One can connect to the way each chapter or each murder is prefaced with a considerate note to the Revered Audience- giving them short notes on the murder that is about to be ‘performed’ for their entertainment ! Quite different from the others in the series, this book is by far the best I have read from the author’s stable. Anyone who enjoys learning about magicians and their tricks would not be disappointed by this novel. It has been a long time since I actually felt a burning urge to find out what happened next in a whodunit novel. And, Mr. Jeffery Deaver manages to do just that.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
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Ushnav is basically from Mumbai and spiritually from Trivandrum. He spends his time juggling between an engaging life at SIMC, Pune and thinking of and putting down ideas for short stories and his novel. He is a ‘poetic photographer’ and a thespian of words.