Best-selling master of suspense, Jeffery Deaver, is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller.
Ernest Hemingway said, of
novelists, if you want to send a message, go to Western Union. Today, I suspect
he might, “Tweet it,” though it’s hard to imagine that verb issuing from Papa’s
point, as I took it, was that a novelist’s job is to tell a story, not to preach.
If truths are revealed or questions raised by the book, fine, but it should be
the tale that carries that weight, not the author’s sermonizing.
believe in Hemingway’s advice. My philosophy of writing has always been to tell
a fast-paced story, filled with twists and turns. Digression is bad, and proselytizing
is the worst kind of digression. But I’ve found that one way to enhance readers’
emotional engagement in the book—the point of all fiction—is to include topical
issues, preferably ones that are controversial and guaranteed to get people
instance, in Roadside Crosses serial murders
were set in the world of cyber bullying and blogging by pseudo journalists with
little interest in accurate reporting. In The
Broken Window, I looked the pervasiveness of datamining and the loss of
privacy. When I say “looked at,” I mean just that. My personal feelings on
these motifs don’t enter into my novels one bit. (Despite my protests, though,
some readers don’t believe me. In Carte
Blanche, I made the villain an eco-friendly recycling maven, who lectures
superspy James Bond and anyone else who’ll listen about humankind’s contempt
for the earth. I received dozens of emails asking what did I have against the
broader themes in my books have tended to be social in nature and I’ve never written
about politics. I’ve been reluctant to do so since it seemed to me that
political thrillers—like legal ones—unwound at a pace too slow for my
roller-coaster type of book.
it occurred to me: Why not take a crime that occurs in the context of U.S.
politics and write about all hell breaking loose because of it.
took no more than a glance at the headlines to come up with the idea for The Kill Room, my tenth thriller
featuring Lincoln Rhyme, whom we met some years ago in The Bone Collector.
story is quite simple: A government organization involved in national security
learns that a U.S. citizen is about to launch a horrific attack within the
country. The only way to stop it is to order his targeted killing. Which the
organization’s director does.
then learned that, oh-oh, maybe the intel wasn’t so good and the “terrorist”
was just a harmless loudmouth. A whistleblower leaks the details to a New York State
prosecutor in Manhattan, who starts to build a case against the official who
ordered the assassination and the agent who actually shot the victim.
Lincoln Rhyme is a private consultant, and the subject is controversial, to say
the least, the D.A. calls on him to handle the case, along with Amelia Sachs
and the other members of the Rhyme crew.
murder and subsequent investigation gave me the perfect opportunity to write a high-velocity
thriller (replete with a deliciously psychotic killer and brilliant
masterminds) but in the context of a political issue that’s seared into everyone’s
thoughts at the moment; the number of insurgents and other enemies killed by
government decree stands in the thousands as of early this year.
tried very hard to stay true to Ernest’s advice. The Kill Room doesn’t preach that targeted killings of our enemies—U.S.
citizens or not—are good or bad. But focusing on the conflict between
characters who feel passionately about that question let me write a book that,
I hope, not only keeps readers on the edge of their seats but will have them thinking
about the issue after they finish the last page.
enjoyed writing this book quite a lot and have decided it will be the first in
a trilogy. In two years, Kathryn Dance, my other series character, will have
her own political thriller, and I’m presently outlining a stand-alone.