The Steel Kiss
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
22 Mar. 2016
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 and save the victim. She and famed detective Lincoln Rhyme soon learn, however, that the incident may not be an accident after 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 - before more people die.
The Steel Kiss is Deaver's latest gripping thriller and is set over a course of seven tense days. He builds up the dramatic layers beautifully as we walk through each day with Amelia Sachs and Lincoln Rhyme, as they gather evidence, visit gruesome crime scenes and victims. The idea to use everyday products as potential murder weapons is an interesting one, and one that requires much research into the mechanics of how big machines such as escalators and stoves work. There is no doubt that nothing has been left unturned in terms of this research and this adds so much richness to the already immaculately turned out characters, a complicated murder plot and convincing story line.
Deaver breaks the action when he switches his narrative to Vernon, the killer. This is the only time he uses the first person and gives the reader insight into his thoughts and feelings. However, just when you think you have it all figured out - it is very likely you haven't - a dramatic twist at the end leaves you thinking you probably should have known better.
It is easy to see why Deaver is one of today's top thriller writers, The Steel Kiss is simply a reminder of this and ticks all the right boxes as far as thriller writing goes.