Monday, March 10, 2014

The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver

NIOS has a rogue administrator.  The National Intelligence and Operations Service handles top-secret missions such as using drones to target terrorists.  But what if the targets selected are not really terrorists but just enemies of the man who runs the organization?  That's the fear when Robert Moreno, an outspoken critic of the United States, is assassinated in his hotel room.  Other members of the federal government are afraid the NIOS is out of compliance but needs a quiet investigation to determine if there is something wrong.

That's when Lincoln Rhyme and his team is called in.  Rhyme is the foremost forensic expert the New York Police Department has, even though he has been a quadralepic for many years.  He has collected a team of skilled investigators to be his hands and legs and can get to the truth if anyone can.  First and foremost is Amelia Sachs, one of the force's top detectives and Rhyme's love.  But there are many others; computer investigators, electronic surveillance, document verification and access to government files.  A new player on the team is ADA Nance Laurel, a buttoned-down, rigid lawyer who isn't quite sure what to make of the informal group she now must work with.

Although the team believes a sniper has committed the murder it soon appears that this is instead a refinement of the drone program which is supposed to avoid the collateral deaths that dropping huge explosive payloads provide.  Although the investigation is secret, it is soon clear that someone in NIOS knows what is going on.  Witnesses start to be eliminated before the team can get to them to interrogate.  The team starts to suspect that things may be even more complicated than it first appeared.  Can they unravel the mystery in time to stop the next target from being killed?

This is the tenth entry in the popular Lincoln Rhyme series.  Deaver has created a character that is memorable.  His plotting manages to balance on a tightrope; intricate but compelling.  He creates a page-turner that has plenty of twists and turns to keep even the most experienced mystery reader satisfied.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers and those who are unsure if all our government agencies can be trusted. 

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