The Midnight Lock
The "master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People) Jeffery Deaver delivers the latest thriller featuring his beloved protagonists Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs as they search for a criminal whose fascination with breaking locks terrorizes New York City.
A woman awakes in the morning to find that someone has picked her apartment’s supposedly impregnable door lock and rearranged personal items, even sitting beside her while she slept. The intrusion, the police learn, is a message to the entire city of carnage to come. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate and soon learn that the sociopathic intruder, who calls himself "the Locksmith,” can break through any lock or security system ever devised. With more victims on the horizon, Rhyme, Sachs and their stable of associates must follow the evidence to the man’s lair… and discover his true mission.
Their hunt is interrupted when an internal investigation in the police force uncovers what seems to be a crucial mistake in one of Rhyme's previous cases. He’s fired as a consultant for the NYPD and must risk jail if he investigates the Locksmith case in secret.
The Midnight Lock is a roller-coaster read that takes place over just a few days’ time, features surprise after surprise and offers a fascinating look at the esoteric world of lockpicking.
In MWA Grand Master Deaver's disappointing 15th Lincoln Rhyme novel (after 2018's The Cutting Edge), Rhyme, a former cop who does consulting as a forensic expert, must deal with the fallout from a devastating courtroom embarrassment. His conclusions about traces of sand are discredited on cross-examination, leading to the acquittal of a known criminal who was charged with the murder of "a psychotic wannabe gangbanger." As this occurs in the middle of a taut gubernatorial race, one of the candidates, the New York City mayor, responds by banning the use of civilian consultants such as Rhyme. That places the criminalist, and his wife, Amelia Sachs, who's an NYPD detective, in a tough spot as a creep known as the Locksmith begins breaking into women's apartments, leaving behind evidence he invaded their space. One of his targets finds a note with the word reckoning that's signed "the Locksmith" on top of some panties. While the mastermind Rhyme seeks has an unusual m.o., the derivative cat-and-mouse plot pulls its punches. Hopefully, Deaver will return to form next time.