The Twelfth Card
In their sixth outing together, quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and his partner and love interest, Amelia Sachs, track a killer determined to off a young black girl researching her former-slave ancestor. And though Sachs blithely instructs a rookie cop that forensic work is ”not exactly like CSI, is it?”, that’s precisely what it is. Like the CBS hit (which, to be fair, came after this series began), Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme books have nearly fetishized crime-scene procedures and technology, from ”walking the grid” to running samples through the gas chromatograph. As usual, these details form the absorbing core of The Twelfth Card, bolstered by multiple villains and motives. One major flaw: Deaver’s use of dated black slang (e.g., ”What’s the 411 on this?”).