The Stone Monkey
Deaver's latest page-turner begins aboard Fuzhou Dragon, a ship full of undocumented Chinese seeking refuge in Meiguo, "the Beautiful Country," America.
The "snakehead" (refugee smuggler) on this voyage is the Ghost, whose plan for a quiet, unnoticed landing on Long Island goes awry when, a few miles from shore, he notices FBI agents waiting at the dock.
When a vicious smuggler known as the Ghost scuttles a ship filled with undocumented Chinese immigrants less than a mile from New York harbor, only a handful of survivors--and the Ghost himself--manage to escape the burning vessel.
Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic NYPD forensic detective first introduced in 1997's The Bone Collector, and Amelia Sachs, his partner and lover, must stop the Ghost before he murders the two families who made it to shore.
The families have gone to ground in the all but impenetrable world of Manhattan's Chinatown, a fact that makes the pair's two allies--Sonny Li, a Chinese cop, and Dr. John Sung-- invaluable partners.
The group's race against time showcases Jeffery Deaver's many talents, particularly intricate plotting, plenty of surprising twists, and breakneck pacing. This is a real standout from a writer whose previous thrillers have earned him a solid following among mystery fans. --Jane Adams