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The Cold Moon : Lincoln Rhyme Series : Book 7 - Jeffery Deaver

The Cold Moon

Lincoln Rhyme Series : Book 7

Paperback Published: 22nd May 2007
ISBN: 9780743491570
Number Of Pages: 656

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On a frigid December night, an eerie pattern emerges from two equally brutal murder scenes, where a killer's calling card is a moon-faced clock that seemingly ticked away the victims' last moments. From his wheelchair, criminologist Lincoln Rhyme tracks the Watchmaker, a time-obsessed genius. With every passing second, the Watchmaker is moving with razor-sharp precision to his next act of perfectly orchestrated violence -- and Rhyme can't afford to have his trusted partner, Amelia Sachs, distracted by a daunting homicide case of her own. Up against a brilliant madman, Rhyme and Sachs are locked in a blood-chilling race with their deadliest enemy: time itself....

About The Author

Jeffery Deaver is the author of 2 collections of short stories and 27 suspense novels. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card, The Cold Moon, and The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The Kathryn Dance novels, The Sleeping Doll and Roadside Crosses, were published to enormous acclaim.

Among other awards, he won the Novel of the Year in the International Thriller Awards 2009 for standalone thriller The Bodies Left Behind. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted.

Chapter One

"How long did it take them to die?"

The man this question was posed to didn't seem to hear it. He looked in the rearview mirror again and concentrated on his driving. The hour was just past midnight and the streets in lower Manhattan were icy. A cold front had swept the sky clear and turned an earlier snow to slick glaze on the asphalt and concrete. The two men were in the rattling Band-Aid-mobile, as Clever Vincent had dubbed the tan SUV. It was a few years old; the brakes needed servicing and the tires replacing. But taking a stolen vehicle in for work would not be a wise idea, especially since two of its recent passengers were now murder victims.

The driver — a lean man in his fifties, with trim black hair — made a careful turn down a side street and continued his journey, never speeding, making precise turns, perfectly centered in his lane. He'd drive the same whether the streets were slippery or dry, whether the vehicle had just been involved in murder or not. Careful, meticulous.

How long did it take?

Big Vincent — Vincent with long, sausage fingers, always damp, and a taut brown belt stretching the first hole — shivered hard. He'd been waiting on the street corner after his night shift as a word-processing temp. It was bitterly cold but Vincent didn't like the lobby of his building. The light was greenish and the walls were covered with big mirrors in which he could see his oval body from all angles. So he'd stepped into the clear, cold December air and paced and ate a candy bar. Okay, two. As Vincent was glancing up at the full moon, a shockingly white disk visible for a moment through a canyon of buildings, the Watchmaker reflected aloud, "How long did it take them to die? Interesting."

Vincent had known the Watchmaker — whose real name was Gerald Duncan — for only a short time but he'd learned that you asked the man questions at your own risk. Even a simple query could open the door to a monologue. Man, could he talk. And his answers were always organized, like a college professor's. Vincent knew that the silence for the last few minutes was because Duncan was considering his answer.

Vincent opened a can of Pepsi. He was cold but he needed something sweet. He chugged it and put the empty can in his pocket. He ate a packet of peanut butter crackers. Duncan looked over to make sure Vincent was wearing gloves. They always wore gloves in the Band-Aid-mobile. Meticulous...

"I'd say there are several answers to that," Duncan said in his soft, detached voice. "For instance, the first one I killed was twenty-four, so you could say it took him twenty-four years to die." Like, yeah...thought Clever Vincent with the sarcasm of a teenager, though he had to admit that this obvious answer hadn't occurred to him. "The other was thirty-two, I think."

A police car drove by, the opposite way. The blood in Vincent's temples began pounding but Duncan didn't react. The cops showed no interest in the stolen Explorer. "Another way to answer the question," Duncan said, "is to consider the elapsed time from the moment I started until their hearts stopped beating. That's probably what you meant. See, people want to put time into easy-to-digest frames of reference. That's valid, as long as it's helpful. Knowing the contractions come every twenty seconds is helpful. So is knowing that the athlete ran a mile in three minutes, fifty-eight seconds, so he wins the race. Specifically how long it took them tonight to die...well, that isn't important, as long as it wasn't fast." A glance at Vincent. "I'm not being critical of your question."

"No," Vincent said, not caring if he was critical. Vincent Reynolds didn't have many friends and could put up with a lot from Gerald Duncan. "I was just curious." "I understand. I just didn't pay any attention. But the next one, I'll time it."

"The girl? Tomorrow?" Vincent's heart beat just a bit faster.

He nodded. "Later today, you mean."

It was after midnight. With Gerald Duncan you had to be precise, especially when it came to time.

"Right."

Hungry Vincent had nosed out Clever Vincent now that he was thinking of Joanne, the girl who'd die next. Later today...

The killer drove in a complicated pattern back to their temporary home in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, south of Midtown, near the river. The streets were deserted; the temperature was in the teens and the wind flowed steadily through the narrow streets.

Duncan parked at a curb and shut the engine off, set the parking brake. The men stepped out. They walked for a half block through the icy wind. Duncan glanced down at his shadow on the sidewalk, cast by the moon. "I've thought of another answer. About how long it took them to die." Vincent shivered again — mostly, but not only, from the cold.

"When you look at it from their point of view," the killer said, "you could say that it took forever."

ISBN: 9780743491570
ISBN-10: 0743491572
Series: Lincoln Rhyme Novel
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 656
Published: 22nd May 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.23 x 13.31  x 3.45
Weight (kg): 0.41

Earn 37 Qantas Points
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Jeffery Deaver

About the Author


Jeffery Deaver is the author of 2 collections of short stories and 27 suspense novels. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card, The Cold Moon, and The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The Kathryn Dance novels, The Sleeping Doll and Roadside Crosses, were published to enormous acclaim.

Among other awards, he won the Novel of the Year in the International Thriller Awards 2009 for standalone thriller The Bodies Left Behind. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted.

Visit Jeffery Deaver's Booktopia Author Page


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