A musician is brutally murdered in the rehearsal hall of a music school and the culprit, with a bang, a brilliant flash of light and a puff of smoke, vanishes into thin air from inside a locked room with no apparent exits. Within hours, a second victim is virtually sawn in half and the murderer walks away from the gory murder scene escaping the clutches of the police in a brilliant disguise that even Sherlock Holmes would have been proud of. When a bizarre third murder attempt fails, the coin finally drops. Quadriplegic forensic criminologist, Lincoln Rhyme, and his partner/lover, Amelia Sachs, having assembled the clues and the scant forensic evidence left behind at each scene, realize their target is a master magician who is basing his murder scenarios on historical illusions made famous by the likes of Houdini and Selbit. They've called him "The Conjurer"!
And like the polished illusionists he seeks to portray in his novel, Deaver uses sleight of hand, psychological and physical misdirection, disguises, ventriloquism, escapism and the art of physical illusion to create false trails, red herrings, cul de sacs, twists and turns and investigative dead ends that will leave you baffled as to not only who's doing the dastardly deeds and what is the murderer's motive but ... believe it or not, you won't even know who the real target is until very close to the end of the novel.
Deaver is a successful thriller writer and, like many of his genre contemporaries, will never be accused of crafting deep characterizations or composing literary fiction. But "The Vanished Man" is thoroughly enjoyable, utterly compelling brain candy that will have you absorbed and turning the pages quickly for hours at a time. In addition, he has fleshed out his story with a thoroughly researched series of engrossing, entertaining, educational and informative essays on the history, psychology and mechanics of the stage performance of illusions and magic.
Absolutely recommended to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
At the Manhattan School Of Music And Performing Arts, on the upper west side, in an old spooky building, a young music student is murdered. Trussed up in the lobby of a recital hall, two beat policewomen walk in on the scene with the perp still standing over the body. With a flash, the perp is vanished. The policewomen seal up the recital hall, of which there are only two exits, but when they break into the hall there is no sign of the perp. He literally has vanished. … more
Product Description Forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme and his protégée Amelia Sachs are called in to work the high-profile investigation of a killer who seemingly disappeared into thin air just as the police closed in. As the homicidal illusionist baits them with grisly murders that grow more diabolical with each victim, Rhyme and Sachs must go behind the smoke and mirrors to prevent a horrific act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all....
About the Author Jeffery Deaver is the bestselling author of The Sleeping Doll, The Cold Moon, The Blue Nowhere, The Bone Collector, The Empty Chair, The Devil's Teardrop, and fifteen other suspense novels. His book A Maiden's Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was made into a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington. He lives in North Carolina.