Summary and book reviews of The Stone Monkey by Jeffery Deaver

The Stone Monkey

By Jeffery Deaver

The Stone Monkey
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2002,
    432 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 2002,
    432 pages.

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Book Summary

Lincoln Rhyme returns!

First introduced in the spine-chilling novel The Bone Collector, Lincoln Rhyme dazzled readers with unparalleled forensic sleuthing -- all done from the confines of a wheelchair. A famed criminologist, paralyzed from the neck down, Rhyme compensates for his physical disability with his brains -- and the arms and legs of his brilliant and beautiful protégée, Amelia Sachs. It is Amelia who "walks the grid" for Rhyme, acting as his eyes and ears for the famously dangerous and difficult cases chronicled in Jeffery Deaver's bestselling novels The Bone Collector, The Coffin Dancer, and The Empty Chair.

Now the awe-inspiring duo returns in The Stone Monkey. Recruited to help the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service perform the nearly impossible, Lincoln and Amelia manage to track down a cargo ship headed for New York City and carrying two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, as well as the notorious human smuggler and killer known as "the Ghost." But when the Ghost's capture goes disastrously wrong, Lincoln and Amelia find themselves in a race against time: to stop the Ghost before he can track down and murder the two surviving families who have escaped from the ship and vanished deep into the labyrinthine world of New York City's Chinatown.

Over the next harrowing forty-eight hours, the Ghost brilliantly and ruthlessly hunts for the families, while Rhyme, aided by a quirky policeman from mainland China, struggles to find them before they die, and Amelia Sachs pursues a very different kind of police work -- forming a connection with one of the immigrants that may have consequences going to the core of her relationship with her partner and lover, Lincoln Rhyme.

The Stone Monkey abounds with Deaver's famous trademarks: wholly unexpected plot twists, breakneck pacing, and characters who are heartbreakingly real, reminding us once again why People hailed him as "the master of ticking-bomb suspense" and Publishers Weekly called him the "most clever plotter on the planet."

Chapter One

They were the vanished, they were the unfortunate.

To the human smugglers -- the snakeheads -- who carted them around the world like pallets of damaged goods, they were ju-jia, piglets.

To the American INS agents who interdicted their ships and arrested and deported them they were undocumenteds.

They were the hopeful. Who were trading homes and family and a thousand years of ancestry for the hard certainty of risky, laborious years ahead of them.

Who had the slimmest of chances to take root in a place where their families could prosper, where freedom and money and contentment were, the story went, as common as sunlight and rain.

They were his fragile cargo.

And now, legs steady against the raging, five-meter-high seas, Captain Sen Zi-jun made his way from the bridge down two decks into the murky hold to deliver the grim message that their weeks of difficult journeying might have been in vain.

It was just before dawn on a Tuesday in August. The...

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Kirkus Reviews

An expert but oddly uninvolving thriller ....Veterans of the series won't be surprised by Deaver's surgical skill in cutting between predators and prey, setting up taxing ordeals and violent confrontations, and springing surprises long after a less inventive plotter would have thrown in the towel.

Booklist - Mary Frances Wilkens

The methodical, technical way in which the detectives conduct their search stands in stark contrast to the Ghost's paranoid, frenetic manner; thankfully, Rhyme's and Sachs' characters, first introduced in The Bone Collector (1996), are more well developed here than they were in earlier outings.

Library Journal

With this elaborate thriller, Deaver has written his best book to date. He balances the complexities of Chinese culture with the page-turning suspense we expect. Highly recommended.

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