Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Influential Author: Jeffery "Devious" Deaver

Jeffery Deaver has a wonderful way of messing with one's mind.

In my household, “to Deaver” something means to put a backspin on a storyline so hard that the audience gets whiplash. When I mean thriller, I mean it doesn't slow down-- at least not for long.

In my house, the man is so well known for screwing with his readers in surprise twists that whenever we see a writer radically twist everything we thought we knew about the plot, and do it fifty pages away from the ending of the book, we say that he "Deavered" the plot, or "pulled a Deaver."

The man likes to play games. Then again, he's a Fordham law school graduate, so that may have something to do with it.

The Blue Nowhere: A NovelOver the course of the years, he's released numerous one-shot novels. A story with no series behind it, but they're quite, quite fun. And, over time, Deaver has a nice little universe to call upon from time to time.

One of these one-shots is The Blue Nowhere, a thriller with dueling hackers. One hacker is pulled out of jail to hunt the "Black Hat" Hacker from Hell -- because he's playing a real life video game, where everyone he kills is worth points in the game that only he is playing. And he has a mysterious sidekick named only Shawn. This one has a twist that disturbed a few people, mainly because the killer himself is a little disturbed.

The Bone CollectorThere is Deaver's continuing series of Lincoln Rhyme, the ultimate armchair detective -- because he's a quadriplegic forensic scientist.  Before there was CSI, there was Lincoln Rhyme.

While there was a movie made out of the first novel, The Bone Collector, I can only implore you to ignore the film, and buy the book.

Some of the others in the series were ....

 The Coffin Dancer, where Rhyme comes up against an assassin who cleans up after himself by leaving booby traps for the forensic teams.

The Vanished Man ... basically Deaver with a psychotic magician on a murder spree .... Be afraid.  CSI: NY fans might recognize this premise from an episode starring Chris Angel as a psycho magician on a murder spree.  This novel came first.  And I think I know what they read on CSI: NY.

Once you leave the Lincoln Rhyme series, there are more one-shot novels.
A Maiden's Grave
A Maiden's Grave while this was made into a fairly good movie staring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, called Dead Silence, this book was fun. Premise: three convicted killers (and one rapist) have broken out of prison.  They have a little accident, and crash into a school bus full of deaf children. They take the children hostage in an old, abandoned slaughterhouse, while the hostage negotiator tries to talk them down, outwit, and out think them. In this one, the leader of this merry band of psychopaths happens to be smart enough to follow the negotiator's own handbook.

The Devil's Teardrop follows a killer called The Gravedigger.  Another psycho with an eye for mass murder,  the only clue to stopping him is through the letter sent to the FBI. This one will pretty much have more than you ever wanted to know about the forensics of handwriting.

Oh, did I mention that he's the new author for James Bond?  Yeah, sorry, that was careless of me.

Though given Deaver's writing style, he'd need to have Bond's IQ shoot up exponentially.

What I've learned from Jeffery Deaver ... 

In all likelihood, you know where this is going. I've learned how to mislead an audience without lying to them. Like with Agatha Christie, Deaver will wave the solution into the audience's face at all times, while at the same time successfully hiding it.  In all my years of reading Deaver, I've managed to catch him twice, and only once I caught on to the fact that, yes, he will be screwing around with me at some point.

In A Pius Man, I have mentioned that not everyone is as they've appeared to be. One of them has murdered his wife. One has a tendency to leave bodies in his wake wherever he goes. Several of them are spies. One of them is a traitor to all they hold dear.

Have a good day all. The music blog goes up shortly.

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