Book Review

The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

the cutting edge

I love Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series – I’ve read them all, short stories included.  I absolutely love his ability to come up with such fiendishly clever puzzles for Rhyme, Sachs, and the team to solve, and the layer upon layer of twists that keeps the reader guessing to the end.

The happiest time of their lives will be their last.

William and Anna went to collect her engagement ring.

1.5 carat, almost flawless.

But the Promisor had other ideas for their future…

Their murder – and that of the diamond cutter they were visiting – is only the first of a series of macabre attacks.  Someone is targeting couples just as they start their lives together.  Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, newly married themselves, are on the hunt.

But the killer is hunting down any witnesses who can help them.  He has promised one thing: to destroy.  Rhyme and Sachs will have to use all their own skills and determination to break his vow.

If you’ve not read any of the Lincoln Rhyme novels (listed below), they can be read as standalones, although you’ll miss a lot of the wonderful background shared by these characters – Rhyme’s history and how he has become a consultant to law enforcement agencies, his relationship with Sachs (newly married in this instalment) as well as the rest of the team – Rookie, Thom, Lon, Fred.  There are also references to their previous triumphs, so you might find small spoilers for previous novels, even if you don’t know recognise them as such at the time.

The plot of The Cutting Edge is, of course, complex, and even when you figure something out, you then find that you’ve barely even scratched the surface of the case.  Their pursuit of the killer is a little slow to start in this novel – the clues are confusing, and the Promisor’s purpose and motive aren’t immediately obvious, and so it takes a little while for the investigation to really get underway.  But once it does get going, the pace doesn’t let up until the very end.

As much as I love the series, there was one downside for me in this particular instalment, and that was the lack of evidence boards summarising their findings.  All the previous novels have included these, and whilst it doesn’t help me to work out what’s going on in the slightest, I really like feeling like I’m part of the investigative team, and seeing all the clues together, wondering which piece of forensic evidence doesn’t quite fit with the rest, and what will reveal their next clue in tracking down the perpetrator.  I really hope that these are included in the next Lincoln Rhyme novel.

The Cutting Edge is available now in hardback and digital formats, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The novels in the Lincoln Rhyme series:

  1. The Bone Collector (1997)
  2. The Coffin Dancer (1998)
  3. The Empty Chair (2000)
  4. The Stone Monkey (2002)
  5. The Vanished Man (2003)
  6. The Twelfth Card (2005)
  7. The Cold Moon (2006)
  8. The Broken Window (2008)
  9. The Burning Wire (2010)
  10. The Kill Room (2013)
  11. The Skin Collector (2014)
  12. The Steel Kiss (2016)
  13. The Burial Hour (2017)
  14. The Cutting Edge (2018)


  1. Great review, I’m a Deaver fan myself. I don’t know how I’d feel about not having all the evidence on a board. I know it’s easy to keep an overview like that.. I’ll have to read for myself to find out :-).

    1. I was really surprised, as I see the evidence boards as something that adds a little je ne sais quoi to the series. I read it on my kindle, so it might be present in the physical version, although that would be a strange thing for the publisher to do…

    1. Ha ha – there’s a few to catch up on now! I liked the film, although it is, of course, a little different to the book!

    1. You really should! You can’t go wrong with the Lincoln Rhyme series, and his standalone novels are excellent too – I highly recommend The October List.

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