Book Review

The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver

A killer without limits

He comes into your home at night. He watches you as you sleep. He waits.

 A city in turmoil

He calls himself ‘The Locksmith’. No door can keep him out. No security system can catch him. And now he’s about to kill.

A race against time to stop him

Nobody in New York is safe. Now it’s up to Lincoln Rhyme to untangle the web of evidence and catch him.

But with Lincoln under investigation himself, and tension in the city at boiling point, time is running out…

The Midnight Lock is the latest instalment in Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series. I’m a huge fan of this series and have been since first discovering The Bone Collector many years ago.  I’ve read the whole series (as well as much of Deaver’s other work) and I’m always thrilled when a new Rhyme and Sachs novel becomes available. 

If you’ve read any of the series then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. A devious villain, an intense investigation that’s heavy on the forensics (I still miss those whiteboard summaries!), and some excellent twists to keep you guessing until the end.  And there’s usually not just one puzzle to solve – here, Rhyme and Sachs find themselves caught up in multiple cases and the whole novel delivers all the danger and excitement that a reader could ask for.  Jeffery Deaver writes incredible mysteries, and even when I think I’ve been clever and figured it all out before the denouement, there’s always something I’ve missed or an extra twist that I didn’t expect. 

The Midnight Lock sees Rhyme and Sachs up against a particularly devious individual who calls himself “The Locksmith”.  An individual who can – and does – break into the home of anyone they choose, no matter how state of the art their security system is.  Once in, The Locksmith technically doesn’t do much – there’s no physical harm or assault (so far) – but these break-ins have a psychological impact as he likes to play with the mind of his victims, moving things around to make it clear that the victim wasn’t alone that night.  It is – frankly – terrifying, and it makes for a fantastic story and investigation. Is there more to it than that? Of course there is, but I’d hate to spoil it for you!

Fifteen books into the series, I do, of course, absolutely adore the characters. Sachs is my favourite although it is hard to call it between her and Rhyme at times.  I like the way in which their partnership works as their strengths complement each other nicely. I’ve loved seeing their personal relationship evolve throughout the series, particularly as they didn’t quite see eye to eye at first.  The supporting cast are all present and correct, although I felt that “Rookie” Ron Pulaski wasn’t as visible in this novel as he has been in some. 

As ever, there’s more going on in the novel than just the obvious, and I particularly enjoyed the subplot of conspiracy theorist Verum who spouts absolute nonsense which is, nonetheless, believed by some.  This felt particularly apt given the misinformation that is so easily spread via social media that is very much apparent today alongside the “fake news”, and I think highlights the ways in which some will – quite knowingly – spread false information, and the way that others – perhaps unknowingly – will buy into it.  It’s scary at times, and yet particularly apt. 

I have to admit that The Midnight Lock isn’t my favourite in the series, although I’d be hard pressed to pick just one that is.  It’s a gripping and enjoyable read, however, although I think that the reader benefits if they’re already familiar with the characters and their history.  Additionally, there is a spoiler for the first novel – The Bone Collector – and so please don’t start here if you have any intention of going back to the beginning at some point.  That said, The Midnight Lock does work as a standalone from the perspective of the crime and investigations taking place.  Highly recommended, whether you’re a long-time fan like me or just getting started.

The Midnight Lock is published by Harper Collins and is available now in hardback, digital, and audio formats.

The novels in the Lincoln Rhyme series with links to my reviews where available:

  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)
  15. The Midnight Lock (2021)

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