Jeffery Deaver is easily within the class of such imaginative novelists as Stephen King and like Stephen King, when you look at his photo you can almost envision a person with an almost unquenchable thirst and passion for their particular profession. Jeffery Deaver is a writer who has made a strong presence on the Murder Mystery/Thriller scene with his numerous novels based on a popular parapalegic by the name of Lincoln Rhyme, a top level Forensic investigator who processes grissly murder scenes from the confines of his apartment through the eyes and with the help of the physical mobility of an astute detail oriented protege Amelia Sachs who works murder scenes for him.
Long before I read any of Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels however I was introduced to his spell binding story telling prowess through the magic of film when I came across the Movie based on the novel 'A Maiden's Grave' but entitled 'Dead Silence' featuring James Garner as the ever sharp hostage negotiator assigned to the difficult task of attempting to save the children and teacher that three escape convicts including one very callus ring leader named Sonny, have taken hostage.
Watching the movie I did what I normally do, attempt to discover through my own meager detective-like ability, to solve the mystery. The movie gave me just enough encouragement that I knew I wanted to read the book for a more indepth immersion into the world of the students and teacher who were the main characters in the plot.
The book was a page turner that was difficult to put down and I found myself reading it from cover to cover within only a few days.
Jeffery Deaver is a gifted writer who has the ability to draw the reader into his world of incredible danger, mystery, suspense and at times heart pounding intrigue and not until the last page of the novel can you often times find any satisfaction with the fact that perhaps you have solved the mystery. There are twists, turns and complete role reversals abounding in practically every novel I have read of his...and I have read pretty well all that he has published to date.
The Maiden's Grave is a rather unique novel by the author in that it takes the lives of some deaf school children and their teacher and places them on center stage in ways that are believable and frighteningly realistic. A young deaf teacher and her charges are abducted by a sadistic and very determined trio of killers who will stop at nothing to prove their point...Sonny, the mastermind behind the kidnappings is eerily sinister and you can literally visualize this characters incredibly vicious temperment throughout the book.
The movie follows the book relatively close to the main plotline of the actual novel but to become intimately familiar with the characters portrayed, including the adept Hostage negotiator Arthur Potter, the book is a must read.
Even after seeing the movie, which although well done was not as completely capable of involving me, I was still able to read the book and enjoy the twists, turns and oddities of the characters that Deaver provided. This was the Deaver book that upon finishing had me literally hunting down other works written by him and thus far there have been few of his works that have disappointed.
I must caution that A Maiden's Grave is definitely not a book that someone who is easily shocked may want to read...there is murder visually detailed and the murders are of those most vulnerable characters...children. The descriptive methods with which Deaver writes will definitely have you envisioning the hostage scene vividly as well as being able to almost see the abandoned slaughter house where the criminals have tucked their unfortunate prey away. Unless you are are a fan of this particular genre of writing, you may not find it an enjoyable read.
The hostage taking and subsequent murders take place over the period of one evening and the tight writing and fast paced events as they unfold will make this book, for those who enjoy this style, a fast book to read and one that will .... if you aren't yet familiar with Deaver, literally force you to become an instant fan of his style of writing.
It has been a number of years now since I first read this particular novel but it is still one of those books that simply stays with you long after you've finished the final page. Definitely well crafted and worth picking up...even though it is one of his much earlier works.