What I’m reading: Toppling cranes – a new kind of eco-terrorism




The crane attached to a 78-storey building project collapses into a street in Manhattan after acid eats through the metal plates securing its concrete counterweights. Only one person is killed, but the damage is immense. A new eco-terrorist announces to the media that more cranes will be toppled unless the city commits to build more low-rent homes. Paraplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme investigates and soon learns that the perpetrator is an old enemy of his, a mercenary assassin known as The Watchmaker. And his real target is not Affordable Housing but revenge on Lincoln who thwarted him previously.

A cat-and-mouse game is under way. Can Rhyme and his team identify the next target building before The Watchmaker brings another crane down? And who at police HQ or City Hall is leaking details of the operation to the terrorist?

This is the fifteenth instalment of Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series, which began with The Bone Collector in 1997 (memorably filmed with Denzel Washington as the wheelchair-bound investigator). Rarely has a crime thriller equalled that ground-breaking debut, but The Watchmaker’s Hand is close to Deaver’s top form – terse and tense, expertly plotted and brilliantly exercised. The book has a lengthy ‘coda’ which gives the story an extra grandeur.

Unputdownable reads are not easy to find in the age of AI and streaming networks, but here’s one that will nail you to your seat.



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