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"The Cutting Edge" by Jeffery Deaver; Grand Central

"The Cutting Edge" by Jeffery Deaver; Grand Central (Amazon)

Amazon

"The Cutting Edge" by Jeffery Deaver; Grand Central (448 pages, $28)

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Throughout his series about criminologist Lincoln Rhyme, Jeffery Deaver has found new ways to thrill - and scare - readers.

Yet, Deaver's novels about Lincoln also are more than just chilling plots - they are an intense look at how the brilliant Lincoln can fight crime although he is a quadriplegic. These novels tend to have a more cerebral approach because Lincoln's mind remains undamaged. Still, Deaver supplies plenty of action, thanks to the hard-hitting team Lincoln has assembled.

Deaver's approach excels in "The Cutting Edge," the 14th novel to feature Lincoln and his assistant Amelia Sachs.

In "The Cutting Edge," a killer who calls himself the "The Promisor" is targeting engaged couples with attacks that follow visits to a wedding planner and a wedding dress store. The savage murder of a master diamond cutter who works in Manhattan's diamond district kicks off Lincoln and team's investigation. The killer left most of the high-end diamonds but may have stolen some ultra-valuable stones that few knew he had.

The killer also left a witness - Vimal Lahori, a young employee who was shot but still managed to escape. Vimal goes into hiding, fearing the police cannot protect him from the killer. But Vimal also fears his father and wonders if this could be his escape from his overbearing family. Vimal has the talent to become a master cutter, but his father refuses to allow him to have a social life aside from work and takes his money as soon as Vimal is paid.

To find the killer and Vimal, Lincoln uses high-tech toys, but, even more important, the brain power and boots on the ground help of Amelia, Det. Lon Sellitto of the NYPD, patrol officer Ron Pulaski and lab expert Mel Cooper.

Lincoln's stories remain the most popular series of Deaver, who also has written 35 novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book.

Deaver keeps the level of suspense high as he also examines the gem trade and takes readers on an insider's tour of New York City. Deaver's intelligent characters show their mettle as the twists mount in "The Cutting Edge."

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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