The Broken Window Reviews

Seven books on, most series start to get a bit thin. The characters are doing the same things over and over and the plots get stretched. Which is why The Broken Window is such a surprise. This eighth novel featuring quadriplegic forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme is one of Deaver’s best. Same characters, but the plot, built around identity theft, is riveting. The case for Rhyme, this time, is close to home. His cousin, Arthur, has been arrested for murder. The forensic evidence against him is solid. In fact, it’s perfect, so perfect that it can’t all be real; no one could leave all that trace behind at a crime scene. But that’s Rhyme’s riddle. The police are satisfied and Arthur is in jail awaiting trial. It doesn’t take Rhyme and his partner/lover, Amelia Sachs, long to find out that the evidence against Arthur has been artificially planted. The problem is how and by whom? The trail leads to a huge multinational corporation with information on millions of people, and eventually to a killer so clever he can turn the tables on Rhyme and Sachs as they search for him. If you’ve even been worried about all the info an online hunter could uncover about you, this is one scary novel. Everything in it seems as plausible and easy as buying a purse on eBay. Deaver has outdone himself.”
— Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail

“The topical subject matter makes the story line particularly compelling, while longtime fans will relish Deaver’s intimate exploration of a tragedy from Rhyme’s adolescence.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Quadriplegic forensics whiz Lincoln Rhyme and his Glock-toting girlfriend, Amelia Sachs, track a serial killer who uses an all-knowing computer database to frame fall guys. Movie Pitch: Ironside meets CSI and Enemy of the State. Bottom Line: Rhyme still intrigues in his eighth outing, while Deaver’s scarily believable depiction of identity theft in a total-surveillance society stokes our paranoia. A -.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Anxious about identity theft? Well, as a Jeffery Deaver character says, “If somebody wants to destroy your life, there’s nothing you can do about it.” That’s the theme of THE BROKEN WINDOW (Simon & Schuster, $26.95), one of the most unnerving of Deaver’s eight novels featuring his quadriplegic forensic detective, Lincoln Rhyme. Smarter and scarier than the genre’s garden-variety nut jobs, the mad genius at work in this book takes pride in penetrating secure databases. After stripping people of an essential piece of their lives, he frames them for his own murderous deeds. But here, the rape-torture-killing element seems largely just a concession to the sensationalistic formula of the thriller. Deaver is far more caught up in the devious mechanics of identity fraud, analyzed in depth by Rhyme once it’s determined that the killer has access to the supersecret files of a data-mining company whose clients include government agencies. While murder is still murder, the image that lingers in this Orwellian nightmare is that of the villain’s original guinea pig, once a doctor, now a wretch who calls himself Job and lives in flophouses, hiding from the angry God who stole his life.”
— Marilyn Stasio, New York Times