A Note From Jeff

Writing The Deliveryman

By Jeffery Deaver

If I were a toymaker, I wouldn’t craft hula hoops or Radio Flyer red wagons (showing my age, am I?); I’d make those little Russian nesting dolls, the ones that you lift apart, only to find inside another, yes, little Russian nesting doll. And so on and so on.

Fiction is the same for me. I love stories within stories, all related, yet offering up a different aspect of the tale.

When I wrote The Steel Kiss, I described a crime, a prequel of sorts, that was seemingly minor, but that might hold clues to help Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs track down the villain in the novel. I had to keep the description of this incident short, in order not to digress from the main plot, but I regretted having to do so, because the crime itself involved some compelling characters and could easily be expanded into a story in its own right.

Bummer, I thought.

But then it occurred to me: Why not expand it into a story in its own right?

Hence, The Deliveryman.

The story takes place in Manhattan a few months before the first chapter of The Steel Kiss, a novel in which Lincoln and Amelia struggle to stop a serial killer using household products to kill people in their homes and offices in particularly horrific ways (you’ll never look at your microwave the same way again!). In The Deliveryman, our heroes aren’t after this killer—he hasn’t started murdering yet—but they’re trying to save the life of a young boy who may, or may not, have information about some criminal doings that could have disastrous consequence for the citizens of New York.

Of course, within the doll of that story, you’ll find yet another doll.

And within that doll . . . . well, maybe you’ll just find the key to the mystery of The Steel Kiss.