Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver

Trouble in MindReviewed by Allen Hott

Wow, almost too much to comprehend. Jeffery Deaver has put together twelve short stories that all carry his style, rhythm, and quirky thinking. Normally a reader picks up one of his novels and follows one story line with various plot changes but the same characters and one fantastic ending. But here he has basically developed twelve story lines with a multitude of different characters. There are two Lincoln Rhyme stories (one of Deaver’s favorite characters) and also a Kathryn Dance story and a John Pelham story (a couple more of his favorites).

The book starts with the Dance story as she is involved in finding out who is planning the terroristic attack in Monterey California. She has less than three hours to find out and stop the attack. And this happens when she was on the way to the aquarium with her kids!

Next is a story about an eighty year old woman who realizes that two of her neighbors are plotting something sinister (like death) against her. Although she is old her mind is sharp and not only does she figure out what they are doing but how to stop it.

Bump is about a high stakes poker game being played by top professionals LIVE on TV.

The action is very live for the television audience and really alive for the reader of the story. How the whole thing plays out when the final hand becomes one for the books is very interesting.

A Textbook Case has Lincoln Rhyme and his crew trying to figure out whom and why did a criminal do what he did. First off he left one of the messiest crime scenes ever and then there appears to be no rhyme or reason for the action. Just up Lincoln Rhyme’s investigative alley!

John Pelham, working as a location coordinator for the movie industry is spotlighted in the next short story as he becomes involved not only in a vehicle accident but also in a murder investigation in the Colorado Mountains. The amount of planning that was taken to pull off the crime makes the reader wonder how Pelham was able to put it all together.

The Competitors shows not only how terrorists put together a plot by becoming members of an Olympic team but how the authorities use pretty much the same routine. Interesting especially after the recent Olympics in Russia.

The Plot tells how a famous author dies while taking a walk and one of his most dedicated readers (a cop by the way) has a hard time believing the entire situation. The more he digs into the death the more he realizes that life isn’t always what it seems.

Hard to believe that Deaver or anyone could come up with the story in the Therapist. All about “nemes” which are supposedly spirits that control our thinking and can cause us to do or not do things as they make their way through our system. Very weird tale!

The Weapon tells about a group that supposedly has a major weapon about to be detonated in Washington. But is there really or is this some kind of a ploy to get attention to something else?

Reconciliation is about a man who has missed his father for years and has come to actually hate the man though he doesn’t know him. However as the man goes about his business he finds out something in the end about his father (and the reader finds out something about them both!).

Lincoln Rhyme again in the Obit as he and the department announce his death as they work to catch a rogue cop who seems to be taking the law in his own hands.

The finale is Forever! This is a very involved story about a young cop who is normally a statistician for the force. How he gets involved in a case and then how he goes about solving it much to amazement of his superiors is a great story with twists and turns throughout!

Deaver has done a great job putting all of these together and letting the readers enjoy!

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